Bottom bouncing for walleye

Besides vertical jigging, bottom bouncing for walleye is my favorite method to catch walleye.  Bottom bouncing for walleye is not only one of the most relaxing ways to catch fish but it is also one of the most productive when the water temp is above 60.

I don't know what it is about a bottom bouncer rig but walleye love to attack a crawler harness floating behind one.  You would think that any fish in their right mind would stay away from a 3 to 4 ounce chunk of lead followed by a spinning blade followed by a chunk of worm but they don't.

Bottom bouncers do work!

The fact that a fisherman can catch fish using a bottom bouncing method must drive the "natural" bait enthusiasts out there crazy but if it works it works.  Bottom bouncing triggers some sort of aggressive reaction in a fish that makes them want to bite.  However, as well as bottom bouncing works, you need to do it right to be successful. 

If you haven't tried bottom bouncing before, you are probably thinking it cannot be that hard.  This would be true if you were talking about the basics.  The basics of bottom bouncing for walleye are pretty simple.  You basically let out a chunk of lead that is designed to bounce on the bottom with a crawler harness or spoon attached to it but catching fish consistently is a different story.

To catch fish consistently, an angler has to remember that every day on the water is different.  The fish may be in the same area each time but most of the time they want the bait presented in a different way.  One day, the fish may want the bouncer trolled fast.  On other days, you may only have to drift.  Other days, color may matter.... you get the point.

I wish I could figure out what makes them want what before I go out but then I would probably be preparing for a walleye tournament instead of writing this article.  Until I unlock this secret, simply knowing that things change is the best I can do right now.  

So how does this help?  This info should help you become a more consistent angler by realizing that you have to keep changing things up until you unlock the secret of the day.  The good news is that once you key in on what the fish want that day, you should have a good shot at a limit.

How do you key in on what the fish want?  This can be difficult if you don't have the right equipment but the following things will make your life easier.  Line-counter reels, a GPS, and a fish-finder.  For me, the line-counter is the most important followed by a gps then fish-finder.

A line-counter reel is important because using one while fishing will tell you exactly how much line you have out.  This is super important because once you find the "magic number" keep setting your line at that depth and you will catch fish.  If you are catching fish at 100 feet, keep your lines at 100 feet.  If you have to speed up a bit, set your line at 125 feet.

The second piece of the puzzle is the gps.  A gps is important for two reasons.  The first is for speed control.  Speed is another factor that usually needs to stay the same to get a consistent walleye bite.  The second thing that a GPS does is locks you on the fish.  Once you find a fish, lock on to that spot and go over it a few times.  Most of the time, you will catch at least another fish.

The third and final thing that is important is a fish-finder.  You may think this is a no-brainer but a fish-finder is important for another reason other than finding fish.  In my experience, I have found that my fish finder doesn't really do much in terms of alerting me to fish but it does tell me what depth I am at.  When you catch a fish, make a note of what depths you caught it at and target that depths until your luck goes cold.

Hopefully, these tips will help you the next time you go out on the water.  As always, please feel free to share any tips that I have missed.









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