Shallow Water Spinner Trolling



My favorite water is the entire Bay of Green Bay, but the tactics I use to fish this body of water will work in many areas around the Great Lakes. Starting in late April through mid-June (the spring period on these cold-clear waters), I concentrate on shoreline flats averaging less than 10-feet deep.  My Green Bay Rule: When the wind blows, the walleyes bite! My other rule: Fish spinner harnesses for Walleyes in this situation.

Total Solutions Technique

For me, it’s spinners, spinners and more spinners from ice-out until freeze-up, but especially in the spring.  I fished only spinners to win the 2007 PWT tournament on the Bays de Noc.  My tactics have been refined over the years.

I use only number five chartreuse, pearl, gold or purple beads. Each spinner consists of only one bead color.  A chartreuse, orange or red “bead-eye” is placed ahead of the spinner blade. Blade colors depend on the fish and water conditions, but some of my favorites include silver, gold, copper or pearl. I prefer the number five and six deep-cut Colorado blades, because they spin more freely at slow speeds. I run from .8 to 1.7 mph.

To get the spinners to the desired depth, I use a variety of weighting systems from split-shot to clip-on style weights depending on what the situation calls for. When fishing the shallow flats in Spring, a large split-shot is typically all that is needed.

Total Solutions Equipment

I tie my spinners exclusively with 20-pound Berkley Vanish Fluorocarbon Leader Material. It’s virtually invisible and has great knot strength. My main line coming off the reel is 12-pound test Stren or Berkley Trilene XT.

I rig all my spinners with a number two single hook followed by a number 10 treble. Live night crawlers used to be my “go-to” bait for dressing spinners, but in the past couple of seasons I have gained a great deal of confidence in running at least one line with Berkley Gulp! Nightcrawlers in Natural color or Berkley PowerBait crawlers, Pumpkin Seed color with an orange head. Whenever, huge schools of sheepshead are mixed with walleyes, I run Gulp! or PowerBait worms. Nine out of 10 hits on Gulp! or PowerBait will be walleyes even in huge masses of sheepshead. With live crawlers, two of every three hits would be sheepshead.

 
Berkley Vanish Fluorocarbon
Leader Material
 
Berkley Trilene XT
 

Berkley GULP!
Nightcrawler 

Berkley PowerBait
Nightcrawler
 
Stren Original
Monofilament