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Open water trolling

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Question time.

I fish a lake that I believe has a decent open water bite. I've caught walleyes trolling lead core and cranks in open water out there before. I would like to try some other tactics like trolling crawler harnesses and spinners through for one example. What is the best way to learn about this and snap weights? Is there a book or a DVD that anyone would recommend?

Any other good ideas are also appreciated..(I'll try most anything)


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shae, I'll break out the snap weights when and only when I want an increased distance between my lure and weight. More times then not that is with a crank or stick bait that I need to get deeper then its diving capability. Its quite common for me to target eyes in 25-40' of water in late July and August. While a lot of guys will pull cranks and use snap weights at that time. Some guys do it better then others, why is that? It takes some experimenting and experience to get dialed in. Day times eyes will spend much of the day loafing on bottom. How far off bottom do you feel comfortable and confident to run a crank? For neutral fish I want my presentation in their face.

You mentioned live rig spinners. I would never use a snap weight there for the reason there is no need to increase the distance of weight to spinner and as you read on you'll see that it won't and can't get you the read on precise depth. Getting that spinner rig in the zone and keeping it there, whooa back up. What or where is that zone? It is 1' off the bottom and bottom.

Set your speed, for spinners thats going to be .8-1 MPH.

That will be a constant. Weight sinkers depends on the depth.

If I'm trolling 25' of water 1/2 oz will be fine and I'll use split shots close to swivel on a 3' length spinner. If I'm going deeper then I use an egg sinker on the main line.

Speed is set, you have the appropriate weight, how are you going to get that spinner 1' off bottom and keep it there.

By the amount of line out is how. There is no formula, there is a technique though. Cast behind the boat, the rig will settle in on its running depth. You quickly drop your rod tip back, look where your line meets the water and note on the amount of line the weight pulls out. You will let more line out and repeat. What your looking for is the weight to sink 1' till it hits bottom then stops, you'll see that where line meets water. You keep repeating that quick drop back of the rod tip, always checking your relation of spinner to bottom and adjust accordingly. That is your zone or 1'-bottom. Now as you troll, instead of dragging that spinner while taking out the slack you've created by dropping the rod back, snap the rod back into position. That will get the spinner back off bottom instead of dragging BUT your going to find that that drop triggers strikes a lot of the time. You better believe that eyes will follow a spinner and that drop triggers strikes. The above approach of staying in touch with bottom will allow you to effectively fish flats and lake bottom contours, always keeping you in the zone. This is hands on finesses fishing a spinner.

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When I run spinners most often I run them on bottom bouncers. I have gone to mostly 2-3 oz bouncers to keep them on a shorter line when fishing 18-25' I know it may be overkill but has worked well for me. I prefer pulling livebait spinners in that .5-1 mph range but if they are real agressive I have done well at speeds up to 2mph. The 3oz helps keep me in the zone even at those speeds. I run Fireline on 4600 Abu baitcasters on 7-8' med action rods.

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Ok what about trolling for suspended walleyes over 60-70 ft of water when the walleyes are 25-35 down?

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Linecounter with lead or long line with deep divers or snap weights. Bouncers on a counter with a spinner can be deadly to. Just have to find the bite zone.

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