Every once in a while I look at a lure, tactic or even a presentation designed for a species other than walleye and the wheels start turning. Last year it was the Alabama Rig, totally a bass thing by all accounts, but it reminded me of these saltwater teaser rigs (the name escapes me) that I had looked at years before, but never followed up on. Long story short, I put on some willow blade teasers on four arms, and a short harness in the middle and it caught a fair amount of fish on Lake Erie.
This year while doing the spring shows at Cabela’s, Bass Pro and Jann’s Netcraft, I saw this new lure from Rapala. There are several “Scatter Rap” action bodies, but it was the minnow that really caught my eye. My first thought was that have a real application for walleye fishing on the Detroit River. Think about it, people have been handling with the Original Floaters for years on the DR. The size #11 Scatter Rap Minnow is the same size as the bait that they have been using, it made sense that the side to side action, like the famed Hot n’ Tot, could be highly effective.
Here is my plan that will be implemented for the first time this weekend, perhaps for the first time ever. The plan is to take two of my eight rods and rig each of them with a 3-way swivel, a six-foot leader to this Perch Scatter Rap Minnow, and on the bottom will be an 18 to 20 inch leader to a 2 oz bell sinker for weight. Last fall was amazing, and most of the big fish came off the lake bottom. This rig will target those pigs if they are down there again, even though the lure itself is a fairly shallow runner in the water column. Even if the fish are suspended, by using a 2 oz weight, it will be easy to dial in the depth on the Daiwa linecounters to have the lure run just above their heads.
If you do not have any Scatter Raps yet, no problem! You can take your favorite shallow running lure and use the same approach to target those bottom hugging fish. A great choice would be the Rapala Husky Jerk, my other rod rigged with the 3-way swivel will have one on, in size #14. In some cases when you don’t have the action of the Scatter Rap, the old adage is true, “Go big or go home.”
While I will have some of my favorite big deep divers on the St. Croix board rods (DHJ-12’s, TDD-11’s, Deep Thundersticks and Deep Shad Raps #9), these set-ups are going on a pair of downrigger rods that I use with Church Tackle’s new TX-007 Stern Planers off the back of the boat. The reason is simple really, because of the 2 oz weights, it is going to take a lot less line to get these cranks down to the bottom. If I were to run them right off the back, then I would risk line tangles when pulling in my Walleye Boards from Church. By using the -007’s, and getting them back farther behind the boat, I can bring the boards in under the line and avoid any issues. I hate issues!!!