Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Float Tube Bass Fishing

When most guys think of float tubbing, they think immediately of fly fishing, but not me.  Sure when I bought my first float tube the idea was to get me out and get more use out of the fly rod I purchased a few seasons back. But every-time I was out there, all I kept thinking about other techniques that a float tube would apply to...

So I began to put down the fly rod (not that you cant do some serious bass fishing on a fly rod, because you can!) and started to play around with different fishing techniques, senko's, soft bodied frogs, top water spooks and poppers and so on. I quickly found that float tube fishing was very conducive to types of bass fishing including all kinds of top water baits. Since that day I have made numerous float tube trips into back lakes and taken advantage of areas and fish that most anglers cant get to.

On top of water access Float Tube fishing gives many pluses including a great view of the waterway, you get the opportunity to be up close and personal with the structure at water level and easily see what's below the water. This allows for even more pinpoint casting (or dropping)  and the quiet approach will spook less fish then traditional small water boats.

To me, nothing is more exciting then an eye level top water bite, not only is there a good chance you are going to get wet during the battle, but  you get a view of the battle rarley seen as you try to bring the fish in and at the same time try to keep him out of your legs! (trebles in a float tube are not a good thing)

The Gear:

there are many options available on the market today when it comes to float tubes and waders. I started off as a dimestore fly anger so I did not put a lot of money into my equipment, yet it still holds up well after 5+ seasons.

First things first, you need to get yourself a good pair of waders, somthing that is breathable, waterproof, but also gives you great mobility. You are not looking for the tick heavy rubber or neoprene waders, but the thinner waders made of nylon and other microfiber. These waders do not offer the same warmth as the above, but you can layer depending on weather and water temps. Waders should be neoprene booted and you will then need to purchase a wading boot. (waders run from $30 to over $100. Find one that fits well and feels good on, you will be wearing them for 8 hours a day so make sure they are comfortable)

Flippers are also a most here. this is how you get around. Wading flippers will strap easily on and off your wading boot, most are made of a durable plastic and take abuse well when banged off submerged timber, rock and so on. (flippers run from $20 to $100 but you can find a quality pair in the $30 range)

The float tube itself is where you will have the most options. I like the opened front version with quick release seating (see image below), it allows you to slide in and out with ease, but still offeres a nice tray like front for working with fish and baits.

I like to have a few compartments on my float tubes for easy storage of baits, pliers and of course a camera. The float tube pictures also has a rod tie down. Since I carry two rods with me in the tube this is a must. Two small velcro straps keep a rod secure across my lap with fishing with the other one.

Always check the weight restrictions for you tube, you should be sitting comfortably above the water and be able to easily rest your arms on the side of the tube.

Float tube bass fishing brings many of my favorite aspects of fly fishing to my passion of bass fishing. There is nothing so peaceful or relaxing as floating around a small lake cool water surrounding you while you fish. No motor sounds, no disruptions other then the sound of a bass violently attacking your topwater lure. Catch and release is on a whole new level when in a float tube, the fish barely leaves the water as you slide him onto your lap for a quick release. 

On calm days when the bite has turned off, I have been know to take the occasional nap while out in my float  tube. It truly gives fishing that back to nature feel. If you have not given it a shot I highly recommend you do, and take advantage of what small lakes, calm water and glorious sunsets have to offer.

Weapons of Choice:

this comes down to a comfort thing and it make take you so playing around. I bring 1 spinning rod and 1 bait caster with me on each float tube outing. You want a rod long enough to give you good hook sets, but short enough to allowing you to easily and accurately cast short distances and into cover. 
For my spinning rod set-up I like to use a Dobyns 703sf, to me this is the perfect senko and wacky rod. The 735c is the bait-caster of choice. Perfect length and strength for fishing in a float tube

No comments:

Post a Comment