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The Bottom Bouncer and Spinner is Great, But.....

By Mark Romanack

This simple Spin n Glo body rigged in front of a nightcrawler, leech or
 minnow has become the author’s ace in the hole when targeting
walleye in a tough bite.
The bottom bouncer and spinner rig is to walleye fishing enthusiasts what the spinnerbait is to bass fishermen. In the case of walleye fishing this slow trolling, structure fishing classic is baited with a lively nightcrawler, lowered to bottom and drifted or trolled slowly over prime bottom structure.

It’s the power of a flashing, rotating blade that draws in fish and gets them to bite. The Colorado blade is the most popular model used on a walleye rig.This nearly round in shape blade spins at slow speeds, making them ideal for rigs designed to be fished slowly and in contact with the bottom.

The “go to” sizes for blades used in bottom bouncer fishing are the No. 4, 5 and 6. Yakima’s Hammer Time Walleye Spinner is designed especially for fishing with a bottom bouncer and comes in all three blade sizes and 18 different colors. Tied on fluorocarbon line and featuring premium quality No. 2 beak hooks, the Hammer Time puts the hammer on walleye day in and day out.

The Hammer Time Bottom Walker sinker was designed especially for fishing the Hammer Time Spinners. This bouncer is a little taller than most. Designed for Great Lakes waters, the taller bouncer helps to keep the trailing spinner rig up off bottom and prevents fouling on zebra mussels. 

Available in three sizes including 1, 2 and 3 ounce models, select enough weight to stay in contact with the bottom at about a 45 degree angle from the boat to the bottom.

Great Lakes walleye love Spin-n-Glo bodies fished on bottom
bouncers and tipped with a nightcrawler, leech or minnow.
The classic bottom bouncer and spinner rig is an awesome walleye rig, but there are days when even this trusted presentation won’t yield many bites. It’s on these days that going to a more subtle “spinner presentation” can make the difference between catching a few and catching a limit.

The Yakima Spin n Glo body is a foam bait float equipped with mylar wings that spin at the slowest speeds. Substituting a Spin n Glo body for the traditional Colorado blade and slowing down to about 1.0 MPH is often the key to triggering more strikes during a tough walleye bite.  

The best Spin n Glo sizes for walleye rigging are the No. 6, 8 and 10. The Spin n Glo comes in black, white, glow, pink, silver and chartreuse wing colors and dozens of body color patterns. 

To tie a Spin n Glo rig for fishing on a bottom bouncer sinker, start with six feet of 12 to 15 pound test fluorocarbon line. Snell in a pair of No. 2 beak hooks with the hooks about three inches apart. Thread on two small beads as a smooth surface for the Spin n Glo to rotate on, then thread on the Spin n Glo body with the narrow (tail) end pointing towards the hooks. Finish the rig by tying a loop knot in the opposite end. The finished rig is attached to the short arm on the bottom bouncer and should be about 40 to 45 inches long.

Bottom bouncers are a mainstay for Great Lakes walleye fishing. Most
 days a spinner with a Colorado blade gets the job done, but on tough
 days during cold fronts or east winds like this, going with a more subtle
 Spin n Glo rig pays off big time.
Baited with a whole nightcrawler this rig has a more subtle flash than a Colorado blade and the buoyancy of the Spin n Glo helps to keep the bait up off bottom where fish can spot it better. This simple rig can be modified to fish with a live leech or minnow by simply snipping off one of the hooks and tipping the leech through it’s sucker end or the minnow through both lips.

Fresh, high quality bait makes all the difference when fishing a Spin n Glo rig. Store crawlers in a small cooler packed with ice. When fishing leeches make sure to change the water every couple hours and keep them also packed in a cooler. An aerated bait bucket is critical when fishing minnows to keep the bait lively.

It’s common for walleye to short bite and nip off the tail of the crawler or even to bite the leech or minnow in half. If this happens replace the nightcrawler, leech or minnow and add a drop or two of Pro-Cure Super Gel in nightcrawler, leech or trophy walleye formula. 

The scent trail in the water this set up produces encourages walleye to inhale the rig instead of nipping at it. On tough days taking the time to add scent every 30 minutes can make a huge difference in the ratio of bites to landed fish.

The classic bottom bouncer and spinner rig is hands down the way to catch structure loving walleye day in and day out. On those days when the bite is tough and the blade isn’t working it’s magic, going to a more subtle spinner fishing option like the Spin n Glo pays off big time.