Fishing Reports
Matt Johnson Outdoors 2003-2008
MattJohnsonOutdoors.com
Experience the Fishing
Add a Little Spring to Your Ice Game
Experience the Fishing...
Tips and Articles
By: Matt Johnson

There  are  a  lot  of  tools   out
there  that can  increase an ice
angler’s  productivity,  but one
has to  rank the spring  bobber
high on their list of priorities. If
you  seek out  panfish—and by
panfish  I  mean  bull  bluegills,
slab    crappies,     and    jumbo
perch—then  the  addition of a
spring   bobber   can  make  or
break a day on the ice.

A spring bobber serves several purposes. The most obvious advantage of a
spring bobber is for detecting light biting fish. As a strike indicator, the spring
bobber opens the angler’s eyes to a whole new world of “sight.” You begin to
see things that you never noticed before and no longer do you have to “feel”
for a bite. Even the slightest movement from your jig, up or down, will trigger
the spring bobber to dance. A fish doesn’t even have the privilege of breathing
on your bait without you counting every breath. Plain and simple, the spring
bobber makes your job as an angler much easier.

Outside of the fact that a spring bobber allows you detect more bites, it also
equips the angler with more confidence and room for error when working a
jigging sequence or setting the hook. A spring bobber absorbs some of the
tension between your rod and the bait, which causes the presentation to
perform naturally instead of erratically. Aggressive movements are slightly
minimized, which aids in coaxing a wary fish into striking. Essentially, the spring
bobber acts as a buffer between you and your presentation.

Besides the increase in jigging productivity, the spring bobber also allows the
angler more time to set the hook. The spring bobber can load to a certain
point before the fish feels a ton of resistance. So instead of feeling the strike,
only to have the fish spit out the bait moments later, we can now see the strike
in action, giving us a definite answer for when the time is right to bring home
the bacon.

Several companies have tailored spring bobbers after years of experience on
the ice:

Thorne Bros has designed a spring bobber that fits into the tip of their line of
panfish and perch rods. The advantage of the Thorne Bros spring bobber is
its ability to keep shape and still provide constant sensitivity up through the
rod. It’s a slightly stiffer, shorter spring bobber, yet you don’t lose feel and
control.

St. Croix has developed a spring bobber system that is built into the rod called
the Legend Ice. The Legend Ice Rod has a built-in spring bobber that acts as
the last guide of the rod. It’s equipped with a very sensitive spring bobber that
is specifically matched with the rod to provide ultimate strike indication and
performance. The springs come in three different actions and are
interchangeable.

Frabill has jumped aboard the spring bobber craze by adding a universal
spring bobber into their line-up. Initially intended for their line of Panfish
Popper ice rods, the Frabill spring bobber can fit just about any ice rod,
allowing the ice angler to incorporate the spring bobber technique into their
favorite ice fishing rod and reel combo.

These are only a few options that are available for spring bobbers, but the
important message I want to pass on is just the simple advantage of using a
spring bobber. It’s an effortless and easy tool to use, yet it’s so effective when
out on the ice chasing your favorite specie. Companies are out there with the
intentions of making the angler’s job less frustrating and more productive, and
spring bobbers do just that.