Rigging for spring walleyes

During the spring, Lindy rigs are one of my preferred methods of presentation.
Sure, you can still take old marble eyes on jigs–and crankbaits will produce big results in some conditions–but much of the time, Lindy rigs will fool fish when nothing else will.
Lindy rigs are effective for several reasons. One of those is that they allow an angler to present a bait to the walleyes in a very natural, life-like manner.
The bare-bones rig is nothing more than a hook, snell, and sinker. In some circumstances, a coloured bead can be added, with an adjustable sinker, or a spinner, like the Hatchet Harness spinners, or a float which makes the bait ride higher off the bottom.
Simple yet effective.
Snell length is an important consideration when employing a Lindy rig. Sometimes the walleyes will be tight on the bottom; sometimes they’ll be up three or four feet. The snell should be long enough or short enough to get the bait up to the fish or directly above the fish.
The secret to this type of presentation is knowing the walleyes usually won’t move very far to take a bait so you have got to keep it within their strike zone if you want to catch them.
To determine proper snell length, keep a close eye on your sonar unit. If the fish are detected three feet off the bottom, try a snell length of 4.5 or five feet. If the fish are detected just a foot or so up, drop down to an 18 or 20-inch snell.
Some sonar units won’t separate these bottom hugging walleyes but the one I use does as good a job as any at showing these low-riders.
Walleyes will change the level at which they’re running from day to day–and even hour to hour. That’s why I use Lindy rigs almost exclusively for live-bait rigging.
Snell length can be changed in a matter of seconds whereas most rigs must be cut and re-tied to lengthen or shorten the snell.
I like to use nightcrawlers when the walleyes are suspended off the bottom. Crawlers have more natural buoyancy than either minnows or leeches, and by injecting them with a shot of air, they have even more lift.
Floating jigs and attractors aren’t always for suspended fish. In dirty water, walleyes most often will be close to the bottom. At times, I’ll use an attractor on a short snell in water where the walleye’s vision is limited due to water colour.
That added spot of colour could be what it takes to get the fish’s attention and get it to bite.
Minnows will work in the spring on Lindy rigs but I generally use either a leech or crawler. Remember, the population of bait fish is at a high in the spring due to all the fish that were spawned in the spring.
As such, it will be tough to get a walleye’s attention with a minnow when there already are millions of minnows swimming around down there. Therefore, the different bait that isn’t as abundant will be more attractive.
Lindy rigs fool walleyes all year but they’re especially productive in the spring. Give them a try and you will see that rigging for spring walleyes is a great method.

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