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Andrew Martinsen's Walleye Fishing Update

Tips for Fishing with Bottom Bouncers

Why Bottom Bouncing Can Increase Your Catch Rate

Some anglers are unenthusiastic about bottom bouncers, because they feel that the notoriously shy walleye will be detracted by the large presence of a bottom bouncer. However, far from being detraction, bottom bouncers can actually have the opposite affect.

Bottom bouncers have proven to be an effective tool in the pursuit of walleye. Many anglers chose to use a bottom bouncer in conjunction with a spinner rig, as this simple presentation offers a great deal of versatility and can be an extremely beneficial combination in all kinds of water.


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Because the walleye spends a large proportion of the day at, or near, the lakebed, keeping a bottom bouncer can really help you to catch some trophy fish.

One of the first things to consider when using a bottom bouncer is the length of the spinner. Most spinners come in a variety of lengths. 3ft is the recommended size, as it will work well in most situations. If you use a spinner that is longer, you may find that your line becomes caught on the lakebed. However, if you are after walleye in a more difficult location, you may look to try a spinner that is even shorter.

In addition to ensuring that you have the correct length, you should always attempt to keep the angle of your line at 45 degrees. This should reduce the amount of excess line that you have and, in turn, will minimize any snagging issues.

There is a very simple formula to use when deciding what size of bouncer to use. The general rule is that if you are fishing in a depth 10ft or less, use a 1-ounce bouncer. If you are waters up to 20ft deep, then a 2 ounce is advisable, and for waters of 30ft or more, a 3-ounce bouncer should be used.

In terms of model, a fixed arm bouncer is a favorite of many anglers, but you may find use for the sliding variety, too, particularly if you are using large minnows as bait. The sliding models allow the bait more flexibility and, therefore, increase the chances of a catch.

When using the bottom bouncer and spinner set-up, many anglers would recommend a medium action rod, which will serve you well in most circumstances. If you have chosen to increase your chances by using two rods, then it is advisable to select a reel with a flipping feature, as this allows for one-handed line release.

There may be times when you find that the spinner is not working as effectively as it should. In this instance, you may need to shift to a slower presentation in order to catch those elusive walleye. To achieve this, you may find it advantageous to use a light bouncer with a long snell. A long snell would be anything between 5 and 6ft or larger, which will allow your bait to cover more ground. A -ounce bouncer would be the perfect companion to this extra long snell.

As with any presentation, when catching walleye, live bait is by far the best. Recommended baits are leeches, minnows and night crawlers. Using these with a bottom bouncer is the perfect way to entice a hungry walleye to your hook.


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