Now that you’ve built your lindy rigs, you’re ready for tactics on the water this season. On Red Lake early in the season, you’ll find many walleye in 6-12 feet of water in the bays along weedlines, points, rock piles, breaks, or other structure. Depth finders are very handy to have for all of the fishing you will do and even an inexpensive one can lead to a much more successful fishing trip. There are several areas on Parker Lake that will hold fish in the 6-12 feet depth range all summer. For this time of the year I would select a 1/4 oz. or 3/8 oz. sinker for your rig. Later in the season on Red Lake you may need to add some weight to get your bait down to the bottom since you will be fishing deeper water. Now you’re ready to select your bait.
Now what to use – night crawler, minnow, or leech? All have proven successful and it’s really a matter of your preference. Most of the time I back troll or drift lindy rigs. For this type of fishing I insert the 1st hook on a night crawler through the “collar” and the 2nd hook where it rests on the crawler. If your bait is spinning in the water, adjust one of the hooks to take some of the slack out of the crawler to achieve a more natural presentation. I would also encourage you to try inflating crawlers with a Lindy Worm Blower. This will float your bait above your sinker helping to reduce snags and make the crawler more lively. Hook minnows just behind both lips from below so the hook point is on top. This keeps the minnow alive and improves your presentation to the fish. Hook leeches through the sucker. For minnows and leeches, I either use one hook rigs or allow the 2nd hook to dangle behind.
A slow presentation is key to lindy rigging. Once you have selected an area to try fishing, start by back trolling your boat at an idle speed. Let out enough line until you can feel the sinker bouncing along the bottom. At that point reel in just enough line so you can see slack line or feel your sinker start bouncing again if you point your rod tip down toward your bait. I usually start trolling into the wind to slow the boat down even more. If the wind is strong enough, I’ll let the boat drift back across a stretch of water that was producing bites and then back troll across into the wind again. Don’t forget to vary your speed by shifting into neutral occasionally. Another trick is to raise your rod a couple feet and gradually let the line ease back into the water.
Inevitably you’ll find walleye using this technique. When you feel a tap on the line or see the rod tip twitch, feed line back to the fish and slowly count to 5. This allows the fish to grab the bait and prevents you from pulling it out of its mouth. For this reason I usually keep my bail open with my finger on the spool to hold the line in place while trolling. It makes it easier to quickly feed line back to the fish. After your 5 count, give a good hook set and get ready to battle your fish.
Lindy rigging is a very effective way to catch walleye and many other species of fish for that matter. I mainly use lindy rigging as a technique for locating fish and then I enjoy switching to jigs when I’ve found a nice school. Many guests find lindy rigging so successful they will primarily fish lindy rigs during their entire stay. Whatever method you choose you’re bound to have a great week of fishing. See you this summer!