Out of all the baits out there for catching walleye, some of the simplest and most productive have to be crawler harnesses. The makeup to the crawler harnesses is very basic (spinner blade, clevis, a few brightly colored beads and a hook) but really packs a punch when you get them into the strike zone of a hungry fish.
If you are the kind of person that likes to make your own baits, then crawler harnesses are right up your alley. They are inexpensive to produce (under 50 cents per rig) and can be made in just about 2 minutes a piece. One point to remember is that even though they are called crawler harnesses, worms do not have to be the only bait that gets rigged with these power setups. Minnows, leeches and soft plastic baits can all be used with the harness setup yielding good catches.
If you are thinking about trying crawler harnesses and don't know where to start, try focusing on the spinner blade as that will make the most significant difference.
Blade Size Matters
The size of the blade certainly matters (the bigger the blade the slower it spins and the more vibration it puts off) in the number of fish you will catch. Depending on the conditions you will need to size up or down accordingly to meet the fishes mood.
For example if you plan on fishing stained water conditions, you will want large bladed rigs. You want these large blades because of the disturbance they create allowing fish to find your bait in the muddy water. Blade shape is just as important as size because certain blade shapes act differently as they move through the water triggering fish. Narrow blades like the Indiana and Willow blades spin easier at slow speeds and emit a higher frequency vibration than the rounder blades and are great for clearer water conditions. Colorado blades are round, wide and spin slow almost giving off a thump as they move through the water.
The Blade Color Factor
Blade color is another factor that you need to consider when thinking of fishing harnesses. Smooth metal finishes (nickel, brass, copper and gold) are extremely productive in fishing clear water conditions. Hammered metal finishes are also very productive in clear water and give off a fish scale appearance, which refracts light at many different angles. With stained waters anglers should be thinking about colored blades (chartreuse or orange) and glow paints. Try different blades and colors until you find out what works best for you respected situation.
How to Fish a Crawler Harness
Fishing crawler harnesses is easy. Simply attach your harness to a bottom bouncer and the bottom bouncer to your main line and drop it in the water. I like trolling my harness at 1.4 - 1.8 mph depending on the water depth and clarity but have caught fish going even faster. Fishing crawler harnesses is a great way to expand your fishing arsenal while keeping it simple. Take the time to try out these proven fish catchers and you will be happy with the results.