W A L L E Y E   H U N T E R
Fishing Articles by Mike Peluso
By Mike Peluso
We've all had those days on the water-nothing seems to be working. Your tackle box looks like the Tasmanian devil just went through it. If it were possible, you would tie the kitchen sink on the end of your line. It's time to go to the basics, something simple.
I can't think of anything more basic then a spilt shot and a plain hook. This combination has worked for me during the hardest of times while walleye fishing. It has saved many days on the water from becoming total failures. The beautiful part of this rig is how it can be fished. You can anchor with them, troll them, and cast them. They also work extremely well in a drift situation. All baits go well on a split shot rig. My favorite bait is a night crawler. I like to use a long shank hook; the VMC 7309 worm hook is my favorite choice. I will thread the worm up the shaft and let the hook come out near the end of the worm. This will allow the worm to move freely and when a fish decides to pick up the worm, the hook will be in its mouth. This should eliminate short bites that are common with night crawlers.
Another method I discovered last summer is using plastic scented power worms on these same hooks. In situations with perch and other bother some fish it worked great! I also found this to catch some of the bigger fish of the summer. When using this method, try to keep the split shot fairly close to the hook. One to two feet is generally a good start, especially in a river, this will keep it from twirling around and becoming tangled. Experiment with different weights depending on the conditions. Depth and current will be the two most common hurdles you will have to overcome. Start light and work your way up until you feel comfortable. You don't need this rig to be heavy.
It will work best when the split shot is just ticking bottom and bouncing back up off the bottom. Walleyes will find this presentation very appealing and easy to eat. You will want to use a long and soft tipped rod when applying this application. This does two things for you, it allows the fish some give when the bait is picked up, and is better for fighting the bigger fish. With this set up you want to use light line to give the bait the most natural look in the water. With the longer rod, fighting these bigger eyes on light line will be much easier. The line weight should be 4 to 6 pound test in the low visibility class.
Try this method next time on the water and see what you think. It may pull you out of a jam and turn some of the worst days on the water into one of the best!
Good Fishing and Shoot the Puck !
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