Be on the lookout for this one…
Published in 1886 in a wonderful little book titled “The Boys Book of Sports” is this description of what I would think would be a fantastic find for the float collector. One could easily stumble across this item and never realize it was a bobber.
Taken from a chapter titled “Odd Methods of Fishing” we find the following quotation and description of the Jumping Jack Float…
“This little figure is fastened to a stick, which is secured in an upright position on a float made of a piece of board. Through a hole in the float is passed the string attached to the figure, and tied securely to this the are the hook and line. After the hook is baited, the float is placed on the surface of the water and the little man, standing upright, is left to wait in patience.
Presently a fish, attracted by the bait, comes nearer the surface, seizes the hook quickly, and darts downward, pulling the string and making the little figure throw up its arms and legs, as though dancing for joy at having performed its task so well.” It goes on to explain only to use on calm water so as to not upset little Jack.
We even get an illustration of The Jumping Jack Float.
This would be a wonderful folk art find and, I think, is a true testament to the ingenuity of our 19th century ancestors.
-- Harold Dickert