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Foreverfish1

Lindy Rigging

25 posts in this topic

Ok so I love catching walleyes and can usually catch them pretty consistantly trolling crankbaits or slip bobber fishing. These are the techniques I am most comfortable with.

Sometimes however, I can't get the eyes to bite using these tactics. I know lindy rigging would be something to try at this time. So last week I decided to try it. But I had a few problems. I had a 1/8-1/4 lindy rig slip sinker, a swivel, a 3 foot leader, to a bead and hook. I was using minnows leeches or crawlers as bait. I had what felt like LOTS of hits but everytime I felt one, I would release the line, wait a bit, and reel up, but nothing would be there. I started thinking it was the sinker or bait digging into the sand bottom I was fishing and then I lost all confidence in it. I know it is a good tactic from all the people that say it works but I'm lost!

Should I be casting trolling or drifting? How do you know if the tug you felt on your line was a walleye or your sinker got stuck in a little hole on the bottom? Any help to make me a more versitle angler would be awsome!

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I like to troll Lindy Rigs. When I do I set the drag so that it begins to spool out just from the friction of trolling the rig through the water. I then add a couple clicks so that it stops. If you drag bottom it may spool out a little but should stop. If you get a hit..you'll know it.

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When pulling rigs you want your weight above the bottom, not dragging on bottom. The amount of line you want out is determined by the combination of water depth, weight of the sinker, and boat speed. When you're pulling the rig it should be right above bottom, you should be able to drop your rod tip back and feel the weight hit the bottom.

You may have been getting a lot of bites, those pesky panfish will hit anything.

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you want your weight above the bottom, not dragging on bottom. the rig it should be right above bottom, you should be able to drop your rod tip back and feel the weight hit the bottom.

Well put- Do what perch jerker says here and you'll be in business! Turk

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I did some lindy fishing this weekend, no eyes but caught a few other types of fish, very fun that and bottom bouncing are fun

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ya keep at it...it takes a few fish to get the feel of it

like he said keep it just off the bottom when you are trolling along your line should be tight and by dropin your rod tip a bit you should be albe to see the slack in your line sometimes rocks can fool you... weeds not so much just a steady tug.. helps when you know what kinda bottom you are fishing to

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Weeds will be a steady pull and release back towards you, a bite will be a steady weight and a tug away from you. I try to bounce the sinker along the bottom rather than drag it. Lots of times the sinker will pop through the weeds. Also, this time of year I will go with a longer leader, something in the five to seven foot length. Hook size is relative to the bait you are using. Smallest hook (sunfish size) with a leech or crawler. I like to have the gap of the hook about the same as the height of the minnow I am using.

Perch or panfish bites will be little twitchy nibbles. Walleyes usually will be a weight followed by tugs.

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Also, depending on depth and speed you may need to run heavier weights than 1/4 ounce to effectively feel the bottom. If you in deeper water (say maybe 25ft) and have a light weight (1/4 ounce) and moving at a decent rate (1.0mph) you may have to let out a lot of line to actually reach the bottom. In that case you will notice the angle of your line is fairly flat once you let out enough line to get out there and you will have problems feeling the bottom, especially on soft bottoms. Using a heavier weight will allow the angle of your line to be greater and make it much easier to feel the bottom when you drop your rod tip back a bit. Many like to have a 45* angle or more compared to the top of the water. I always carry weights up to 1/2 ounce, and I know many people probably run more than that.

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Thanks guys thats exactly what I was hoping for!!!

Wow I feel stupid, I had no idea you weren't supposed to drag it on the bottom. Do you drag it on the bottom if casting or any other circumstances? (maybe just a lost cause at trying to save face in asking that question.)

Also say the depth is changing fast, do you have to constantly let out or reel in more line to keep it just off the bottom?

Lastly I also thought that when lindy riggin you leave the bail open and when you felt a bite you were supposed to let go of the line for several seconds and then set the hook. Am I wrong about this too?

Thanks for all the help!

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Do you drag it on the bottom if casting or any other circumstances?

Also say the depth is changing fast, do you have to constantly let out or reel in more line to keep it just off the bottom?

Lastly I also thought that when lindy riggin you leave the bail open and when you felt a bite you were supposed to let go of the line for several seconds and then set the hook. Am I wrong about this too?

Thanks for all the help!

I run this type of setup fairly often and I never cast when using Lindy rig or spinner rig setups. Strictly trolling and drifting for me.

If depth is changing you should adjust you line out for that depth change. If you don't your either way off the bottom or dragging a ways back (and possibly getting snagged) depending on how drastic of changes your talking. If it's just a short change and then goes back to a baseline depth you may be fine leaving where it is.

My bail is always open and the line is on my finger when running live bait rigs like this (I never use rod holders for this style fishing), I find it's the best way to feel whats going on. Depending on the bite I will either drop the rod tip back a ways and feel for them before setting the hook, or if they are finicky and just tapping it I will let out a few seconds of line and then set the hook. All depends how the bite is.

