You want to set the depth of your float so that the bait is 8 to 16 inches off the bottom of the river because that puts the bait right in the fish’s face. To do this you need the right float and the right bait, and then you need to know how to read the float.
In a nutshell, if it lives near the bottom, you can catch it. In freshwater, that means anything from Perch to Bluegill, to Carp and Bass. Saltwater angling lets you set your sights on tasty Flounder or Sea Bass right off the coast. And then offshore, bottom fishing kicks into high gear.
Keep your bait in the fish zone.
Either fish the top or the bottom. When deeper than 8 to 10 feet, always fish on the bottom, not close, but on the bottom whenever possible. The exxception to this rule is when crappie and white bass might “suspend” off the bottom. The same is true when largemouth bass are chasing shad.