Bobber-jig fishing is Drift-Fishing and is one of the most productive ways to fish for Anadromous species of fish. Drifting with a bobber offers a range of fishing slow to nearly stopped water that other drift-fishermen cannot since their drift largely depends on speed. Bobber-jig fishing can be done in fresh and saltwater environments any time of the year. The fish picked up from bobbers are almost always lethargic and tired from being in the main current, so the offerings need to be right in their faces. If fish are in the water and you’re not getting hits right away, then your jig is probably not at the correct depth. One of the more critical aspects of drifting the bobber is to keep your eyes on it! It only takes a few seconds to adjust the depth of your leader to keep it just off the bed of the river.

As the bobber makes its way through the drift continually mend the line to keep it straight. If the line has a bow or bends you won’t be able to get a good solid hook set. Before heading to the river invest in some Gel scent that will stick to the head of the jig. Those anglers who use fur, feather, or hackle know that they can become laden with liquid scent rendering them useless after the first application. Occasionally the bite will go off and everything you try seems to fail. Take a look at the jig and see if it has eyes. You’d be amazed at how doting some eyes on the side of jigs can garner strikes from fish. In many cases, the only thing keeping you from bites is that one little thing. Jigs are tied to a leader that has a weight system of “split shots” or is tied directly to pencil lead. Jigs come in a wide variety of sizes, colors, and materials. Avid anglers can make their own jigs and modify colors, eyes, lead heads, and hook sizes in combinations of a feather, fur, and hackle. All are sold separately but ultimately cost less to make than to buy.


Jigs have a lead ball head that is painted and comes with or without eyes. When waters run with some form of visibility, it’s best to have a set of eyes on them on the jig head. When waters run turbid it’s not necessary to have eyes since fish rarely get a good look at them with zero visibility. It’s always a good idea to rub the scent on the head of each jig. Avoid putting scents on the body or tail since they tend to make them clump up which become useless by the end of the day.


Jigs are perfect for waters too slow for any other kind of drift-fishing. Pools and eddies are the best holds. To set up jigs the leader should be tied just long enough that it can reach the bottom without coming within contact with it. The bobber, or float, should have natural colors that don’t starkly contrast the surroundings; brown and black are best. Thread a stop-knot onto the mainline and slip it off the tube it’s tied to. Cinch up the knot at the longest length it will take to get the jig down to the riverbed without coming within contact with it; this will stop the bobber from sliding any farther up the mainline. Feed the mainline through the bobber and tie the tag end to a barrel swivel, which will prevent the bobber from sliding down the leader. Tie the leader to another eye of the swivel, they tie the loose end to the jig. Split-shots are placed below the swivel at intermittent lengths to ensure that the jig makes an upright natural presentation as it drifts and you’re ready to fish.


Setting the hook on a jig is easy. The hook of a jig is almost always faced with the tine parallel with the surface to hook the topside of the fish’s mouth. Proper strikes of fish sink the bobber below the surface. Wait for the bobber to completely submerge before setting the hook. Setting the hook before the bobber sinks means that the hook will literally be pulled out of the mouth of the fish and put it off the bite.