Everyone wants to catch as many fish as possible during their trip. We don’t get out fishing as much as we’d like, but being immersed in a fishing camp all summer provides plenty of valuable knowledge. My fourteen years of guest experience before camp ownership don’t hurt either. So what’s the first thing to do in unfamiliar water?
Try lindy rigging! Some kind fellow guests taught us how to tie and fish these during my first trip to Eagle Falls Lodge in 1995. There are many varieties of this. Some people call them crawler harnesses or snells or use bottom bouncers. The technique is basically the same though. Cover water and find a school of active fish.
Jeff shows off a nice rock bass caught on a lindy rig.
We backtroll the boat (to keep the boat slow). Each fisherman drops the line in on different sides of the boat. The goal is to be close to the bottom, but not dragging the bottom. If you feel your sinker ticking along crank up the reel a couple times. If you troll 50 yards or so and don’t feel anything let out a bit more line to make sure you are still in range of the bottom. Ideally your line will be in the water towards the front of the boat at about a 45 degree angle. Think low and slow – like smoking a pork shoulder. Try to keep the boat speed under 1 m.p.h. A depth finder is also a helpful tool so your fishing partner can call out any major depth changes and you can adjust your line as necessary.
There are days when the bite is light where you need to be just barely moving to trigger a strike. I will shift the boat into neutral occasionally to slow the boat down even more or use a drift sock. Lindy rigging is a very effective way to find fish. It will allow you to hone in on the depth of active walleye on the lake. Once you find fish you have plenty of other options for catching them which we detail in some upcoming posts. Or you can keep lindy rigging!
If you are interested in tying your own lindy rigs check out this post. It may be five years old, but we still tie them the same way. The only thing we have changed is we now favor using bullet sinkers to reduce snags and twists. We thread the bullet sinker of choice on the line, tie a crankbait snap, and then snap on the swivel of your snell or lindy rig. For more reading on lindy rigs especially how to bait your hooks check out this post too.
We are about halfway to filling our boat name bracket so we still need suggestions. Keep sending them in and we’ll start the voting as soon as we fill the bracket!