Brad Hawthorne shares some invaluable tips that will help you have more success trolling crankbaits for walleyes this season, especially if you’re venturing out onto the Great Lakes.
Planer board spreads are a staple of great lakes walleye fishing and can really be an effective way of covering water with crankbaits to catch big fish. The Northland Rumble Series Rumble Stick in #5 “sneeze” color was the top producer but there are a few things to know before setting out to attempt this yourself.
Brad says this particular big crankbait tactic is setup for 60 degree water or less on either side on the season both early and late. Use your electronics to find fish and set your depth to match where your most active fish are in the water column. in a spread you might have 6 baits at 4 or 5 different depths but Hawthorne prefers to set more lines near the top end of the fish versus the bottom end of where he’s marking fishing.
Important factors when trolling crankbaits for walleyes vary greatly depending on the day, speed of the troll, color, size, profile, all can make a difference in a good day versus a great day on the water. brad likes to experiment with color specifically as his first change he makes when he’s marking fish. he keeps the bait 1-3 feet above the fish he’s marking and then once he feels like he has color dialed in then his speed is the next biggest factor. One of the biggest mistakes people make is trolling too fast and he says that he uses his trolling motor rather than kicker or big motor because it’s easier to control and he can troll slower.
This bite is extremely unique and one that everyone should experience. Don’t be afraid to experiment and use every opportunity to learn and adjust because it will lead to more fish.