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Walleye Presentations: How Big Can We Go??

  • tim hurley
    Participant
    Posts: 4300
    #1783935

    Thanks for the quick reply-photo makes your point well too!

    Bernard Campos
    Participant
    Posts: 27
    #1783943

    Rippin Raps, jigging minnows, blade baits etc. also lose a lot of their action at depth and distance because they’re designed to be lifted and you can’t do that when the angle flattens out. Great baits in shallow water, fished vertically or down a drop. They’re also kind of pricey in the rocks, swim baits and a heavy jig are 1/3 or less the cost. When you run a swim bait horizontally it has exactly the action it’s designed for.

    Dutchboy
    Participant
    International Falls a few miles from Rainy Lake
    Posts: 13199
    #1783954

    I’ve been trolling Muskie Baits……….6 & 8 inch Depth-Raiders at 3.5 mph. and popping big Walleyes for our lake system.

    No such thing as to big or to fast.

    basseyes
    Participant
    Posts: 1505
    #1783970

    Lots of great information.

    Some lakes, especially stocked lakes have resident shallow water eyes all year long. Have some lakes pb’s in water less than 7′. These are heavily pressured lakes. A big willow leafed spinner bait can be deadly on these fish. They don’t seem to follow all the written rules.

    Off topic a little, but blugill lipless cranks of any brand can do very well burnt or used with an erratic action on lakes where gils are a huge, staple food source. A guy really can’t reel a lure fast enough to where a fish can’t catch it, but you can reel it slow enough a reactionary bite fish will totally ignore it. It’s almost like dead sticking, if you think you are going to slow, go slower and wait longer. Speed works the same in both directions. If you think you are going to big or to fast, you’re probably going to small and to slow. That’s all within reason and it’s all relative to perspective. A big or even medium sized walleye can and does eat big meals regularly. That goes the other direction too. They can be caught using some very small offerings worked painfully slow.

    olas88
    Participant
    Posts: 272
    #2131191

    re-up. curious if the op has done more experimenting )

    WalleyeDan
    Participant
    Red Wing/Wherever Work Takes Me
    Posts: 9
    #2131438

    I was actually just about to re-up this post myself as this post has inspired me to tinker around with larger swimbaits for walleyes over the past couple of years. This tinkering has led to very little success (although part of that may to be attributed to a lack of confidence and not sticking with it long enough), until this past weekend that is. I had always fished these baits as the OP originally described, slowly reeling them with frequent pauses to keep the bait near the bottom. However, after seeing John Hoyer write about it and watching his show on the Next Bite I decided to try ripping larger swimbaits on cabbage edges and what do ya know… fish!

    I had the most success on a 5″ Berkley Grass Pig on a 1/2 ounce Berkley Fusion Swimbait head. I would throw it out, let it hit bottom, and then rip it up 4-5 feet basically as hard as I could. I would then let the bait free fall to bottom and proceed to rip it again as soon as it touched down, all the way back to the boat. It was kind of similar to how I fish a jigging rap, but I was using a heavier baitcaster (one of my bass rods actually) and the fish were actually eating the bait on the fall as opposed to pinning the bait to the bottom. This meant that I had to keep the line semi-tight on the fall and watch it like a hawk, because I found myself missing fish when I went to rip it again instead of actually setting the hook. This can probably be attributed to the large hook on the jighead, as opposed to a small sticky sharp treble hook on a jiggin rap.

    I fished several baits in this fashion, but had far and away the most success on the Grass Pig (bottom bait in picture). This technique produced about a dozen fish for me last weekend, with roughly half of them being over 20″. Nothing too crazy, but definitely enough action to continue to experiment with this style of fishing throughout the season!

