Pulling spinners for walleyes can be a very effective way of putting fish in the boat during the heat of summer. You can buy spinner harnesses already assembled or make your own.
Tying My Own Spinner Harnesses
When tying my own spinner harnesses, I like to use Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon line in 14-pound test. The line is strong, abrasion resistant, and nearly invisible to the walleye.
Choosing the Fishing Hook:
Hook selection is also very important when tying your own spinner. Try using a #2 Mustad Ultra Point Double Wide Fine Wire Livebait hook (model 10548R – Red color) on the front, and a #4 Mustad Elite Triple Grip Treble Hook (model TG58BLN – Black Nickel color) on the back.
Adding the Beads:
The next step is adding 6mm - 8mm round beads. You want to put enough beads on the harness so that the blade you are using will clear the hook. Top the beads off with a quick-change clevis to make it easy to switch blades out when you are on the water. Then tie on a #2 swivel so you can attach the spinner harness to your line.
Picking the Right Blades:
The next choice you have to make is what kind of blade to put on. If you are fishing a lake with smaller walleyes, you should use a #2 blade. On lakes with larger walleyes, you will want to use a bigger blade, such as a #6.
There are several styles of blades on the market, with each giving off a unique vibration. The two most common types for walleye spinners are Colorado like the Bass Pro shops XPS Walleye Angler Colorado blades and Indiana like the Bass Pro Shops XPS Custom Spinnerbait blades. Other frequently used blades are the Chopper (pear-shaped) and Hatchet (sickle-shaped) blades.
Choosing the Right Color Walleye Spinnerbait
As always, it depends on the condition of the water. Generally, gold and silver metallic spinnerbaits work best in clear waters, while bright colors like chartreuse and orange tend to work best in cloudier water. Blades with a holographic finish combine the best of both worlds, utilizing both colors and metallics. The Bass Pro Shops XPS Walleye Angler line of blades has a great selection of holographic patterns.
Get Your Bait in Front of the Fish
Now that you have your bait ready, you need to get it in front of the fish. One way to get the spinner to the right spot in the water column is with the Off Shore Tackle Pro Weight System. Using the Snap Weight option, if you clip a 2oz. weight to the line 50 feet in front of the spinner, then let out another 50 feet of line, your spinner will run about 22-25 feet down. You can vary your depth by adjusting the size of your weight.
Another way to get your spinner in “the zone” is with an inline weight such as the Bass Pro Shops Fish Weights. These weights are shaped like bait fish with a holographic finish. In addition to taking your bait to the fish, they also act as an attractant ahead of the spinner.
I use Off Shore Tackle OR-12 Side Planer inline boards to move the baits away from the boat. You will want to run the lighter weights on the outside and heavier weights on the inside.
The speed at which you pull your spinners will also vary. There are days where the fish will want the blade barely spinning, and others where they will want them to be moving faster. I have found 1.2-1.5mph to be a speed that consistently gets bites.
Editor’s Note: If you have questions or comments on this or other articles of mine you may have read, contact me through the website The NextBite.