Slo-Poke Weedmaster Jig

Bait Rigs TackleBait Rigs® Tackle Co. of Madison WI.proudly introduces the new Slo-Poke Weedmaster™.

The Slo-Poke Weedmaster Jig has all the tournament winning characteristics of the original Slo-Poke Jig™ with the addition of a SoftBite weed guard.

Slo-Poke Weedmaster Jig

Slo-Poke Weedmaster Jig

The Slo-Poke Weedmaster is the ultimate weedless bait jig. Tipped with Live Bait or PowerBait™ it will slide through weeds,wood and rock that would continually snag up traditional jigs.

The Slo-Poke Weedmaster is Ideal for Walleyes, Crappies and Bass holding in weeds and wood.

The Slo-Poke Weedmaster sinks slowly and horizontally and is more snag resistant than traditional weight forward jigs (ball jigs) that plunge nose first, wedging into structure. The Slo-Poke Weedmaster keeps its head up and hook covered enabling it to penetrate and slide through heavy fish holding cover.

The Slo-Poke Weedmaster is available in 1/16 oz and 1/8 oz sizes in 7 popular Super Glow colors, Including Firetiger and Purple Tiger.  All jigs feature the Mustad hooks.

For additional information on our full line of Walleye products see our web site at
www.baitrig.com

Slo-Poke Jig, Firetiger Colors

Bait Rigs TackleBait Rigs Tackle Co. LLC of Madison WI. proudly introduces the legendary, tournament winning Slo-Poke Jig® in 2 new glow-in-the-dark Firetiger patterns.

Slo-Poke Jig, Firetigers are now available in two new Tiger patterns, Hot Purple Tiger and Hot Green/Chartreuse Firetiger. Both Firetigers are finished in Strontium based glow-in-the-dark colors that glow for more than 3 hours between charges.

Slo-Poke Jig, Firetiger Night Photo

Slo-Poke Jig, Firetigers are highly visible to fish and are ideal for night-bites, low light and dark water conditions.

Slo-Poke Jig, are a weight-centered , slow fall swimming jig that sink slowly and horizontally with a tantalizing wobble, not head first like traditional ball jigs. The original Slow Fall jig, Slo-Pokes stay in the strike zone longer and are excellent for cast and retrieve presentations and long lining live bait over bottom.

Slo-Poke Jig, Firetiger Colors

Slo-Poke Jig,  Firetiger Colors

Slo-Poke Jig,  can be tipped with live bait or plastics and used in a wide variety of presentations, including weeds, wood and rock structure with fewer snags than conventional ball jigs . Go to baitrigs.com for Slo-Poke Jig fishing tips and rigging diagrams.

Slo-Poke Jig, Firetigers are available in 1/16oz and 1/8oz sizes and feature premium Mustad® wide gap hooks.

 

Bait Rigs Box 44153 Madison, WI 53744-4153 USA 1-800-236-7441 Website: www.baitrigs.com

A GRAIN OF SAND OR A ROCK

I wish I knew how many hours I’ve spent on the water trying to figure out how I was going to get the walleyes to bite. I’m sure that you’ve all been fishing at one time or another and you were having one of those very slow days that everyone dreads. There are lots of things that can be tried on a day like that but you have to decide if you’re going to make a drastic change or some kind of subtle change to try to get rid of the walleye lockjaw. Many times it may take something really simple to trigger a bite and sometimes you have to drop a rock on them to get any kind of response at all. Lets take a look at some different fishing methods that you could try in order to improve your chances at catching some fish.

A Grain of Sand

Most of the time it doesn’t take a rock but just a grain of sand to get a walleyes attention. There are many subtle changes that can be made to something as simple as a Lindy or Roach rig when fishing for walleyes and I’m going to give you some examples of changes that may work for you. If the fish aren’t responding to a plain rig, the first and easiest thing that I usually do to make a change is to add a colored bead above the hook or just change the color if there is already a bead there. My next step is usually to change the hook to a colored one and then of course I experiment with the color if I have to. This can be expanded even more by using a bead that contrasts to the colored hook or by using no bead at all. There are colored sinkers on the market that can be added but to be real honest I have never noticed any difference whether using a colored sinker or a plain one. Another real subtle change that a lot of people don’t really think about is to change your leader to fluorocarbon to really help your finesse approach. My personal choice is Berkley Vanish but there are others on the market that may be your preference and this small change can sometimes be the key to catching fish during a tough bite situation.

