Ask any Walleye fisherman about Spinners and they will attest to just how effective they are. Most often coupled with a Bottom Bouncer, this tried and true presentation has probably accounted for more Walleyes than all other options, with the exception of a jig.
And for good reason: They are incredibly easy to fish, let us cover of water of varying depths quickly, and allow us to use our favorite livebaits.
Until recently there has been little that has been noteworthy regarding Spinners, other than a few flashy finishes that prove to be much more eye-catching to the fisherman than they are to fish catching to the fish themselves. Once the blade is spinning it all becomes a blur and even the most realistic holographic images modern technology can offer become overkill.
We need to get down to basics and fully understand what the attraction is in the first place. The primary appeal is the thump and resulting sound and vibration. This disturbance causes changes in water pressure that is easily detected. Through their lateral lines, fish actually feel everything that is happening around them.
This is vastly underestimated and much more important than the sight, or taste/smell factors. Don’t get me wrong: These cues all play a role to varying degrees, but are secondary to the fish. Our first objective is to find fish and determine the depth they are the most active. Only then should we be concerned about putting the final touches on fine tuning a presentation. Believe me: What looks good to you does not always look good to the fish.
Tom Langhoff of JB Lures has long been aware of all the aforementioned facts and for many years has been creating Spinner Rigs to achieve this effect. A staple in their lineup is the Vibra Flash Spinner Blade. This is a number 3 Indiana Blade with a one quarter inch hole in it. This helps to create a lot of underwater commotion and can produce dramatic results when standard blades are performing at a mediocre rate.
JB’s latest innovation is the Ventilator Spinner Blade. I’ve had the good fortune to field test these over the past two seasons and must say I’m quite impressed. They are keeping with the same theme of creating additional disturbance but achieve it in a slightly different and very unique manner. What they consist of is a Colorado Blade in sizes 3 or 5 with 2 vents running along the underside. These vents force water up and out the topside, creating a great deal of turbulence.
I have literally thousands of Spinner Blades in every configuration imaginable and the Ventilator has become my go to. If you can’t find them at your Local Bait Shop the complete selection can be found at www.jblures.com. They come in prettied and ready to use versions or you can purchase the Blades separately and tie your own.
In most cases, I prefer to tie my own and customize the beads and floats to what I feel the fish may want on any given day or body of water. A typical setup would be 3 foot length of abrasion resistant line such as Berkley’s XT in 12 to 15 lb test. Depending on bait choice, 1 or 2 Gamakatsu Walleye Wide Bend hooks are snelled into place, followed by 6 beads in the color of your choice and perhaps an inline float or even two if you want to bulk up the package. Slide on a quick change clevice, double loop the end and you’re all set.