So you went to a walleye seminar about trolling on the Great Lakes, and one of the topics was on how to speed up your lures without racing your engine. This is easy to do, and I am sure they explained to you in some length about making a left or right turn in order to slow down the boards on one side, while speeding up the other side. Then when you straighten out your troll, the boards on the slow side speed up, which often triggers walleye to bite.
Sounds like a great concept, now just stop and think. This is not a great concept for all situations. First, lets talk about what does work best with this method. Crankbaits work best, specifically those that float or suspend, like a Rapala original floater, jointed minnow, shallow or deep diving Husky Jerk. If you stop all, or come close to killing the lures/board combination’s momentum, these baits will either rise up in the water column, or hover in a relatively stationary position.
Big Eye Custom Lures DHJ-12’S
Can you do this method while trolling crawler harnesses or even spoons while trolling for walleye, the answer is yes….sometimes. A little background information first, a spinner rig or spoon needs something to drag the presentation down in the water column to where the walleye are. A lead diving weight like Church Tackle’s Stingray will sink rapidly, a plastic diver like Luhr Jensen’s Jet Diver, will waffle down the column at a slower rate. This works while anglers are targeting fish higher up in the water column.
Church Tackle’s Stingray Diving Weight
Luhr Jensen Jet Diver
When it doesn’t work with the divers, is when you have more line out than the depth of the water below the boat. If your turns are too drastic, then your presentation will go to the bottom of the lake and catch both weeds and zebra mussels thus killing any advantage you tried to create by making the turn in the first place. Have no fear though, you can still do the turns, as long as your lures aren’t hugging the bottom of the lake, but you have to be aware of all the factors mentioned above.
The reason I wrote today’s piece is that while we roll into mid-July, the walleye of the Great Lakes, specially Lake Erie and those found on Saginaw Bay, are hugging the bottom in search of cooler water and food sources. There is little room for error, so unless running the types of cranks I already mentioned, keep in mind the program you are running on your troll. Continue to use this method to great effectiveness throughout the year, or not, depending on your methods of putting more fish in the cooler.
Quick note: If you want to speed up your lure presentation without making a turn, its quite easy, and virtually eliminates any risk. You just need to have the clicker engaged on the trolling reels, hit the release on all the reels starting with your outside board rod first, then quickly the middle and inside board next. After six or eight foot of line has been let out, close the release starting with the outside board, and then middle, and inside board. Then watch all three of your boards race up into position, you trigger just as many strikes as if you were making those turns.