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    fishthumper
    Participant
    Sartell, MN.
    Posts: 6992
    #2131449

    While fishing for large pike in Canada each fall we often catch some large walleyes while fishing some large swimbaits. Large as in 9.5″ Shadzill’s and even on the pounder bulldogs which I believe are like 15″ So to answer the ? about how big can we go. I’d say at least 15″ for sure. The bigger baits seem to excel in the fall when fish are feeding on much larger forage baits and when they are trying to fatten up for winter and want as much calories as possible for their efforts.

    ganderpike
    Participant
    Alexandria
    Posts: 515
    #2131459

    It’s amazing how small of a walleye will hit a 9” chub. Almost annoying. Almost.

    Buffalo Fishhead
    Participant
    Posts: 230
    #2131488

    In the western states where walleye have been illegally introduced into lakes and reservoirs where 4-6 inch trout had been stocked prior to the illegal walleye introduction, the research showed that walleye will readily eat a fish from one third to one half it’s length.

    To prevent excessive predation by walleye on the stocked trout the states started stocking trout that were over 9 inches; and, much of the trout stocking was/is done in the late fall. The theory behind the late fall trout stocking is that the walleye feeding curve has slowed down with the cold water temps and more trout will survive.

    Prior to the start of stocking larger trout, when 4-5 inch trout were stocked in the spring (May – early June), it was common to sample walleye a few days after the trout stocking that had anywhere from a couple trout up to 15 trout in their stomachs.

    Buffalo Fishhead

    BrianF
    Participant
    Posts: 465
    #2131643

    It’s interesting re-visiting this five-year-old thread.

    A five or 6 inch swimbait is the max size I have settled on. I’ve had them try to eat a 10 inch swim bait while musky fishing repeatedly but the hook-up ratio is poor. So, bottom line for me is that they’ll eat bigger stuff but the efficiency drops as the size increases beyond 6”.

    The other thing I’ll say is that swim baits are not ‘magic baits’. The fish get conditioned to them just like any other bait, so you can’t keep presenting them to the same school day after day and expect the same results as when they first encountered them. I have found I need to move on to different presentations to keep the bites coming, including some off-beat stuff of late. It’s enjoyable and stimulating trying to find a fresh presentation that keeps the bite going though.

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    BrianF
    Participant
    Posts: 465
    #2143106

    How big can we go in terms of presentations for walleyes?? Never thought this would happen, but a recent catch while musky fishing has to be near the outer edge of what they’re willing to tackle. That bait is 15” long and weighs 6 oz.

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    BigWerm
    Participant
    SW Metro
    Posts: 7030
    #2143147

    How big can we go in terms of presentations for walleyes?? Never thought this would happen, but a recent catch while musky fishing has to be near the outer edge of what they’re willing to tackle. That bait is 15” long and weighs 6 oz.

    I caught a 26″ walleye trolling the prop wash for musky with a 12″ headlock once. That was also in like 30 feet of water, there’s a lot of outside the box bites out there in a few different ways. My buddy runs a charter on Lake Superior and routinely catches walleye on big spoons, flashes etc. and suspended in crazy deep water.

    ganderpike
    Participant
    Alexandria
    Posts: 515
    #2143967

    Pulled a 7-8” perch out of a 19” walleye last night. Never had a doubt they had an appetite that large but it was a good reminder to not forget the HJ14’s in the truck for next time.

    Love the insight Brian!

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    Daniel Cannon
    Participant
    Posts: 2
    #2144371

    Hey! Just curious on what that combination you have going on with your swimbait? Been trying to look for something similar like that but can’t seem to find anything!

    Daniel Cannon
    Participant
    Posts: 2
    #2145350

    Tim, I use Rippin Raps a lot…rip, drop, rip, drop. Awesome lure and always on one of my rods. The problem is you can’t burn it at depths greater than a few feet. We’re generally fishing in depth ranges of 13 to 17 feet – well within reach of these head heavy-headed swimmers. Plus, besides Doug Stange, I’ve not seen anyone using these plastics; atleast where I’m fishing. It’s definitely something different for the fish.

    The size could also be factor. These swimmers are massive compared to traditional walleye tactics, fully 5X the mass of the #6 Rippin Rap shown below. Sometimes size matters. Btw, we catch plenty of 2lbers on these, so they aren’t that intimidating to the fish.

