Night Slip Bobber Fishing for Walleyes


Using slip floats during the day is common among anglers who fish for walleyes and panfish, but comparatively fewer folks take it to the next level by fishing them at night, when they are deadly effective. The principle is basically the same, day or night: Suspend a live bait at a preset depth below the float and wait for a bite. Drift it through an area that holds fish and wait for a bite.

Lighted slip floats come with either add-on, one-time-use cyalume glow sticks or internal LED batteries and lights, with the latter being more expensive. Whichever you choose, they cast off a colored glow in the darkness. Some folks prefer certain colors, or to use alternative colors on different rods so anglers can tell their bobber from another at night. When the light goes out, set the hook!

Veteran guide and Team Northland Pro-Staffer Eric Brandriet of Dakota Prairie Angling prefers making his own lighted bobbers by adding a Glo-Shot™ Stick to the stem of a Northland Lite-Bite Slip Bobber balsa daytime float. “Glo-Shots are non-toxic, luminescent light sticks that use a chemical reaction to generate just the right amount of light for 8-plus hours per stick,” he explains. “Each three-pack of Glo-Shot™ Sticks comes with a little plastic collar for easily attaching them to a bobber, jig or lure.”

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A surprising number of manufacturers offer their own versions of lighted slip bobbers. They excel for night fishing all year long, whenever walleyes move shallow after dusk. But around spawning time, with loads of fish milling around shallow rocks along shorelines, atop reefs or at creek mouths after nightfall, it’s prime time to give ‘em the slip!


Dave Csanda has enjoyed 40 years in the fishing communications industry at In-Fisherman, Angling Edge and now, as editor of MidWest Outdoors. He is an inductee of both the Minnesota and National Fresh Water Fishing Halls of Fame.