I am going to relay a couple of things that may be known to some of the more savvy walleye anglers out there, but may not be to the vast masses of anglers. In doing so, I will also share how to combine the two into what I personally feel is the hottest livebait technique available today. What I am referring to is using the slow death method of presenting a half crawler, typically deliveringit via a bottom bouncer. What this amounts to is a purposely kinked Aberdeen style hook that causes the half crawler to slowly spin just…oh so seductively. Walleye’s whether they are in an aggressive, neutral, or even negative mode will readily respond to this.
Making it the first choice for a number of experienced walleye fisherman. This thing just flat out works and if you haven’t joined in on the revolution; I will be the first to tell you that you are missing out. As good as this is-as with most things-refinements can
be made. I have been tricking the leaders out with a Mack’s Lure Smile Blade for years and this is my number one go to rig when things get tough. The Smile Blade is made of light weight Mylar in an offset delta wing shape…(www.mackslure.com) to see all the color combinations. This allows it to easily spin at speeds as low as .25 mph, but will also performwell up to 2 mph, making them very versatile. At slower speeds they exhibit a flip flop irregular spin that perfectly complements the twirling crawler and is ideal for getting fish in the net that simply will not react to anything else.
A few others have caught on to this, but as a whole this configuration was pretty much unheard of outside the Dakota’s. With prompting and a vast amount of input from Pro Staff, Mack’s Lure has come out with a commercial version ready to go right out of the package for this season. Simply snap em to a Bottom Bouncer and you’re set.
Now, there are two distinctly different ways in which to employ these with Bouncers. One is by using a traditional style fixed bouncer and placing the setup in a rod holder as a dead rod. Ideal to just let the fish load the rod and hang themselves. The best tool to accomplish this is a rod that has the characteristics of my personal choice; a St. Croix Drift-n-Float in their Legend Tournament Walleye Series. This 8 foot model helps spread your baits a bit further from the boat and has the give to let a walleye fully take the bait without feeling the presence of the rod until it slowly loads up and it is too late. Simply sweep the rod from the holder and reel em in. When the bite is off, the preferred method is going with a handheld rod and fishing a slip style bouncer in Lindy Rig fashion. Meaning we have the bail open at all times and immediately drop line at even the most subtle change in feel. This can only be accomplished using a super sensitive premium rod with a fast tip and no stretch braid. Once again St. Croix gets the nod with their Finesse model…(www.stcroixrods.com) for the complete lineup.
Take some time this season and experiment with what I h ave conveyed here and I do believe that it will allow you to scratch a limit on even the toughest of outings.
Dennis Foster is an accomplished Outdoor Writer and Pheasant Hunting/Fishing Guide from Mellette, SD. To learn more visit www.eyetimepromotions.com