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Fishing Plastics for Walleyes


coombia21

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I have fished plastics for bass and sometime for lindy rigs but never for casting. Can anybody give me tips for casting for eyes. I have done mostly drifting and jigging for them and this year I want to get into casting for eyes. Any tips will be appreciated.

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Park the boat at the base of a breakline and bounce it or drag it down the dropoff. I do best casting to a weedline at the top of the break. Jigging and drifting plastics work well also.

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Other than very early spring or very late fall, I rarely carry live bait for walleyes anymore.

For jigging, and kind of in general, you have to make yourself up the speed/intensity level a little. With live bait you can rely on the natural appeal to get fish to bite, but with plastics, you need to trigger them more. Walleyes are predators and a lot more aggressive than most people give them credit for, so it can work really well at times.

As an example, take pitching a jig shallow for walleyes in the spring. With a minnow it's kind of a gentle lift - drop. I use a 1/16 or 1/8 oz jighead (depending on wind and depth) with a 2-1/2" or 3" Gulp minnow, and it's more of a short, sharp 'pop.'

Later on when weedlines develop, I'll throw a 4" Power Minnow or Northland Impulse Smelt on a 3/32 to 3/16 oz jighead and pop it through the weed edges.

What's amazing is how hard they hit sometimes. You usually have to stick your fingers down their throat to unhook them.

For deeper jigging, you can backtroll and snap jig with a heavier jig and plastic. Guys have been doing this with bucktail jigs and a minnow since at least the 50s, and it works great with a plain jighead and plastic, or a dressed jig like a Northland bucktail or marabou jig tipped with a Power minnow, Northland Smelt, or small paddle tail swimbait. Nice thing about this is you can cover water in a hurry - backtroll along or front troll with a bow mount, and pop the jig off the bottom aggressively - 1 foot or so high sharp snaps of the wrist.

If you're on water with good weedgrowth, especially, for some reason, a stocked walleye lake, trolling plastics on spinner rigs can be insanely effective during the summer. Take a spinner rig with a #2 or so Aberdeen hook, a small blade and a 2-1/2 or 3" Gulp minnow, and run it a ways behind the boat with a bullet sinker just heavy enough to tick the weed tops at between .8 and 1.1 mph. Adjust sinker weight as necessary. Cool thing about this is A.) anyone can do it and B.) it seems to work best during mid-day on warm, calm days. Total banker's hours deal, and works on days which you'd normally consider 'tough conditions' for walleyes.

Really, plastics can be enormously effective on walleyes. Like I said, unless it's real cold water, I almost never bring live bait anymore. It can take a little bit to get some confidence in it, so starting on a stocked lake with a good number of fish helps a lot, but keep at it. Well worth navigating the learning curve. I haven't had to clean nightcrawler dirt out of my carpet in years. smile

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+1 with RK!

The choices and quality of plastics now are awesome! I use ALOT of power bait. Everything from minnows,twister tails,ripple shads, to finese/shaky head worms.

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x2 on plastics for spinners. Really nice in those lakes that have alot of those pesky perch and sunnies always nipping at your worm, plastic keeps it intact without constantly having to rebait.

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Is there any color that work better that others? Do you try and match the forage? If so why do some guys run the super bright vibrant colors, I am unsure of what forage matches that?

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As far as colors go, kind of depends on water clarity. In real clear water I do like more natural colors like smelt or emerald shiner. In darker water or for snap jigging though, really bright stuff like Chart. Shad or Northland's Electric Chicken (which is one of the best color names ever) can be good. The bright flashy color is another triggering tool.

Couple other posters mentioned plastics on spinners. Yeah, they can be great, either with the bullet sinker deal I was talking about or behind a bottom bouncer. The bullet sinker trolling deal is really fun if you have kids to fish with. My son was doing it when he was 4. What's cool is you catch everything in the lake - walleyes, pike, bass... I've had days where I set out to walleye fish and ended up absolutely pummeling the crappies too. With a lighter sinker it's one of my go-to crappie search tactics. Really simple and versatile. You can run it over the tops of the weeds, or slow down with a heavier slip sinker and an Impluse Rigging Leech with a small Owner straight shank worm hook and Texas rig it, and it's almost completely weedless along a deep weed edge.

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Another great way to fish plastics for walleyes is on a dropshot rig. Works great on deep reefs and deep weed edges and scattered weeds. I do this a lot with 4 inch Gulp minnows and 4 inch ringworms and paddletails. If you can jig or if you can pull a lindy rig you can fish a dropshot rig for walleyes.

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"What's amazing is how hard they hit sometimes. You usually have to stick your fingers down their throat to unhook them."

Excellent info RK... Pink is a great color also, even in gin clear h2O

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PerchJerker typically how much line do you run between the hook and the sinker when drop shotting for walleye? I thought about doing that last year.

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i was wondering if anyone could post a picture of the bullet sinker trolling rig. is it like how you would run a texas rig for bass or how are you setting it up

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"Pink is a great color also, even in gin clear h2O"

One of my go to clors is a yellow/char. body with a pink tail! smile

I'm currious about the drop shot rig also.

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Can't post a pic at the moment, but... I'll describe it piece by piece as best I can from end to end. It's actually closer to a Carolina rig or traditional walleye live bait rig than a Texas rig.

First, you've got the bullet sinker sliding on the main line to your rod. Then a small swivel, a leader (most of the time mine are 18" or so at most) and the blade, beads and hook. I use 15# fluorocarbon for the leaders because I happen to have a bunch of it, but mono would work just as well, and relatively heavy is ok. Blades for me are typically #2 or so I think - fairly small Northland Colorado blades in metallic colors (in clear water anyhow). When I tie the knot on the hook I leave a little tag end, and slide the plastic up over that to kind of pin it in place so it won't slide down. Superglue works too.

For sinkers anything works but I *really* like the Northland Sling Shot sinkers because you can change weights without having to retie.

That's really all there is to it.

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