You can see that there are lots of easy and inexpensive things that can be done to something as simple as a rig. If we expand these simple ideas to a jig, we can add a colored bead ahead of the jig, add a tail, add a small piece of plastic from a tail to hold your live bait on the hook, change colors of the jig, the tail or any of the parts and the list goes on and on. Jigs are by far the easiest things to make changes to whether it be color, size, or the type of jig, all of the changes can be done usually by tying on a new jig or just changing the tail or the tail color.

Now lets take a look at what we could do to make some subtle changes to a crankbait that hopefully will help to trigger otherwise dormant walleyes into striking. I’ve looked into some guys tackle boxes and all of their lures have the lip or the head painted red. Obviously this might work some of the time but now they’ve lost their chance to change. If you talk nice to your wife she may give you an old bottle of red fingernail polish (or some other color if you prefer) that you can carry in your tackle box. It only takes seconds to get the bottle out and change some of your lures to a red head, red belly, a red lip or sometimes just a red dot where the gill would be is just enough to make a difference. Another trick is to have some colored treble hooks in your box (or make them using the fingernail polish) and change the front or rear hook to a colored hook to help give an even different look to your bait. These are just a few ideas that are small changes but can sometimes make a difference between having a great day fishing or just catching a few fish.

A Rock

Remember a grain of sand is a subtle change that might trigger the fish to bite. If you drop a rock you might scare the fish away or it may be the change needed to trigger them into biting. What I call a rock is any time I change from one type of fishing to an altogether different way. For instance if I’m jigging or rigging and I change to casting a crankbait or trolling, this is what I would call dropping a rock. You’re not doing anything subtle but you’re making a drastic change by using an altogether different method by changing both your lure and your presentation. There have been many times when the rock has been the answer to winning a tournament for me. To be successful you have to be able to convince yourself that change is the answer and then do it. Many of the small changes that I mentioned earlier can also be used to change the look of the lure after you’ve changed your presentation method.

Color changes as well as adding or taking away color on your lures are one of the easiest ways to alter your presentation. Whether you’re using crankbaits or live bait rigs and whether you’re casting or trolling you can use many of the subtle changes that I mentioned earlier to alter the color or action of your bait. Very often, people get in a rut and will only use their favorite bait and color because that’s the one that they’re comfortable with and have the most confidence in. It’s a great thing to have confidence in your bait but the thing that you must keep in mind is that there are many very simple ways to make changes to your baits that may mean the difference between catching fish and being skunked. Sometimes it may take only a grain of sand to get the fish to bite and sometimes it may take a rock. But many times change is good.

BILL REABE

Walleye Willospoons

Walleye Willospoons

Walleye Willospoons By Bait Rigs Tackle

Have you ever used a WilloSpoon? If you ever ask someone that question I’m sure they’ll say “sure I used them a lot through the ice and they work good.” Hardly anyone will say they ever used them in the summer and if they have they only used them to vertical jig for perch or some other pan-fish. I’m going to tell you some of the ways that I use the WilloSpoons and how you too can use them to put more walleyes and other fish in the pan all year long.

My first experience using a WilloSpoon was one winter many years ago while fishing for Perch through the ice on lake Mille Lacs. I was busy catching Perch when all of a sudden I had a much bigger fish on the line and after a few minutes playing it I landed a Walleye that was over 8 pounds. After catching a few more smaller Walleyes the rest of the day I got to thinking that there might be something to these little spoons and maybe I should put some info in my notes for summer fishing and give them a try at that time. Being a Walleye tournament fisherman I always keep notes on things that happen when I catch Walleyes and I put that information in my computer to use later. It isn’t a bad idea for everyone to do something like this to keep track of their fishing success or lack of success whatever the case may be. In fact there are computer programs that you can buy for just this purpose.

