Balloon Rigs

Discussion in 'Catfishing Library' started by tkishkape, Sep 21, 2007.

  1. tkishkape

    tkishkape New Member

    Gore, Okla
    I use balloons extensively when fishing near the face of the dams on the Arkansas River.

    I rig them up to be a slip float for the deep water above and in the settling basin below the dam. Use a standard bobber stop (I like the yarn type) set at the desired fishing depth (18-30 feet below the dam, 8-50 feet above the dam) with the balloon attached to a swivel threaded onto the line between two beads. An egg sinker is threaded on and the swivel is tied on. Finish the rig with leader and hook.

    To deploy, simply wind the line up and cast normally.

    The trick to this rig is faster deployment in a current... I fish it in the eddy current below the dam, using the current to pull the balloon upstream towards the downstream face of the dam. The eddy current is relatively shallow, so in order to take advantage of the strength of the current, the balloon rig must be run shallow. This can be accomplished by using a simple "Lifesaver" candy... the one with the hole in the middle. It's this hole that makes it work.

    Slide the balloon and beads towards the sinker as far as it will go. Pinch a loop of the mainline above the first bead and thread it through the "Lifesaver", looping the line over to form a slipknot on the candy.

    Cast the line out into the edge of the eddy current, and it will be swept along. Feed the line out until the balloon is in the desired location or until the candy dissolves, releasing the balloon to the bobber stop. The candy in fruit flavors will melt and release the balloon in about 12 minutes... mint flavors will dissolve within 9 to 10 minutes.

    I also use a balloon to suspend a bait at a particular level while drift fishing. I can successfully drift sideways with 5 rods on one side of the boat and two on the other. On the downdrift side, the end rods use balloons, drifted well back, sometimes 100' or more. The next two inboard rods are rigged for close drifting (~25') and the center rod carries another balloon drifted back farther than the the inboard rods, but not as far as the end balloons. The two rods on the updrift side are fished straight down for suspended fish just off the bottom.