Slip bobbers are a presentation that many anglers use, but mid-season they seem to be rarely used. With the current bite it is something that you should consider using on your next trip out.
Slip bobbers are so simple yet so many do not think of using them during the summer and for neutral fish this presentation can be the ticket because it keeps your lure in the strike zone faster and will allow extra time for the neutral fish to investigate the lure.
Rigging a slip bobber is very simple, but with walleyes this time of the year, if you put a swivel with a weight 1-2 feet above a very small jig head and tip that jig with a leech it can be very productive. We focus the depth 1-3 feet above bottom and when we troll around, we watch our depth finders. If we mark a fish, we drop the slip bobbers behind the boat and use spot lock to hold the position. We normally only give it 10-15 minutes before we move on but a lot of times the fish will spot your lure dropping from above and they will inhale the lure before the bobber properly sets up.
By setting the bobber 1-3 feet above the bottom walleyes will come up hit the lure and then go instantly back down to bottom. This helps with less skilled fishermen because a normal bite will cause the bobber to disappear instantly.
With the increase in zebra mussels line clarity has become a very important topic. With this presentation if you are not using mono or fluorocarbon on your reel it is important to have a few feet of fluorocarbon as a leader and I would suggest 4-6 feet depending on water clarity. The bite right now has been minnow or a leech bite. With a minnow you can hook behind the dorsal fin or in the mouth depending on your preference with a size 2 or 4 hook.
When you start using leeches or crawlers, I suggest using a very small jig instead of a hook and this helps with the presentation. I still only hook the leech through the sucker and by having the small jig head it will keep your leech below the weight and allow your lure to be in the strike zone more often.
Local bite has been hit and miss locally due to the bug hatches on our lakes. Lakes that are not having bug hatches have been producing nice fish. Leech bite has been the best with crawlers and minnows coming in strong in second place. With crawlers the sunfish have been extremely aggressive and have been torturing the walleye fishermen targeting the weed lines. Walleyes are spread all over from in the weeds to on the edges of mid lake structure. Staying mobile is key and watch your electronics for places to target.
Crappie bite is picking up again after the spawn and reports are find the cabbage and you’ll find the fish. Blue gills have been amazing, and I’ve been getting monsters pulling a small leech on a lindy rig through the cabbage. The advantage of trolling a leech in the cabbage is everything will bite and the other day we had 8 different species get landed in the same spot. Trout bite has been amazing with nice eating fish being caught. Bite for them has been extremely early in the morning using slip bobbers on the breaks.