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Hello everyone. I have been fishing my whole life, just not much walleye fishing. I bought a boat a couple weeks ago and I’m not having much luck. I normally troll with Rapalas and I have tried bottom bouncers with a crawler harness with little luck. I don’t think I’m running the bottom bouncers right because I get snagged almost every time. I’m sure I’m doing it wrong. I usually fish Island Lake or Fish Lake. Any help or pointers would be awesome! Thanks

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Use a heavy enough bottom bouncer to stay almost vertical and don't drag it on the bottom. Just use it to feel bottom and then reel or hold it up a few inches off bottom. Use a spinner rig with a half crawler. Try hammered gold or silver and a bright colored blade or two. I usually use 1 1/2 to 2 ounce bouncers in 20' and over. If you're fishing shallower weed lines skip the bouncer and use a 1/4oz bullet sinker.

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Tom Sawyer


7 hours ago, JasonG917 said:

 Any help or pointers would be awesome! Thanks

Try fishing some weed edges. Either above them, or next to them on the inside edge if darker water or windy conditions, or on the break in clear water, calm conditions. Post front fish are usally buried in the thick stuff. At this time of year most of the forage base is still relating to weeds. Pitching jigs and plastics is bread and butter right now. Go pan some weed beds next time out for gold...

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

If you have electronics they will let you know what is down there.  If you are marking schools of fish slow down and fish them.  A jig and crawler/leech is a good option as a livebait rig.  Cranks and spinner rings are my search presentations.  Once you make contact you can slow down if needed.  I hear Fish Lake has lots of timber to snag you up.  Shoot for a 45 degree angle with your fishing line when pulling spinners.  Usually .8-1.5 mph are good speeds to start with.

Like Tom mentioned there will always be some weed related walleyes.  They will he where the food is at.

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Jarrid Houston

There is nothing wrong with trolling cranks, spinners or jigging when we target walleyes.  All can work in a given day, or sometimes picking a choosing tactics is best.  If one tactic does not work, move onto the next.  With that said, patience is sometime needed to build confidence. A typical outing may include starting off with a troll.  Cranks are faster and a little less work.  Utilize dive charts for the depths you are targeting.  Fish are starting to move to deeper waters, but don't abandon the shallower areas, as these are usually feeding grounds. Once we pick up a fish on a troll, we usually mark the spot and whip around to see if we cant get another to go. If its multiple fish, now we are getting dialed in and may switch tactics to jigging.  Utlizing electronics definetly is key to search out rock, sand, mud, vegetation and transition areas that look "fishy"..Soft plastics tipped on jigs, is usually for a reaction bite, or aggressive fish.  One may elect to use gulp, impulse or others that integrate a strong scent.  Live bait is always a good option and I never leave shore without a container of crawlers, leeches or minnows.  Now that water temps are rising, I prefer to not try and keep minnows all that often, but sometimes "gut" feelings dictate the day.  When trolling spinners, shorten up the lead.  Most pre-rigged set ups always have a long lead that I will shorten up, sometime to 18" depending on what type of substrate we are working. Someone mentions the 45 degree rule... Yes on that !  Another option to elude snags is to utilize a Northland butterfly blade.  It is a nice composite that has a slower drop and can be trolled or drifted down to about 1/4 mph. Lets, also not forget about drifting pratices with Lindy rigs and other types of floating jigs teamed up with a weight over expansive flats.  Walleye fishing can be fun, but frustrating.. To me that's the sport of it! Once you get it, you got it!.....Tight lines, and remember the importance of fish conservation...Capt. JH

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Wow, so much good advice given above from very reputable and personally respected sources.  Both Fish and Island has a very frustrating large amount of timber and snags present.  I agree with the straight down to 45* line angles but don't discount lighter weights either. I use a lot of  3/8 - 3/4 oz weights depending on depth, current, speed, and wind conditions. If you normally fish with more than one person,  initially vary the color presentation, we all have our "go to" colors and techniques that will mostly produce results, but some days a certain color, presentation , and or speed ( silver vs  painted color, jigging vs tolling...) makes the difference between a good day and a GREAT day.  Also, unless you have a photographic memory, start keeping a log or try and remember what, when, and how it worked last time.  

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I like to troll for eyes mostly pulling bottom bouncers and spinner rigs. A good sensitive rod will also help you tell what kind of bottom your bouncer is going over. Just holding the rod in my hand I can tell when I go from mud, to gravel rocky areas etc. Also as mentioned its important use the right weight, line etc so that your line angle from your rod while trolling is at 45 degrees. You want the bottom bouncer bouncing to keep the bait in the strike zone versus just dragging sideways on the bottom with the bait dragging on the bottom with it.

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Tom Sawyer

I didn't want you to think of limiting the search to weeds, just what has been productive lately. There is certainly fish starting to key on bug hatches, and suspended fish aren't that far from being hunted down either, but weeds are a great starting point, all year round, and usually over looked by most. Also, I would suggest learning, and even more importantly, gain confidence in each presentation out there. There definitely is a time, place, and need to finesse vs. a simple coverage tactic, triggering vs. tempting approach. As Jarrod said, it's the thrill of the hunt, that makes walleye fishing fun. Every good walleye angler has lots of options to pull from his "bag of tricks", each have strong suits and weaknesses.....FishOn!

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