Its perch fishing time out on Lake Erie, but its also one of those times where I like to break out an old friend, the Weapon Rig. Sometimes referred to as a Mayfly Rig, this simple contraption is a walleye catching setup. If the perch fishing starts to slow up, or if the stars line up and we manage to limit out in short order, its always fun to start casting for eyes. Besides, I have a lot of crawlers left from the trolling season.
Before somebody starts in on me, I know, weapons are used all walleye season long. One reason I start using them know is that space on the boat can be limited, so when I take out a few perch rods, there is room for a casting rod or even a spinning rod for someone else to use. Nothing like putting a hookset on a walleye while using a weapon on the other end of the line.
The rig itself is pretty common place in the world of fishing. Basically its a modified Carolina rig, about 20 in length. A single #4 octopus hook, five 5mm beads, a #1 folded clevis, with a #3 or #4 Colorado blade. At the other end, make a loop with another 5 mm bead in the loop, then not to be redundant, tie a double loop knot. Then slide the loop through an egg sinker and attach to your main line with a snap and swivel combination. Weights for the sinkers can vary, while its probably most commonly used with a 3/8ths or 1/2 ounce, I like a 3/4 ounce for casting with my 7 foot, St. Croix medium/fast Premier rod. I just like casting reels, so that’s why I have the heavier sinker. If I was to use my 6’6″ Premier spinning rod, medium light/fast, then I would lighter weight, but still would prefer the 1/2 ounce sinker.
Why do I use these two rods, call it being nostalgic. These were the very first two St. Croix rods that I bought almost 20 years ago and they hold a special place in the arsenal. So much for only having a 5 yr warranty that come with the purchase of a Premier, these rods are awesome.
You basically fish this rig by casting out, and then in your head, start counting while the sinker falls in the water column. Once you start catching fish, count down to the same depth every time. You can also drag this rig on the bottom while drifting your boat with the current. If the current is moving the boat a little to fast, throw out a couple of drift bags to slow you down. In a pinch, I know guys that will even throw out one or two five gallon buckets.
If you like to drift and cast, start using this method as early as late April out on the lake. Besides not using a lot of gas, this style of fishing is just plain fun for the angler. Like jigging there is nothing like having the rod in your hand and setting the hook when a walleye takes the bait!