    I’m not trying to sell you anything – I’m a banker – just think it’s a fun tactic to try. They definitely work, the strikes are bone jarring, and they select for big fish IMO.

    Just curious on what swimbait head that is! I’ve been looking for some for mine but cannot find any decent quality ones!

    Charlie W
    Participant
    TRF / Pool 3 / Grand Rapids, MN / SJU
    Posts: 570
    #2145368

    Owner saltwater bullet heads are what I sue.
    Kalins makes good saltwater bullet heads too.

    BrianF
    Participant
    Posts: 465
    #2145369

    I use the 1/2oz and 3/4oz Ike VMC swimbait heads a lot. Others work too though. Sometimes will use 1oz and 1.5oz musky jigheads when I really want to burn the bait in warm water conditions.

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    BrianF
    Participant
    Posts: 465
    #2159923

    Speaking about large presentations for walleyes, and particularly the boot tail swimbait heads we’ve talked about here – as well as chatterbaits which we’ve started using for walleyes – I’m becoming convinced that those large single hook designs are not ideal for walleyes. Yes, we’ve caught lots of large walleyes on them, but can’t help but notice many violent hits that don’t result in hook-ups. This is the case both night and day. Far too many missed opportunities IMO.

    In thinking about this, those swimbait heads with a large single hook are designed with largemouth bass in mind. I’ve come to the conclusion that largemouth and walleyes have different enough feeding mechanics and anatomy as to make a noticeable difference. Largemouth will approach and suck in a lure by gaping their mouth and flaring the gills to essentially create a vacuum and pull the bait backwards into the mouth. Walleyes are ‘biters’, approaching the bait and using their teeth to secure and impair larger forage. The strike is more focused with less margin for error vs. a bucket mouth bass. The result is that these large single hooks aren’t always getting sucked down into the mouth as with largemouth. The size of the hook itself is creating an impediment to walleyes fully engulfing the lure.

    To combat this problem, I’ve begun experimenting with clipping off the large single hook and replacing with a smaller #4 premium treble hook, or stinger as some call them. This hook is affixed to the line tie with heavy fluoro and imbedded into the top of the bait 1/2 to 3/4 of the way towards the tail. On 5.5” hollow body swimbaits, this has made a material difference in the hook-up ratio, with nearly every fish that strikes getting hooked. Problem solved…

    This is just something to think about if you’re noticing a bunch of violent bites without hook-ups on large single hook baits. There’s definitely a solution, though the solution requires some modification effort.

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    SoDakangler
    Participant
    Posts: 40
    #2160114

    BrianF how do you go about fishing these things? What kind of areas and depths do you look for? Mostly shorelines or do you do this on main lake structure as well?

    How do you use electronics to help out? Livescope etc

    Would love to give this a shot

    BigWerm
    Participant
    SW Metro
    Posts: 7030
    #2160117

    To combat this problem, I’ve begun experimenting with clipping off the large single hook and replacing with a smaller #4 premium treble hook, or stinger as some call them.

    Have you tried using the stinger with the large hook still attached? This is pretty standard spring Rainy/P4 rig when using larger minnows.

    BrianF
    Participant
    Posts: 465
    #2160130

    SoDak, I like them best on flats generally in less than 15’ of water and often less than 10’. Could be off shore, could be right on the shoreline. That doesn’t matter. The most important thing is to find the fish. I use M360 and Livescope to do that and will always watch my bait on LS during the retrieve. Doing this allows for depth and speed adjustments as well as bait rejection/acceptance, among other real time data.

    BW, what you suggest would probably work just as well. Don’t know cause I never tried it. My goal was to eliminate any interference from that big hook, so I’ve been taking them off entirely. Seems to have worked, so I’m going to experiment with this rigging on other baits next open water season, particularly chatterbaits, which walleyes seem to love but only seem to get hooked on half the strikes. A 50% hook-up ratio? That’s unacceptable!

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