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Andrew Martinsen's Walleye Fishing Update

Three Top Rigs for Walleye Trolling

Crankbaits, Spinners and the 3-way Swivel

Hey, Andrew Martinsen here.

Crankbaits are the most common rig used for walleye fishing. They lend themselves well to most situations. They are a very versatile rig and have a good success rate when used for trolling. The three most common crankbaits that you will see are stick baits, minnow baits and banana baits.

Stick baits are long and narrow. Rapala floating minnows are a good example of stick bait. They have a very tight wobble and lend themselves well to shallow water situations. When selecting stick baits, be sure to get a variety of sizes; 9, 11 and 13 are good sizes to have on hand.


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Minnow baits are pretty popular. There are several different brands to choose from. Anglers all seem to have their own personal preference. Gather a variety and let the walleyes tell you which one they prefer that day.

Banana baits create a wide, erratic wobble that can drive walleye to distraction. Reef Runners are one of the top brands of banana baits. Their Deep Divers can reach twenty-five feet or more which is perfect for those deep water walleye. Banana baits get out off tune very easily. Make sure that you invest some maintenance time in order to keep these lures running at peak performance.

Spinners also make the cut as far as good trolling rigs. Action is important when trolling; that is why spinners work so well. You may have to use bottom bouncers or weights in order to get the spinners at the desired depth. The faster or deeper you go, the more weight you will need. Spinner rigs need to be fine tuned as well if you want them to be consistently successful.

The final rig that pairs well with trolling is the 3-way swivel. The 3-way swivel rig lets you get your harness down deep when the walleye are hanging toward the bottom. This rig is perfect for trolling when the walleye don't seem eager to bite.

The 3-way swivels are typically paired up with crawler harnesses. Suspended and inactive walleye will often perk up when something live swims by. 3-way swivel rigs can also work with other lures if you want to experiment.

The 3-way swivels work at their best when you are back trolling. The 3-way swivel uses sinkers to keep the bait in the walleye strike zone. Slow speeds are necessary so that you don't undo the purpose and potential of the rig.

In order to have a good day of trolling, you need to find a balance between your speed and your gear. Walleyes can be finicky and hard to please. You can never be sure that they will like what you toss their way. These three rigs usually can get the walleye snapping as you pass by.


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