Outdoors column: Pick up the pace

Summer walleye patterns were slow to develop, but they are here now.

Deep drop offs, under water humps and bars, and even the deep edges of weed lines can hold big numbers of active of walleyes that can be readily caught with the proper technique. There’s more than one way to get it done but trolling with a spinner and crawler harness is one of the best.

Ron Anlauf had to pick it up a bit to nail this nice mid-summer walleye. Submitted photo

Ron Anlauf had to pick it up a bit to nail this nice mid-summer walleye. Submitted photo

When things heat up and the fish want something moving a little quicker you can load the boat with a spinner rig. A spinner and two-hook harness tipped with a night crawler or plastic imitation trolled behind a bottom bouncer is a top pick and can be used just about anywhere.

The key is getting the rig to the bottom and then running the boat at maybe at 1 to 1½ mph and covering some ground while still staying tight to the bottom.

The speed indicator in my Humminbird Global Positioning System GPS can help with staying on top of a productive speed and is more accurate than paddle wheel type sensors.

A bottom bouncer like the Northland Tackle Slick Stick allows you to stay close to the bottom but will keep the spinner running up and off and out of the snags.

Bouncers come in different sizes and a good rule of thumb includes using just enough to be able to feel the bottom with a minimum amount of line out. Deeper water calls for weights up to two-or-three-ounces which will allow you to keep your rig running more straight up and down even in 30 feet or more of water.

Spinners like Northland’s Mr. Walleye crawler hauler come pre-tied with a five-foot snell and is a good length to start with.

You can shorten it up if you’re running a little slower through a lot of debris which will keep the bait running a little higher off the bottom but the standard length will do most of the time.

Plastic crawler imitations like the impulse nightcrawler have proven themselves to me to be just as effective as the real deal without the mess or the hassle.

Another advantage is they’re more durable and will stand up to the onslaught of pesky perch or pan fish and you won’t have to keep re-baiting. See you on the water.

Ron Anlauf is a contributing writer to the Outdoors page.

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