Fish on a Spring
By Joe DeVera
As the temperatures get colder and the oxygen depletes from the lake, we run into slow or sluggish fish and we typically call it the mid-winter blues. We'll say things like oh they weren't biting or they were picky, but the truth is the fish still have to eat. We just miss the finicky light bite of blue gills and other pan fish that inhale and spit out a bait in a fraction of a second, sometimes so quickly and lightly that we don't even see our rod tips move. That's where a spring bobber comes in handy.
A spring bobber is basically an attachment of your fishing rod that is a wire, more sensitive to the light bites than even your most sensitive rod tip. The original spring bobbers were springs removed from pens, stretched out a little and attached with electricians tape. Today, there are several styles to choose from, everything from a coiled up spring to a thin wire with a loop at the end of it to run your line through. Most will attach with some shrink tubing or by clipping on, but you can always use a little piece of plumbers tape or epoxy and thread to make sure they stay put.
Personally, I prefer Ice Strong titanium spring bobbers. I use a little rubberband to attach them. Using that method allows me to slide the bobber in or out to adjust with the weight of my jig making sure I have the correct bend in the bobber to see all of the lightest bites.
The Ice Strong spring bobbers also come in three sizes; Original, for your 4 & 5 mm jigs, an Ultra Light for your 2.5-3 mm jigs and ice flies, and the XL for dead sticking. I also use the XL with micro jigging spoons to catch fish on the up bite.
If you're not using spring bobbers you're missing bites, pick a couple up and give them a try and you'll put more fish on ice.