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Lots of guys drag and still get fish. In fact Roach figures there a trench just outside the weededge on Gull from all the sinkers he's drug there. But dragging a sinker can kick out silt/mud or snag up on weeds/rocks so there is definitely an advantage to lifting the sinker a good chunk of the time. Sand bottom is most forgiving for dragging the sinker.

There's lots of right ways to rig based on the situation. Long leaders or short ones, drag or lift, fast or slow, bouyant or natural and color or stealth. The choices and combinations are endless and at times one way will produce while another doesn't.

Good Luck and don't be afraid to try something different.

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I always drag my sinker on the bottom too. Maybe its just the lakes I fish, but I cant catch anything unless its right on the bottom.

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Don't worry about dragging a bit. I do it a lot when rigging two rods. I've caught way more fish dragging bottom than dragging up high.

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Thanks so much for all the help!

I feel like a rigging expert after I read all of this!

Lately I have been catching a few eyes in the 5-6 foot depths, so how do I rig in this shallow of water? Just let out more line so the bait is further behind the boat so I don' spook them or how should I go about this?

Thanks again for all the advise!

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If the fish are up that shallow you may be better off doing some long line trolling with plugs, or a split shot rig if they are not very aggressive. When you are that shallow you will need to get the bait out from the boat.

To me the lindy rig fits in between the jig and long line trolling. When I jig I try to keep it as verticle as possible, lindy rig a bit back (maybe 10', but I go for the right 'feel'), then slit shot rigs (40' - 60') and then plugs (100'+).

All will do about the same thing, and just need to be matched to the mood of the fish, and the type of water they are in.

Does this help?

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Riggin can be done in these shallow depths but you will spook some of the fish. If the water is particularly dirty you will do better riggin in the shallows than if clear. Pitching jigs or bobbers are other options up shallow and as said trolling plugs. Another would be pulling a long line sinker/spinner rig with a bullet sinker where the lindy sinker would normally be. If it is windy and the water is not too clear I would just rig right on top of them.

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Yes all of this helps out a ton!

Man I love this forum! Everyone is willing to help and a person can get almost any question answered right away from some real experts!

Thanks for all the help, now to the lake tonight to try out some LINDY RIGGING!

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Match your weight to your depth. In 10' or less I'd use a 1/4 or 3/16 oz bullet weight most of the time, unless it's really windy where it's hard to feel the bottom. The lighter weight you can fish, the farther from the boat you can get with a little speed. I would tend to fish lindys faster in shallow water, seems to trigger more strikes & then you're getting your line away from the boat more. I agree with whoever said 45 degree line angle, that's about what I like.

In the 10-15' range I might use either of those smaller weights or up to 3/8 oz. Beyond 15' I pretty much will use a 3/8 of some kind, egg, walker (lindy), whatever you like. Again if it's windy & I'm fishing deeper I'd go up to a 1/2 oz. sinker. Bottom bouncers it seems like you have to run them a little heavier, probably from half to an ounce for rigging, or at least it seems to me that it works better for me. If you're going to really fast or pull floating raps behind them you could even go as high as 3 oz. You want a fairly stout rod for that though.

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I agree and disagree with some. Not that I'm an expert by any means but have been using the Lindy/live bait rig for many years as my main presentation of choice and have been fortunate in my efforts (most times).

Yes, match weight to conditions. Heavier in wind, deeper water, etc. but as a standard I typically run 1/2oz. in weight in most depths and conditions. I typically run about a 6' leader/snell and many times will run a small colored bead (color of your choice) above the hook.

I drop it over the side of the boat until it hits bottom and then creep along bouncing (not off bottom and not dragging). Lift slightly and tight line down until you feel the weight touch back down. This obviously requires a very vertical and slower presentation. Speaking of slow lets talk about speed.

On my sonar/gps unit (Lowrance 112c) the speed display on th screen only goes down to .36mph then it's just 0. I like to stay in that 0 (but still moving) to .4mph. Sometimes (especially in more windy conditions) I forced to be a bit faster. That usually coorelates to having to let a little more line out to maintain contact with the bottom.

Many times I just have to chuckle at guys using the basic same set up on the same spot that aren't putting any (or as many) fish in the boat as I and the only thing I can come up with different between them and myself is they are just moving too fast.

Now obviously the slow, methodical technique works best when you know (or think you know) that there are fish down there as it's not a good "cover the water" tactic. I'll switch to a heavier weight or even bottom bouncer and maybe throw on a spinner to "make tracks" (and at times the faster technique may be what it takes to trigger bites). However mainly I'll rely on my electronics to let me know where the fish are and then slow things down over the top of them. A little bit easier for me on the body of water I fish 75% of the itme as I have a rather good idea given the time of year where the fish should be.

