Fishing Tip: Catch More Walleye With These Live Bait Rigs

Want to catch more walleyes? Use the freshest, most lively bait possible and the best live bait rigs to offer realistic presenations for more strikes.

Fishing Tip: Catch More Walleye With These Live Bait Rigs

Anglers use countless presentations to catch walleyes during the open-water walleye season, with strengths and confidence often steering their preference.

In South Dakota a live bait rig pulled behind a traditional bottom bouncer probably tops them all. Very simple yet effective live bait spinner rigs can entice the weariest of 'eyes!

After spawn concludes and water temperatures increase, walleyes transition off shorelines and shallow areas to weedlines and mid-lake structures. While other presentations can be effective, spinner rigs become the summer norm. This allows anglers to cover large areas of water with varying baits, at various speeds, often producing some of the best walleye angling of the year.

Even though spinner rigs are often seen as simple, they have not avoided evolution. As a young angler, 2-3 hook harnesses with solid colored No. 3 Colorado Blades topped our options. Today's multi-colored blades on snells, with a variety of hook types, was the farthest from my dreams.

Many walleyes have succumbed to the Northland Tackle Butterfly Blades after their introduction last year. The polycarbonate Butterfly Blades brought spinner blades to a new level due to their light weight, color variations and vibrations. Endless versatility thanks to the ability to troll at speeds as low as 0.25 mph, use hook variations and catch everything from panfish to pike, have made them my favorite.

But Wait, There's More

Thinking my arsenal was complete with infinite flexibility, Northland Tackle has introduced the Butterfly Blade Float’n Harness and the Butterfly Wing-Nut Blade Rig. I quickly realized after a couple of trolling passes that these uncovered even more trolling options.

The Butterfly Blade Float’n Harness quickly proved effective trolled over emerging weeds and rocky areas. Its ability to avoid snags, weeds and rocks but remain in the strike zone made this a favorite. Twelve new colors in two different blade sizes offer options complimenting forage and water/weather conditions.

The Butterfly Wing-Nut Blade Rig without a doubt became my favorite,  enticing almost every species of fish. The small blade produces a slightly more erratic action. This coupled with three hook configurations (2-Hook, 1-Hook and Super Death) only add to versatility, allowing this harness to be tipped with your choice of minnows, crawlers or leeches.

The polycarbonate composition of the blades allows less sagging when trolled at slow speeds, on turns or while drifting. The action and vibration is atypical of standard metal blades. The unique color blade options and two sizes of Float’n Harnesses allows matching size profile preferred by fish on any given day.

I was born and raised in northeastern South Dakota. Currently living on Big Stone Lake, also with a property on Lake Oahe, I’m surrounded by walleye country. As a guide, spinner harnesses are a fishing backbone on many bodies of water because they can be fished easily by anglers of all ages with success. 

This content was provided by Northland Tackle.


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