Outdoors column: taking walleyes for a spin

With water temps warming up and walleyes moving deeper it’s a great time for picking up the pace and dragging spinners and crawlers around.

Ron Anlauf picked up the pace to nail this nice summer walleye.
Ron Anlauf picked up the pace to nail this nice summer walleye.

It’s hard to say what the rig is supposed to look like, but it really does work and can be downright deadly at times. The key is knowing when and where to put them to use – and it isn’t that tough to figure out.

For the most part the “when” is right now and can be an effective technique that produces right into the early fall.

The “where” includes most of the deeper summer haunts including deep breaks, transition lines (where hard bottom meets soft) and the edges of humps and flats.

Where they might come up a little short is smaller more defined hot spot like the top edge of a small hump. In that case you might be better off using a live-bait rig and a red tail chub, or leech, or crawler.

Spinners and crawlers are designed to be trolled allowing you to cover some ground and find the biters. If you don’t have that much “ground” then it might not make sense.

To get a spinner rig running at the right depth you’re going to need something like a bottom bouncer or a three-way rig. A bottom bouncer works best on harder bottoms like sand, gravel and rock. The three-way works best over sand and softer bottom like mud and silt.

Speed is a big deal to being successful when you’re pulling blades (trolling spinners) and includes speeds in the 1 to 1½ hour range.

Too fast and you’re spinner will spin out and tangle up, and too slow and you’ll be dragging bottom.

The speed indicator of my Humminbird 1198 G.P.S. produces an accurate reading that I can adjust to and keep my trolling run in a productive range.

To adjust I may use the Minn Kota bow mount if the wind can’t move me along fast enough, or a drift sock if I need to slow down.

As mentioned: trolling lets you cover ground and pick up the biters but they won’t be everywhere. Even if you’re marking tons of fish most of them will probably be sedentary. Instead you’re likely to find pockets of active walleyes that can be worked over and over until you get the job done.

See you on the water.

Ron Anlauf is a regular contributer to the Outdoors page.