A lot of fisherman may ask what is a float and fly. And this is a good question. The float and fly is winter time bass fishing system that will catch large mouth and small mouth bass. This form of fishing was born on the deep clear cool waters of one of the greatest small mouth bass waters in the world, Dale Hollow Lake. This lake lies part in KY and part in Tenn. The world record small mouth bass was caught from dale hollow lake on the KY side by David L Hayes of Leitchfield, Ky. The small mouth bass weighted 11 lbs 15 oz.. And the fish was caught on July 9Th 1955. This one of the oldest fish records on record. Most small mouth bass anglers including myself feel that the new world record small mouth bass will also come from the waters of world famous Dale Hollow Lake. And some feel that the new world record small mouth will be caught on the float and fly. The float and fly is a very basic fishing system but its results when fished correctly and at the right time can be very extraordinary. This rig consist of a small weighted floater a three way swivel and the fly. This may sound very simple but each part of this system plays an important role in the success of catching small mouth. The rod used for this rig is usually a long rod in the 7 to nine foot range. The rod has a fairly limber tip and a good back bone for setting the hook.
The main reason for the long rod is to pick up the long length of slack line when you make your forward cast with the jig. The rig is made up of a main line usually a clear braided line like the Berkley fire line cystal line in a 6 to 8 pound test range. This is tied to a three way swivel and the weighted floater is attached to a ring on the swivel and the leader line is tied to the other ring. The weighted floater plays a very imporant role in this system. The floater with the weight on the bottom of the floater will stand up in the water This is a very important because if the floater lies over on its side in the water after the cast is made, this means that the jig is on the bottom and not suspending in the water and will not be effective. The leader is usually in the 10 to 15 foot range but can be adjusted to suit each fishing condition. The leader line needs to be a clear fluorocarbon line in the 4 to 6 pound range.
This clear fluorocarbon line is practical invisible in the water and will not spook the fish like a heavier more visible line. When you get ready to make your cast with the float and fly drop your line down in front of you and lift your rod high and come back and let the whole rig hit the water behind you in the water. And then come forward with your cast to the area you want to fish.By making this forward and then backward casting motion you will keep the rig from tangling and make better more accurate cast. The fly used for this type of fishing is made to look like a small dying shad minnow which is one of the favorite foods of a winter time small mouth. Some of the flies are made of duck feather. Ask for a floating fly jig when you go to buy them. This is a style of winter time small mouth bass fishing that comes with certain conditions to work best.
First off this is a winter time rig used when the water is in the 50 degree and lower range. Mostly used on clear water lakes like dale hollow, lake Cumberland, Laural lake and any clear deeper lake. The reason for this being this is a bait that the bass find by site in the clear water. But some anglers will add a scent like the garlic scented fish dope. In the winter when the water drops below 50 degrees the bass and the shad will school and suspend on key main lake structure like channel edges , humps, weed beds, bluffs and steep rocky banks. Look for these type of areas on your fish finder and start your fishing here. After you make your cast let the bait settle and then slowly reel the bait in a little and watch the floater for any movement when the floater goes down or sideways reel down and set the hook.
Remember this is big small mouth season and that should give you fishing fever.