Old-reliable river walleye tricks: blade baits and crankbaits
A few old river rats still use blade baits like sonars. The flash and wobble (vibration) of these lures signal the lateral line of fish, and brings on strikes.
When a walleye hits a blade bait, you’ll feel it. Keep it 3 to 4 inches off the bottom and active with a simple lift and drop while vertical jigging.
If you have any experience jigging for lake trout, it’s a similar motion. Bend… and snap these blades up! When you feel it stop on the fall, set the hook!
Blades usually have several holes in them. If you use the forward hole, that’s slower action and vibration. The center and back holes offer increasing action. I usually tie through the center hole, using a snap or snap swivel.
I still see a few guys working blade baits. It’s a fun tactic and way to catch fish.
Finally, too many anglers say crankbaits don’t produce early in the season. They do!
Over main-river edges, farther downstream from dams, or over the edge of a flat or channel, I’ll long-line or use lead core, especially over deep water. Slow, small, and subtle vibration is the key this time of year.
During high water levels, cast jigs into flooded trees or riprap. Fish love flooded areas in spring, so that tactic can be very productive.
Enjoy 2013’s river walleye bite!