Lindy Rigs are proven walleye producers throughout the open-water season, but fall is one of the best—and one of the most overlooked—times to use rigs to your advantage in the quest for marble-eyed monsters. The key to big catches is understanding the fish’s daily fall routine, and targeting specific locations with baits to match their moods.
Walleyes have two main modes of operation in fall—feeding and resting. In many systems, feeding occurs largely during low-light periods. Think sunrise, sunset and at night. However, heavy cloud cover and windy conditions can trigger bursts of daytime activity, as can a late-season algae bloom. Bright skies and relative calm during the daylight hours brings lethargy. Walleyes move little and feed only when an opportunity arises that’s too good to pass up.
As their moods change, walleyes utilize two different types of habitat. During low-light feeding binges, they key on classic structural elements, often in relatively shallow water. Prime depths and areas depend largely on lake type, forage base, and available cover and structure. You may find walleyes chasing yellow perch over a 15-foot shelf adjacent to 30 or more feet of water in a Canadian Shield lake, or intercepting migrating frogs and juvenile panfish moving out of shallow marshes into the main lake in another. They key is assessing what your favorite lake has to offer in food and habitat. In most systems, though, the underlying tendency is for fish to gravitate deeper as fall progresses.
Lindy Rigging is lethal for both peak-feeding and daytime-resting scenarios. Peak feeding is prime time to fish, but it’s not a no-brainer. There is so much food in the lake at this time of year that gamefish can feed at will, and this can actually limit feeding windows. When targeting fish on feeding shelves, it’s wise to get set up in the shallows early, an hour before sunset. Fish begin their movements about this time and you don’t want to miss the first wave of biters. Be careful, though. Throw a Lindy Tournament Marker Buoy from a distance, so you don’t risk spooking the fish by driving over the top of the structure. Hot Lime is a great buoy color because other anglers can’t see it from a distance, but you can see it just fine in the tight quarters you’re fishing on structure.
A crawler or leech on an Original Lindy Rig with the Crawler/Leech Hook option is ideal for fishing peak feeding windows, when hungry fish are coming to you. The 3/4-ounce model is perfect for common fall depths, but it pays to have 1/8- through 1/2-ounce options on hand as well to match conditions.
Walleyes are easiest for anglers to fool during feeding windows. But even so, they remain catchable during the day. Often, the fish drop into deep water and rest. Feeding only takes place when an opportunity arises that’s just too good to pass up. Here, minnows shine. Let the bait work on almost a slack line, allowing it to find nooks and crannies where walleyes are resting. Many times, a minnow’s natural action will tempt a hesitant walleye into biting. The Original Lindy Rig with Minnow Hook is perfect for this situation. For quickly building the ultimate rigging arsenal, the Lindy Rig Complete Kit is a guide-tested assortment of everything you need for rigging the fall bite, and the rest of the season as well.
General tips for fall Lindy Rigging success include using lighter weights in snaggy areas, and heavier weights when fishing minnows, especially large minnows. Glow sinkers are a great added attractant in front of a large minnow or in stained water.
Lively bait is the key to success. When fishing leeches and crawlers, Lindy Leech Tamers are a big help. They keep the leeches acclimated to the correct water temperature, and keep rinsed crawlers clean and easy to blow up (ideal for keeping the bait above snags on structure). Note: After fishing, put your leftover crawlers on bedding for long-term storage.
When fishing minnow rigs, work them slowly, letting minnows do their job finding and tempting inactive walleyes. Hook minnows through the top lip only to keep them alive and lively longer.
During prime time or daytime doldrums, Lindy Rigging is tops for autumn ‘eyes. Use these tips and sale-priced, proven Lindy products to catch more fish and have more fun all fall!
For product information, videos and fishing information, visit http://www.lindyfishingtackle.com/