When the next tournament season started I printed out all of my notes and as I was reading them the WilloSpoon notes popped up. It didn’t take long for me to start to think about how I could use them during tournaments. I decided to pick up a few more WilloSpoons to try if the conditions were right. The conditions are usually right if I’m not catching fish on anything else. As you might expect I didn’t even think about using them until a while later while prefishing and as usual I wasn’t catching any fish so I decided to try them behind a bottom bouncer for a while just for something different to do. As you might guess, nothing happened, but a while later when I was talking to a tournament fishing friend he told me about catching some Walleyes while casting WilloSpoons in shallow water. Now I just had to try them more often and I had to see for myself if there was really anything to these things.
They have a lot of things going for them if you really think about it. They come in a multitude of colors, they’re almost weightless and you can push them inside of a tube tail to make them a soft body. You can bait them with any kind of live bait as long as its small and if you don’t like the hook you can replace it with a treble or a colored hook or as you will read later in this article, there are secret special ways to use them with no hook at all and still catch fish.???

Now that I had all this good information it was time to try them and see how I could use them to catch fish. The first thing that I did was try casting them. I’ll tell you something, you soon find out that you have to use very light line and only cast down wind or you end up with them landing right in front of you in the water or if your not careful stuck in your forehead. I tried adding a small split shot a foot above the spoon and I changed the single hook to a #8 or 10 treble hook. Next I tried using a small minnow or leech , as you can see I was really grasping at straws to try to get these things heavy enough to cast. Several of these things seemed to help quite a bit and gave enough weight to cast and didn’t really bother the action any. I used this rig in some real shallow water when prefishing for a tournament on the Mississippi river and caught a fish in the 7 pound range as well as some smaller Sauger. This is definitely a shallow water rig because of the light weight although I would think you could try a heavier split shot for deeper water.

When using the WilloSpoon in deep water I found that dressing them with a small minnow or half a crawler and trolling them very slowly behind a bottom bouncer or snap weight was the most affective way next to vertical jigging. That is if you want to catch the fish on the WilloSpoon. If you want to use them as flashers to help catch fish with another lure here is another one of my brainstorm ideas that paid off and you might want to try. Take the hooks off about three WilloSpoons and replace them with small swivels. Now tie the WilloSpoons in line about 6 inches apart and about 2 feet ahead of a crankbait when trolling, you might be pleasantly surprised at the flash they produce and how they resemble baitfish swimming along. Of course you can use any number or color of WilloSpoon that you want or modify them any way that works for you.

Probably the way that WilloSpoons are most used is ice fishing. I must admit this was the only time that I used them for a lot of years. I still use them any time I go ice fishing for any kind of fish except Northern Pike. Not that they don’t work for Northerns but their sharp teeth will cut the line and you will loose lots of baits. When fishing in deep water I use about an 8 inch pencil sinker 6 or 7 inches above the WilloSpoon. By using this rig you will not tangle the WilloSpoon on the line like you will if you use split shot when lowering it into deep water. For shallow water applications you normally wont need any weight so the tangle problem is eliminated. There are many ways to dress the WilloSpoon with live bait. You can put ice fishing grubs on it, the head of a minnow or what I like is the tail end of the minnow. I remove the head of the minnow right behind the gills and then hook the body so the tail of the minnow is hanging and just kind of floating in the water when you jig it up and down. This is dynamite on Perch and Walleye through the ice and would probably work equally as well in the summer.

As you can see the WilloSpoon can be used throughout the year with good success. Of course the original Walleye WilloSpoon from Bait Rigs tackle will always provide the best results and the “fire” colors that are new this year are a great addition to the WilloSpoon line, it gives you more selection and makes them even more versatile. I’m really looking foreword to the coming tournament season when I’m sure that I’ll be using the WilloSpoon even more than I have in the past. Try em I think you’ll learn to like em too.

