Using Crawler Harnesses to Catch Walleye

Crawler harnesses are not the basic worm on a hook. These rigs are a little more detailed and designed for catching a different type of walleye. Harnesses work best on reaching deep dwelling walleye.

These fish are typically suspended and aren’t actively hunting. Therefore, they can often be hard to incite. Crawler harnesses tend to get walleye biting because the presentation makes the bait appealing and hard to resist. Walleye are suckers for real-deal meals.

Worm harnesses can be paired up with a multitude of riggings and presentation. Bottom bouncers pair really well with a crawler harness when the walleye are suspended near the bottom. A bottom bouncer gives movement and motion that can stir a walleye to action.

To use a bottom bouncer and crawler harness combination, the angler needs to determine the actual depth to the bottom. This can be done with the aid of a depth finder or lowering the rig until it makes contact. When the sinker on the bottom bouncer makes contact with the floor, the line should slacken slightly.

Once the angler knows where the bottom is, they need to create a bobbing action with their rod. This needs to be done no matter what presentation is being used. This will give the crawler harness the appearance of a meal going somewhere. The key is to let the crawler harness move but it should not be dragged across the bottom.

Crawler harnesses are most popular when trolling deep waters. The harness can be paired with a 3-way swivel. To use this presentation, the angler needs to determine what depth the walleye are suspending at. This can be done with a fish finder or by trial and error.

The fish finder is the easiest choice but it may not always be accurate. If an angler wants to go for the trial and error method, they should bring along some lead-core line. This line changes color, usually every five feet. This makes is very easy to track where the fish actually are.

A 3-way swivel paired with a crawler harness accomplishes several things. A properly set 3-way places the bait just above the walleye. Walleye like to attack food that is just above their sight line. The swivel on this rig lets the harness move as naturally as possible.

Whether you are trolling, casting or even jigging with a crawler harness, proper speed is essential to success. The rig needs to be moving fast enough to be appealing to the lazy walleye. If it is going too fast, the walleye will most likely consider it a waste of effort.

There are many lures that can be successful with walleye when the fish are in the mood. Deep, suspended walleye are harder to appease. A well placed crawler harness can really get the walleye hooked on the worm you are offering.

Fishing for Walleye With Hard Plastics and Soft Plastics

Hard baits come in many shapes and sizes. Crankbaits and spinner baits are the most predominant hard bait. These baits are durable and produce action that is quite appealing to walleye no matter what their state of mind.

Hard baits can be used for casting and trolling. They need motion in order to work at their top potential. These types of lures can be used in both shallow and deep waters with equal success. Really, though, hard baits stand out when used for reaching deep suspended walleye.

As great as hard baits are, they do poise some challenges. While they work when used around structure or weed beds, their design makes them more likely to get snagged. Quality hard baits are not cheap so losing one in the weeds can really set you back in the lure department.

Even though hard baits have the look and moves of real forage fish, they still lack the feel. This isn’t a big problem when walleye are in the mood to strike aggressively. More discerning walleye will spit out hard bait as soon as they feel its unyielding body.

If this is the case with the walleye waters you are fishing, soft baits may be the better option. Soft baits come in many shapes and sizes. This bait is made by pouring heated plastic into molds.

The end product is soft bait that can take a variety of shapes like baitfish, worms or even insects. Soft plastics can be tainted with scents and tend to hold their aroma far longer than hard baits. Some soft bait even goes as far as replicating crescent rings on worms and scales on minnows.

Walleye respond well to the feel of soft bait. Since this bait squishes in the mouth, walleye are not as quick to expel it. This gives you a little more time to set the hook properly. This can really make a difference when fishing larger walleye that have been around the lake a couple of times.

Soft baits work well around weeds, structures and other dense areas. The hook is often buried in the body in areas that minimize snagging. Soft baits also hold up well when clunked and dragged against obstacles.

Swimbaits are the most common soft bait that may grace the aisles at your local fishing store. These baits can be used anywhere that a jig can be used. They are excellent for casting or vertical jigging.

Swimbaits come in two main varieties. The first can be attached to any jig in your tackle box. The second type has the jig molded directly into the body.

Although the first type offers more versatility in equipment it needs to be rigged properly in order to work. The second type is ready to use out of the box. The biggest limiting factor on soft baits in general is depth. Soft baits just do better when used to catch shallow dwelling walleye.

Selecting baits can be a difficult decision. The choices are endless and you never know how exactly walleye will respond. Knowing which baits work best in which conditions will help you narrow down you choices. Sometimes you need to know when to go soft or hard with your walleye bait.