Monday, September 26, 2011

Float-fishing Soft Plastics.

We've all been there, you turn up to fish your chosen mark and find yourself confronted by the anglers enemy, WEED !

At times it can be impossible to fish conventional methods , even weedless rigged lures can be covered in seconds leaving you no option but to walk away or wait until the weed has past.

One method I use ,for situations like these and also for fishing in clean water, is float-fishing with lures.
I like to rig up using a pike float(though most floats will work fine), bead ,a bullet weight, a strong piece of mono 25 lb+ (as it needs to be able to handle a bit of wear) and a couple of swivels .
Tie a swivel to one end of the mono, slide on the bead, then the float coloured end first. Next slide on the bullet weight and tie on the last swivel.
The whole rig is about a foot or 30 centimetres long and can easily be stored in a container in the lure bag, ready to be attached onto your lure-clip and thus avoiding the hassle of making it up at the venue.
            All you have to do now is make up the business end and tie it to the swivel that supports the bullet weight. This is best done at the venue when water depth and conditions have been taken into consideration.
  In very clear water I will use an 8lb Airflow flourocarbon hook length about 5 feet or 150 centimetres long . I don't generally add any shot to this but if the tide and wind were going in the same direction, or the float was just travelling very fast, I might add a few to keep the lure down. I prefer to leave off the weight though, so the lure can move with more freedom.
    Choice of lure is something I would encourage you to experiment with as different venues and situations will favour different lures and only you can work out what suits your marks best. Just to get you started though ,a natural looking soft plastic like the smaller Slug-go will behave well in the water and takes fish.

One of my customers Cuan playing a bass ten minutes after I'd rigged him up with a float and lure, and showed him what to do.He was pretty impressed at the time.
       If you're fishing off rocks or wading on sand into an estuary, casting uptide and letting the float carry the lure down past you until it stops and swings in, can be the best approach . Retrieve it slowly ready for the next cast, you never know what might follow ?
 If its very weedy cast into a clear patch of water and the float and lure will travel at the same speed as the weed. This will help to prevent the lure getting clogged up until it stops and the weed catches up.
  It will also flow with the water like a natural bait might ,getting sucked into eddies and currents that form in the band of water infront of you and hopefully on to waiting bass.
If there is a chop on the water it will work the lure making it flutter up and down, while travelling in the current.
    Some venues you can walk along with the float , "trotting" it for long distances until you find fish.
On clean ground you can also rig a lure to be trundled along the bottom , the float will dip as the lure hits a ripple or bank in the sand but will then pop back up and keep floating on working the lure behind it .
   There are so many possibilities with this method from using shrimp lures on the bottom, to paddle tail shads raced through strong current near the surface, it just takes some use of the grey matter to design a hook length/trace to suit your venues unique geography.

This fish took the small slug-go on my first cast fishing on an open surf beach .
I offered this technique to a journalist, to use as an article, before, as it can be a very good method at times and is something different from the norm? As I recently wrote Cast, Retrieve, Remove the weed , Cast,Retrieve,............................ well you know it by now,  can get boring at times too.
    Shame it didn't come off because they would have made a much better job of it than I have here .
 Anyway you guys get the gist of things, ..........float fishing might not be for everyone and I'm not going to say its a killer technique. At certain times it works well and, as I've said, a float plunging under the water does it for me.


  1. great post Danny not a method i've tried but i'll give it a go some time as for people knocking the method they were right it clearly doesnt work just look at youre photos ;)

  2. sounds good, as i have not caught many bass before i like to try any method possible. This is certainly one i may try, don't know if any of you have read my blog but if you do then you will know i bought slug go 7.5 inch soft plastics the other week!

  3. Heading to Boyne estuary area tomorow - might try this there!

  4. A float going under does it for me as well! I like that alot.