When walleyes run deep in lakes, reservoirs and rivers, there are several ways to reach them, such as jigging, deep trolling and, the best advisable method, bottom-bouncing. The bottom-bouncing rig consists of a lead weight fixed to a piece of wire, used to feel the bottom of a river or lake but avoid snags. The lead is attached to one leg and on the other is a swivel and clip where the leader and hook is tied.
There was a time when slipsinker livebait rigs ruled the waves and excess hardware had plummeted out of fashion, relegated to the rusty bottoms of old tackle boxes on the back shelf in the garage. But like a phoenix, heavy lead combos began rising from the ashes. It began along the Missouri River, where reservoir anglers started trolling a newfangled contraption resembling a section of bent coat hanger poked through a lead weight.
Bottom bouncers would be more accurately described as bottom ticklers, because they are suspended in a vertical orientation and tick along the bottom rather than bounce like a ball, but that's probably splitting hairs. Bottom line is, bounce or tick, they put fish in the boat under certain conditions. While walleye don't spend their entire life on the bottom, when they are relating to sand, gravel or mud you've got to get your bait in their face, and bottom bouncers do that quite well.
My 3-way swivel method is great for fishing for deep walleyes that are over 20 feet deep and it's good for covering ground when the Walleyes are spread out. Sometimes because of sunlight or air pressure the Walleyes slow right down and go deeper in the 15 to foot range. Deeper water tends to be where plant material settles and there is no wave action to clean the rocks so the bottom can be mucky. Because there is a lot less sunlight the weeds may only be a few inches high and in the case the Walleyes are not hiding in weeds but are hugging the tops and looking for bugs and stuff on the bottom.
A hop, a skip and a bounce. A ground ball to shortstop? A bottom bouncer propelled across the bottom of a reservoir, trailing a flashing, wobbling walleye spinner harness and usually dressed with livebait.
Updated: September 13, pm. This sinker may look more like a CB antenna than part of a walleye rig, but it's an important component of a deadly walleye fishing system. In the early days of the walleye angling popularity boom, most anglers were refining their live bait fishing techniques on slip sinkers and finesse presentations.
There are so many ways to fish bottom bouncers, making it one of the most versatile tactics for walleyes and other species. The 3 simple reasons I use bottom bouncers for walleyes are:. I mean, all you have to do really is hook up a rig to the bottom bouncer and go.
Bottom Bouncer Live Bait Rigging is a great tactic to use when walleyes are relating tight to deep structure and are considered to be in a neutral or negative feeding mood. The weight of bouncer you choose will depend on the depth you're marking fish at, but a typical range would be 1. A six-foot snell tipped with a crawler or leech will trigger bites, but large minnows often are more productive especially on western reservoirs.
Few things in life work as well as a bottom bouncer, making it pretty much the ultimate sinker for walleye fishing. Bouncers deflect off boulders ideal for rocky Canadian lakes and scratch across sand. All bouncers self-adjust, depthwise, meaning that when depth changes within reasonyou sinker automatically runs a little deeper or shallower to compensate.
When it comes to presenting lures and baits near bottom in quick fashion, two choices come to mind: bottom bouncers and three-way rigs. Each has its strengths and inherent weaknesses; used correctly, however, they're deadly effective. Bottom bouncers are the solution to presenting livebait at a steady pace a scant few inches above snaggy bottoms, flats, or open basins.