Float Fishing Tips

Float fishing is an extremely popular way to target certain species, particularly during the summer months.  The main target species to float fishing for around Devon and Cornwall are Mackerel, Garfish, Pollack, Bass and Mullet – although, depending on the depth of water, other species such as Wrasse, Bream and a variety of minis-species can also be caught.

Float fishing is without doubt an exciting and fun way to fish and provides the perfect opportunity to fish with light tackle for some great sport. Another bonus of float fishing is the ability to fish tight to a snaggy sea bed or other feature in shallow water without risking the loss of much gear in the process.


How to Set Up a Float Fishing Rig

Setting up a float fishing rig is easy enough and can be done in several different ways, although using a quick float fishing rig and attaching your desired trace length to the end surely has to be the quickest and easiest in the long run.

For this, the main part of the float fishing rig – the float, the right size ball weight, 2 retaining beads contained between and a swivel and a snap swivel at either end – can be made up before hand which just leaves you to clip on whichever trace length is necessary depending on which species you wish to target during the fishing session.



Quick float fishing set up


As well as the time saving aspect, the other beauty of this float fishing rig is that your pre-made trace lengths can also be used with two other light tackle set up: the free lining rig and the quick ball weight rig.

*TIP* If you want to be extra crafty, the quick float fishing rig can also be adapted to enable you to float fish and bottom fish simultaneously with the same rod. Replacing the standard swivel at the top of the float rig with an American snap swivel (or similar clip swivel) will allow you to cast out a bottom fishing rig such as a Pennel Pulley Rig, Ball Weight Rig or Ledger Rig and then, once its settled on the seabed, clip the float fishing rig onto the mainline and slide it down into the swim (using the mainline like a zip line). Your float will stay put and put you in the running for Mackerel or Garfish while you also target bottom feeders.

It’s great if all of a sudden you see other anglers catching Mackerel etc but you don’t want to take your main rig out of the water to have a punt at another species.

Because different species require slightly different float fishing tactics to catch them, below we’ve put together some quick guides for targeting different fish on the float.


Float Fishing for Mackerel & Garfish

Float Fishing for Pollack

Float Fishing for Wrasse

Float Fishing for Bass

Float Fishing for Mullet

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