Oh, detections of bites. Not one simple answer. Some days the rod dang near gets ripped out of your hand before you can let the line go (always fish with the spool open and only a finger holding the line for the quickest release) and other days there just may be some added weight felt.

Well obviously when the "rod ripping" days are happening there is no question as to the bite. It's the non-aggressive days that you have to be careful of or you may be throwing bites out the window. Basically as I'm slipping along and begin to feel some weight on the line I'll stop the bouncing of the weight and hold the line (boat still slightly moving) possibly slightly raise the rod tip. Some times it just keeps getting heavier and heavier and turns out the rig is hooked in weeds or in some rocks. Other times you may just slightly feel some tugs (Not really tugs but gently pulls) back. Immediately let line go. Some times there may be just a slight bump (like your sinker just went off of a rock). I'll then hold the rod still and many times you feel your line being pulled slightly faster (oposite direction) then what the boat is going. The fish just sucked the bait in (the "bump" you felt) and is slowly swimming off with it.

With all of this, obviously boat control is key so lets dive into that some. Drifting, trolling etc. etc. get used probably on every outing. It's all dependent on the conditions. Main this that I focus on is what do I have to do to keep my boat speed in or as close to my optimum range.

Methods used...

Drifting - obviously using the wind/waves to push the boat. Can be done solely if the wind is perfect hence my speed is perfect. I'll then use the trolling motor (I have a transom mount that I primarily use) to steer my bait at a constant depth, shallower or deeper on structure. Great if you can do it as it really saves on the batteries. Many time in windy conditions a drift sock can be implemented to assist in slowing down the boat and/or keeping the boat positioned horizontal to the wind so multiple people the boat can fish off of the same side when doing a "drift run"

Slip Drifting - Ok, the wind is pushing me too fast. I'll run the trolling motor into the wind and hold myself up to the extent needed to attain desired "drift" speed. Still turning the motor to steer boat left and right if you will.

Trolling or straight pulling yourself - Exactly what it states. Very calm conditions you'll have to pull yourself "uphill and downhill" and or if you want to back troll against waves to go back over a spot instead of motoring (outboard) and setting back up for a drift run.

Ok, we're trolling, drifting what have you. I like my speed, the way my rod is rigged, the walleyes are down there there's the bump, I let my line go and it's peeling off the spool. Now's where the excitement sets in. You're 90% of the way to catching supper (or breakfast if you love fish in the morning as much as I do). But, the next 10% can mean fresh fish or leftovers.

When I get a bite and the fish is taking line, I'll try my best to stop the boat and/or try to maneuver it over the top of my sinker (line straight up and down as possible). I hate fishing with people when I get a bite, the fish is bailing some line off and they just keep chuggin' right along (probably why I like using my boat and being in command). Now I not only have a sinker sitting on the bottom X number of feet out but a fish that is even further. It makes it more difficult (maybe it's just me) to get a tight line and get a good hook set.

Now I hear the question "Well how long are you waiting to close the bail and try for a hook set?". Well that varies as well. Mainly due to the mood of the fish and the bait of choice and many times you'll have to screw up a couple to figure the exact timing out.

Some times when the fish are aggressive it only takes a little bit and you can clamp down and be fine. Others (like when using a large nightcrawler or large redtail/minnow).

Got long winded here, but that's what works for me.

WW

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Anyone else using circle hooks with their lindy rigs?

I have had great success with the gammy octopus circle hooks. I feel like I can let the fish chew on the bait a bit longer without deep hooking, and no need for a "hookset." Just reel up the slack and lift when you feel tension.

Great post WaveWacker!

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Dragging vs. holding high is an interesting topic. On the mud on Mille Lacs holding high is definitely the way to go when lindy rigging or pulling spinners with a three way. On sand or gravel I don't think it matters as much deepending on he water depth. I am am fan of very long leaders in most cases when rigging. I'll go to 10-12 foot leaders many tmes. You will need a very long rod with this approach. The long leader gives you some time for the disturbed bottom to disappate. Water depth also plays a major factor. I have been on Vermilion where we were lindy rigging with a plain hook and minnows in 7 ft of water and you need to get the bait far behind the boat. You cannot keep it off the bottom fishing far behind the boat. In deep water you can fish more vertically with the bait and sinker right below the boat. You need to understand your bottom content, depth and mood of the fish.

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Another question for all the experts:

Do you have any luck using gulp! minnows, nightcrawlers, or leeches lindy rigging? Or spinner rigs for that matter? Don't want to spend the money and time on live bait if gulp works but I don't want to spend 20 bucks on a bait that won't catch fish!

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I've had excellent results with gulp crawlers on spinner rigs and good results with the leeches on them as well. I've not tried them on lindy rigs though.

I always have some livebait along thought as there are time where that's what they want.

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