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3 way rigging

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Guest

I have heard of a few people using three way rigs with spinners and some with rapalas when fishing the gravel and flats. I have fished ML a few times before and have always uses a lindy floating rig about 6' long so I am unfamiliar with this method. I am curious as to why some people switch to the 3 way rigs this time of year and how they are set up and what to use. Also I hear alot about spinners. Why are they not used alot early in the summer compared to now. Any info/advice would be appreciated. thanks

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Guest

Rocky -
Usually when I use a 3 way, I'm using 1-2 oz of weight. This allows me to move faster and cover more water. The dropper length also lets you fish higher off the bottom. I think of it as a poor man's downrigger, at least how I use them.
gte

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ReelTimes

I have never run the 3-ways either. Appreciate a little help. Assuming use a 3 way swivel with one end connected to your main line, one end with a line connected to a bottom bouncer, and the other end with line going to your lure.

Question: How long is the line connected to the sinker (1 or 2 feet?) and do you have any problems with the line twisting and tangling with the line going to the lure.

Question: How long a leader do you run from the 3-way swivel to your lure?

Thanks for any advice. Bill

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Guest

I am not really familiar with the 3-way presentation on Mille Lacs but here is the way we do it on the river. Tie your main line to one part of the 3-way swivel, tie a 8 to 12 inch drop line with a bell sinker, or a pencil weight ( you really dont need to use a bottom bouncer when 3-waying) next tie a 3 to 6 foot leed with a floater or spinner. This is a great way to catch walleyes on the mississippi river, and many other lakes, I dont see why it wouldnt work on Mille Lacs. If some guys do it different let me know.

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Ole1855

I fish using a 3-way quite a bit on ML, I use about 12-18" from the 3-way to the sinker, I prefer 3-4 oz., and I tie a spinner with about a 6-10" long leader. I drop to the bottom and crank up just enough to get the sinker out of the mud or off the gravel. I put the rod in my rod holder and back troll, the fish slam the bait, no need to set the hook too hard, they have pretty much taken care of that on their own. I use this method any time of year, but mostly when the walleyes move to the flats, it's one of the easiest ways I have found to fish walleyes on the flats. Also if the bite is a little slow, it's an easy way to cover a lot of territory and hit on the active fish.

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Guest

Does this work with rapalas and if so what is recommended

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Guest

This past weekend we experimented a bit with our rigs. I used a 3-way swivel and a 6' snell. I attached a 2oz weight to the bottom of the 3-way by using a small wire snap that opened both ways. The area we fished had plenty of rocks/gravel that would snag the sinker , but after hitting bottom just crank up a couple of turns to keep the sinker off the bottom. We also caught fish that were up to 5' off the bottom. When chasing agressive fish there is no need to release the line at a bite. Just point your rod toward them and lift. The fish usually self-hook using this method.

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huskminn

The 3-way rig is a great way to fish spinner rigs or minnow-imitation lures like Rapalas. I have run floating stickbaits as well as neutral bouyancy baits like Husky Jerks.

I have read and practice that you should use about 1 oz. of weight for every 10 feet of depth. I normally go with 2 or 3 oz. bell sinkers on my dropper. This allows me to maintain contact with bottom without having a tremendous amount of line out to get there. A more vertical approach allows you to keep your rig closer to the structure you are trying to troll on. Of course, your trolling speed also dictates how much weight to use. I normally troll from 2-3.5 mph.

When I say "contact" I mean only occasional contact with bottom. Your weight should not consistently be dragging on bottom, but ride just above. If you feel a rock now and then, that's good. When trolling the mud flats, it is especially important not to drag your rig through the mud.

I tie my own spinner rigs and make them 6'-7' feet long to match the length of my rods. When I trolling minnow-imitators, I tie the same length leader.

I normally use mono droppers that are 2#-4# test below what the rest of the rig is tied with. If I do get hung up bad and can't slow down in time, the weight will break off before anything else.

Good luck!

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Fathead

Hi guys (or gals),

3-way rigging with #7 floating rapalas has been HOTTTT! This method is very simple, and with a little practice you can become very proficient at it.

What I am currently using is a 3oz bell sinker on a drop line(8lb magnathin) that is 2' long. The line I use to my rap is 4' long (10# vanish) that I tie to a clip and clip onto the rap. My main line is a 10# PowerPro. I tip my rap with a 1" chunk of crawler, hooked once through the back treble, which I let dangle behind.

