AF-7 Rigging Instructions: Rigging fixed floats is quick and easy. Simply thread your line through the tubing, the float, then the tubing again. We do not thread the brass rings onto the line. The reason for this is we can adjust the sensitivity of the float, depending on the water we are fishing, without cutting the rigging apart. Keep in mind the flame tubing should be threaded so it ends up on top of the float. Now insert the top of the float into the flame tube then insert the bottom of the float into the black tubing. A little water will help the tubing slide onto the float stem.
Memorial weekend had finally come and the Hawken family, and friends, were headed to Ilwaco for some red hot bottom fishing and crabbing. The first day, we were greeted with 4ft waves at 7 seconds with a south west wind of 15 to 20 KT. While a lot of boats decided to stay in that day, we hit the Bar and went out fishing. The Simon boat performed flawlessly, and we were on the fishing grounds in no time.
It took about 30 minutes and it was game on. We found a rock formation and quickly dialed in with the drift. The minute lead hit bottom, it was fish on!
It didn’t take long for the fish box to start filling up.
After about 2 hours of fishing, we decided it was time to head in due to the worsening weather. The trip back in to the Port of Ilwaco was uneventful, and it was time to start cleaning fish.
Many hand makes light work!
With the fish filleted and the boat cleaned up, it wasn’t long till the baseball gloves were brought out.
After a night of good company and fish tacos, we went to sleep, eager to get out on the water again.
Day two, it was time to go fishing! With a substantially better Bar Report, it didn’t take long and we were back on top of the rock formation from the previous day. Within the first minute, it was fish on! We caught a mix of Cabezone, Greenlings, Lingcod, and Sea Bass. With the biggest being a 24 pound Lingcod caught by Riley Hawken.
The fishing was red hot and it took us about 2 hours to catch our limit and fill the fish box completely full.
With a break in the action, a selfie was a must!
After a quick jog back into the harbor, it was time to clean some fish! It took just as long to clean them, as it did to catch them.
With a successful trip to Ilwaco under our belts, we loaded up the boat and headed home. It wouldn’t take long and the truck was filled with conversation of the upcoming buoy 10 fishery in July.
Till next time Ilwaco!
I would just like to say thank you to all the men and women who serve/have served for this country. Truly honorable and amazing what you have done for all of us.
Hope you all had a great Memorial weekend!
Rigging instructions can be found on the back of every Aero-Float package.
Rigging Instructions for the Aero-Float AF-1 series.
Rigging Instructions for Aero-Float AF-2 Series
Rigging Instruction for Aero-Float AF-3 & AF-4 series.
If you would like more information on how to rig Aero-Floats, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Float fishing has changed steelhead fishing forever. Gone are the days of chasing steelhead for days, weeks, or even seasons on end without landing a fish. And for those of you who have depended on bouncing lead with corkies and yarn to catch these prized fish, gone are the days of a thousand casts between bites. It doesn’t matter if you are new to the game of steelhead fishing or a seasoned steelheading veteran, without question you will catch more fish under a float than any other technique.
After 25 years of chasing steelhead, designing flies, jigs, and floats it boils down to these basic rules:
Fish where the fish are: Do some research before you head out. Steelhead University, Northwest Wild Country, Piscatorial Pursuits, and IFISH are all great resources for fishing reports, what’s hot, and more importantly what rivers are producing fish. Call local sport shops in the region you are looking to fish and ask for fishing reports. If the fishing is slow, go somewhere else. Look at it this way, would you rather drive 3 hours and catch fish for 5 hours or fish 8 hours and never see a fish?
Once you know the river you are fishing is loaded with fish, you need an understanding of how to “read” the water. We will review this in depth with upcoming how-to articles, but for now we will make it simple. Find structure, a big rock, submerged branch or log–steelhead love them. Fish the seams formed where fast and slow water meet. Lastly, don’t forget to hit the frog water, especially for the winter steelhead.
Have the right tools for the job: You have heard the saying don’t bring a gun to a knife fight? Same concept applies to float fishing. You will save yourself a mountain of frustration if you ditch the bait rod you have been using for years and step up to a 9’6 – 11’6 spinning rod with a small to mid-sized Shimano or Okuma spinning reel. If you want top of the line look at GLoomis or Lamiglas. Both make great rods but DON’T think for a minute you need to sink $500 bucks into a rod and reel. If you are not a “purest” type float guy yet, find a spinning rod you like (stay away from the noodle rods!) with line weights 4-8, 6-10, with a 1/8- 3/8 oz rating. This is all you need for a cross-over rod that can be used for summer or winter fishing. Reels are a little different story. Most of the time you get what you pay for. A good bet are the Shimano 2500’s. Great reel in the $70 range. They are just about bulletproof and we have landed 30 pound Kings on them without issue.
Not all line is the same: The most overlooked and confusing part of getting setup for float fishing is the running line (line on your spool). Choosing from mono, braid, high vis options, bonded vs unbonded line, molecular coatings, bonded hybrid lines… it can be overwhelming to say the least. Let me make it simple – there is NO perfect line. We currently run 20-30 lb high vis Power Pro or Berkley high vis Fireline in 14 -18 lb. Yes, I said 20-30 pound Power Pro! This line is so thin the heavier weight reduces line knots and guide tangles with absolutely no chance for breaking off fish. The Fireline has a coating that forces a reduced line weight, but it is very easy to mend and cast.
A properly weighted float catches more fish: Attention to detail separates the good fishermen from the great fishermen. Floats are one of these details you should be looking at to make yourself one of the greats. Look for a float that when weighted and rigged (balanced) will go under water at the slightest touch. You want the float to go under without the fish feeling the resistance of the takedown. This gives you an added second or two to set the hook before the fish can spit the hook. Every Aero-Float we build is designed and built with this concept in mind.
Jigs, eggs, prawns, shrimp, pink worms, flies – what’s a guy to use? When in Rome do as the Romans IF THEY ARE CATCHING FISH! Going back to step 1, doing your research, you should have a decent understanding of what is working and what’s not. Always have your go to lure of choice with you but if the bite is on an Aerojig Nightmare series or a Beau Mac SMJ 2 or SMJ 10 you better be loaded up.
If you are not losing gear you are not doing it right. This was the saying when we were all fishing pencil lead and slinkies and it applies to float fishing as well. Granted you shouldn’t be losing 20-30 rigs a day, but you should still be pushing your gear and skills to the limit. Get you jig bouncing off submerged boulders and rocks a few times, make that extra-long cast to virgin water even if it means you lose a jig or two. Make sure you are as close to the river bottom as possible without dragging your jig or bait. This ensures you are in the strike zone every time you pass through the hole. This is not so important with summer steelhead but for the winter fish it is vital to your success.
**A side note to the new guys. Tie your leader to the jig with a polymer knot and ensure the shank of the hook is horizontal with the river bottom. There is sometimes confusion on this topic with guys wanting the hook to point down similar to your bait rigs. This is incorrect. Your jig should twist and twirl as it hits the different water currents.
If you have further questions please feel free to email us here at email@example.com. One of our Pro-Staff will be glad to assist you.
Dead Serious Fishing