Should You Use Floats in Saltwater?

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shark fishing with float

Rigging a line or two with floats can help, when sharks are your target.

Floats Are Effective

There’s something very basic and slightly childish that comes to mind when we think of bobbers. Surely, many of us got our start as an angler sitting on the bank of a small body of water, tossing out a worm on a hook suspended under a bobber. But floats can also be quite useful in the brine. So throw out that image and instead, picture a shark, a redfish, or some other salty predator on the end of your line.

shark fishing with float

Rigging a line or two with floats can help, when sharks are your target.

Floats in a chum line – Any time you have a chum line set up, having a float line or two is a good idea. Chum will always be sinking at different rates depending on the current and wind, and you always want to keep your baits at or near the same depth as the chum. Utilizing a float will let you set those baits at specific depths, and set them the appropriate distance from the boat to place your baits in the ideal location. In the case of sharks, some people believe the float also adds as an added attractor – a theory that seems to be confirmed as sharks do occasionally attack the float instead of the bait.

Floats for offshore chunking – you’ll need to use very large floats when chunking for tuna, and many anglers use a balloon or a segment of a foam pool noodle to support the large baits used for this style of fishing. It’s worth making sure you have them aboard, though, because as when chumming you’ll want your baits to stay in the same depth range as the chunks you’re tossing overboard.

Floats for livies – Adding a float to your line whenever you’re casting live baits to structure can help you boost your catch in a serious way. Take dock fishing for snook and reds, for example. The fish often hold very close to the structure, and won’t come out more than a foot or two to hit a bait. In this scenario, a float helps in a number of ways. It allows you to position yourself up-wind of the target and drift the live baitfish back to the structure, it allows you to keep an eye on the bait’s exact position at all times, and of course it also lets you know when a fish has taken the bait by suddenly disappearing.

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