When working a mud flat, there are a number of ways people prefer to fish them. Paralleling an edge will sometimes work nicely, or coming off the flat to deep or vica versa is also a very effective way to trigger strikes (my personal favorite). A good way to do this is parallel a flat and troll "S" curves onto and off of the flat. By doing this you will be in multiple depths and any given time. Fishing over various depths requires some readjustment of the depth of your lure. I typically will start in, lets say 33'. I drop my rig to the bottom so the bell sinker touches. I then reel my baitcaster up about 2-3 cranks (my bait should be running about 4' above the bottom. Some people may think this is too high up from the bottom. Believe me, the fish will come up after it. When I troll up the side of the flat, for every 3' of depth I change, I will reel up 2 turns. I don't adjust my lure depth every foot, because I am a firm believer that your lure must sustain a consistent run for it to look natural to the fish. I do not put my rod in a holder, because you will inevitably be dragging bottom at some point when you do this (on the mud that is, if you use this on gravel, go for it). Plus, the way fishing has been lately, most of your time will be grabbing for you rod and fighting fish than having it sit in the holder.

This method has boated 124 fish in my last two trips. It is simply an awesome way to cover ground and fish active fish. Once you locate fish, circle back through and work them to death. I guarentee that this method will put more fish in the boat than a lindy rig will. You may be catching fish on lindy rigs now, but you will more than double your catch using a 3-way and rapala right now.

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Blaze

Much appreciated Fathead (feels like I'm insulting you every time I type that...)

I appreciate the pointers on trolling as I am obviously not very experienced with it.

Good luck and tight lines,
Blaze

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Guest

Thanks alot for the info fathead. That was pretty much what I ws looking for. I have heard that the various 3 ways were more effective that lindys on the flats so I will have to give it a try this weekend. good fishing

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Guest

try trolling forward but dragging a drift sock. I had a 70 Johnson that this worked real well doing. Could never get it to idle slow enough, especially in calmer water.
gte

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Blaze

Fathead,

Thanks for the great info on 3-way riggin'. I've never tried it quite like you've described, but you've convinced me to give it a shot next week when I'm up there.

A couple additional questions for you:
1) any pattern/color of rapala working better than others?
2) do you typically use a trolling motor? All I've got is a 125 Merc so I usually drift with Lindy's and the good ole ML breeze, although I've tried backtrolling into the wind a few times - and got VERY WET! =) I haven't done much trolling simply cuz it's hard for me to maintain a reasonable speed. Ideas?

Thanks!

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Fathead

Hi Blaze,

To answer your questions from the previous post...

My top colors for Mille Lacs are as follows.
1. Perch
2. Minnow
3. Rainbow Trout (yes rainbow trout)

However, this year I have had incredible action on Minnow color. Typically perch seems to work the best (in past years), but this year Minnow has been nuclear.

As far as what motor to use. I am a backtroller guy, and will use my 50hp alot, especiallly if I have winds above 10mph. I will often use my trolling motor in calmer conditions. The key is lure speed. This time of year I prefer 1 to 1.5mph with 1.3 being my target. In late July or August, I usually crank it up to 2 to 3mph with 2.5 being my target speed (better for reactionary type strikes). If you are using a 125hp try hooking up a drift sock on the bow to slow you down. By trolling in a "S" curve fashion your bait will speed up (outside turns) and slow down (inside turns). Keep track if you are getting more strikes with faster or slower presentations, and adjust your speed to what they want. If your fishing action is slow using the traditional straight line or "S" curve trolling approach. Try pumping your rod forward and slowly dropping it back, this may trigger those fish that like to follow the lure out of curiousity. By dropping the lure back to those fish, they are faced with an immediate decision on whether to take it or leave it.

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ReelTimes

Thanks for the advice. Tried 3-ways and worked pretty well this weekend. Biggest problem was felt trolling speed was too fast. Can't get my boat slower than 2.6mph. Dragged a big bucket and that helped.

Also, tried setting up the old down rigger and that actually simplified things and worked very nicely, too.

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Guest

tried 3 way rigging with a rapala last night and I did seem to catch a few more fish than the people around me using lindy rigs. thanks for the tips

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