Are you looking for a simple, yet effective walleye bait that is inexpensive and could have you limiting out on your favorite lake? Look no further, as the spinner rig may be the answer to your prayers.
By learning what the rig consists of, how and where to fish it, and the reason why walleye love it so much, you will be on your way to a phenomenal season of fishing — and that’s what each of us wants, isn’t it?
What The Heck Is A Spinner Rig?
Early morning and spinner rigs were the two variable that led to these chunky walleyes.
A spinner rig is quite basic in its design, but do not let that fool you. This bait catches fish! The rig itself is made up of a spinner blade put onto your main line, followed by a few plastic beads. You then attach a short-shanked hook, followed by another one a few inches down the line. And there you have it. The only thing missing is to attach a weight (called a walking sinker) 1-foot to 4 feet up the line from the spinner and you are good to go.
A fat, juicy night crawler is then hooked once through the head with the first hook, and then hooked halfway down the body by the second hook. This will be what the hungry walleye will key-in on. If this description sounds confusing, don’t let it phase you, as you can purchase pre-made spinner rigs at your local tackle shop for fewer than $2.
How To Fish It?
The basic technique for fishing spinner rigs is to slowly troll or drift these baits behind the boat. The walking sinker that is attached to your line will slowly drag on bottom, (most walking sinkers are relatively snag-proof), and, depending on the length of line you left between your weight and hook, will be the distance the rig will run up off the bottom.
Many anglers prefer to slowly drift across productive structure areas pulling spinner rigs, as they can maintain contact at all times with the bottom, (where the walleye like to hang out), and the presentation will be less rushed than a trolling pattern with a big motor. This is not to say that you can’t catch walleye by trolling, but the key reason these spinners work is the action and enticement they offer the walleye at these slow and deliberate speeds.
Experimentation is often your best bet when it comes to choosing blade and bead colors. Generally, bright colors will get the nod, although I have had days when the simple switch from an orange blade to a yellow one made all the difference. Since they are an inexpensive bait to buy, or make, I suggest carrying an assortment with different size blades and colors to see, which ones attract the wandering walleye best.
Where To Fish It?
Spinner rigs really shine at a number of specific areas of a lake. Rock shoals and drop-offs are key spots to try as they are walleye magnets, and fish on these spots will generally be relating to the bottom contour — the exact spot these rigs travel.
Other spots to try are alongside the edge of weedlines, and through wide-open flats that typically hold walleye. Out in front of dams and alongside current break areas also have been successful areas for me when using these rigs.
A trolling motor, set on low, was the key to presenting a spinner rig along a shallow weedline for this nice walleye.
Weed cover can foul these baits so it is best to fish them in open water over bottom structure such as sand, gravel or rock. If the sinker does happen to snag, a simple tug will break the “drop line,” leaving your main rig intact.
Why Does It Work?
The three main reasons that spinner rigs are so successful in catching walleye are the sight, sound and smell factors they possess. The flash of a spinner whirling in the water will always grab a fish’s attention. The dirt and sediment kicked up by the walking sinker will also accomplish this. Both of these factors also will cause vibrations and sound in the water column that are attractive to the walleye. Finally, the night crawler is the “ace in the hole,” as any following fish will not be able to resist the smell and taste of that juicy morsel, fluttering through the water.
Take a “spin” with this proven rig this season, and see for yourself its fish catching qualities. It may not look like much, but I can ensure you that it sure puts a magical spell on the resident walleye.