Modified snell rigs aid walleye anglers [UPDATED]Published 9:52am Tuesday, July 9, 2013 Updated 11:59am Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Twenty years ago, my walleye tournament partner and I experienced success fishing a plain bottom bouncer, a red bead, and a single plain live bait hook either baited with a leech or nightcrawler.
Today, the plain snell rig still produces with some modifications. Most often, I find my snells rigged with either an orange or chartreuse hook.
While colored hooks are a modification, the biggest difference on my rig of today involves the bottom-bouncer style being used. The traditional two-arm bouncer has been traded for a new single-armed stainless probing rod called the Slick-Stick bottom bouncer.
This bouncer incorporates a sliding quick-change weight snap that makes changing bouncer sizes very easy and also allows an angler to feed line to a tentatively biting walleye.
In addition to those advantages, these new bouncers are super sensitive allowing an angler to easily interpret bottom content and content changes.
While the proper equipment is important to this system, so is the way it is fished. Probably the most critical aspect involves using a weight heavy enough to keep the bouncer fishing as vertical as possible. Today, that means my heavy one-ounce bouncer has become a two-ouncer in water depths to about 20-feet, going up to a three-ounce Slick-Stick in the 20- to 30-foot depths.
Guide clients are advised to let line out until the bouncer hits bottom and a bit more to be sure it stays on bottom, but to not drag it on a longer line. Keeping it on a short line keeps the bouncer ticking along bottom, prevents snags, and allows for maximum sensitivity.
We simply cruise over underwater humps and along the edges of flats, points, and islands, picking off active walleyes as we go.
If fast summer walleye fishing action is your desire, consider trying a plain snell rig incorporating the suggestions just offered.
It won’t be long and you’ll probably be into some slick walleyes as well.
Mike Frisch is a western Minnesota fishing guide. Visit his website at www.fishinwithfrisch.com