Panfish Willospoons

Panfish Willospoons

If you’re having trouble finding the WilloSpoons at your local sport shop, you can order them online from E-Bait.com in the Bait Rigs Tackle Store.

It will be well worth your while.

Walleye Willospoons are available in 2 sizes, Panfish Willospoons are recommended for Perch fishing.

Bill Reabe

Spinner Rigs for Walleyes

During this past winter, I visited with a lot of anglers on a wide variety of fishing topics. Sometimes these conversations concerned information that we already knew about fishing, while other times we explored new ideas and concepts that still needed proving. The one fact that I did learn was this. There are far too many anglers that have not yet learned the importance of spinning blades for walleyes.
My first experience with spinners took place when I was back in my youth. We would troll stretches of Lake Pepin, a widening of the Mississippi River, with spinners in search of walleyes. We found that the dirtier the water was, the better the spinners worked. Believe me, in those days, Lake Pepin was really dirty!

Years later, when my family would travel around on camping trips, we again put spinners to use. It didn’t seem to matter much just where we fished, a live bait and spinner rig combination would always produce something.
However, it wasn’t until about ten years ago that I really started to get into spinner combos as an excellent system for picking up walleyes. It started on a hot day on Mille Lacs Lake, a walleye factory located in Central Minnesota. On this particular day, we found absolutely no active fish on the big flats that dot the middle of this lake. It wasn’t that fish weren’t there, they just wouldn’t hit a conventional live bait rig.
Eventually, my fishing partner pulled out a couple of bottom bouncers and said we were going to experiment with spinners. About this time, I was game for anything and readily followed his lead.
Once our

Walleye Pro-Bottombouncers Rigged

Walleye Pro-Bottombouncers Rigged

and spinner combos were rigged and baited with crawlers, we started our trolling presentation. At first I was certain we were moving way to fast to trigger these lethargic walleyes, and then my partner hooked the first fish of the day.
It wasn’t long before we had caught a fair number of really nice eyes. It also wasn’t long before our activity had attracted several other boats. I am sure they thought we were crazy trolling around for walleyes at breakneck speed, but we didn’t mind a bit. We were sticking lip and that was all that mattered to us.
Over the years I have gone to this bottom bouncer and spinner combination again and again and have really come to believe in it. One innovation that has made spinner blade fishing even better is the invention of the Hatchet Harness.
Last summer, on a Canadian trip, we hit a stretch of tough weather. The front that came through really shut down the walleyes we had going. The fish had not changed location, they just refused to touch a jig.
When I pulled out a couple of bait casting rods and started rigging up spinner rigs, the guy I was with thought I was crazy. When I tied on a big bladed Hatchet Harness, he was sure I was crazy. He couldn’t believe that strange looking blade could attract fish.
He soon changed his mind. He hadn’t finished threading on his crawler before I had a fish. Not only was it the first fish of the day, it was the biggest fish of the trip up to that point. He became a believer in a big hurry.
We fished this rock reef until our crawlers were gone and then switched over to Power worms. Although they didn’t produced as good as live bait, we still continued to catch our share of fish. The Power worms were tougher and you didn’t have to worry about checking your bait on a missed strike.
Spinner rigs aren’t my first option for walleyes, but they can be a good second choice. They seem to work best when you have scattered, lethargic fish. Walleyes are attracted to the thumping of the blade and the speed at which it moves.
Fish that are sniffing at slow moving bait will react to this fast moving spinner and hit it before it gets away. The speed doesn’t allow them time to think about it, they just react.
I have found crawlers to be the best bait for bottom bouncers and spinners. Leeches and minnows often twist when trolled at high speeds. Besides, by the time walleyes hit the lethargic summer period, crawlers are a great option anyway.
Walleye anglers need to take note of this style of fishing. It is easy and extremely effective. The biggest challenge most walleye anglers face is coming to believe that spinning blades really does trigger fish. Once you learn how well it works it will become a permanent part of your walleye strategy.

Copyright © 2000 by Jeff Snyder. All rights reserved.