Jul 5, 2012, 8:35 PM EDT
At times, little changes to your presentation can make a huge difference in success rates. In the walleye world, colored hooks have been hugely popular in recent years, with red lacquer leading the charge, but blue, green and other colors having their days.
But hooks can do more than just add color to your presentation. The popular Mustad Slow Death hook gives your bait a unique corkscrewing action that is simply deadly.
You rig the slow death hook like any other live bait presentation…sinker above a three to six-foot mono leader (8 or 10 pound) tied direct to the hook. Thread a half nightcrawler up the hook shank and over the hook eye. When finished you should have 1/4 to 1/2-inch of the ‘crawler dangling off the hook.
You can fish the rig fast or slow, but I prefer slow…drifting or trolling at just 1 MPH or less. Handle bites like you do with other live bait presentations…feed a little line after the bite, then set the hook; using a small piece of nightcrawler improves hook-up percentages.
This technique is becoming so popular that Berkley will be unveiling a new Gulp! offering called the Killer Crawler that is designed specifically for use with the Slow Death Hook. I’m a fan of Gulp! for walleyes, especially in waters where panfish make it almost impossible to fish live bait.
West Coast anglers have been using spinning baits for generations to take salmon, but for many walleye anglers the idea of introducing spin into their live bait presentations seems just wrong. If you are in that camp, dedicate a day or two to experimenting with presentations that spin. I suspect you’ll find it’s another tool you’ll turn to often.–Steve
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