Fishing the rocks on the Columbia river will teach you real fast you better learn a strategy to save your bottom bouncers and that is why this page is all about, how to save your bottom bouncers. I have been using my new walleye fishing rod I purchased from Bass Pro and it was specifically designed for bottom bouncers and a crawler harness. I use a braided line on this rod and it is one of the most sensitive setups I have ever used. I can feel everything on the bottom of the river and I love this set up a lot.
The one problem with bottom bouncers on the lower section of the Columbia river is the rocks. Up on Lake Roosevelt you really do not need to worry as much about the rocks near Hunters but there are a few places like Hawk Creek that will eat your walleye rigs to shreds. What we have learned from our experience are these simple tips.
How To Save Your Bottom Bouncers: Tip #1
If you are in rock infested waters then it is a good idea to switch your rod/reel setup. I decided last summer to switch out my smaller rod for a 8’6″ steelhead rod, added a level wind reel and only use 10 lb monofilament line. There is one line I use and only one line I will only use and that is Maxima. Yes, I am German and learned from my father you can’t beat this line. It can take a beating and still hold it’s own. Lot of people talk smack about this line but to be truthful this line helped me catch my first 20 lb steelhead of my life. The fact that the line was 15 years old has nothing to do with it, except this line works well.
Use whatever you want, but my friends have to use Maxima on their line or they will not be fishing in my boat. I want to fish, not spend hours trying to help them save their setups. So, call me whatever you want, I know that I know, this line works for how I fish walleye.
Do make sure you have plenty of walleye spinner rigs in your fishing tackle box. This is one fishing rig or setup that you will break off a lot of times before you loose your bottom walker. We do prefer a bottom walker over a Carolina set up because that wire that runs out of our weight will help keep your crawler harness and walleye spinner out of the rocks easier. In your walleye tackle box make sure you have at least 5 bottom bouncers in various weights and spinner, night crawlers, beads and fluorocarbon line.
How to Unsnag Bottom Bouncers
I learned this trick last year from my buddy the walleye pro fisherman. He will never call himself a walleye pro but when you fish a certain area of water most of your life, you are a pro in my mind. I’ve learned more from this guy that anyone or anything else online. Now here is the trick that we use to save our rigs.
Immediately upon catching a rock, we will give our line one quick pull and if that doesn’t work we turn the boat upriver and start moving quickly to get our line pointing straight behind the motors. We will then long line until we have most of our reel empty of line. We slow the boat down and set our drag as tight as we can and hold on for dear life. Eventually the line will be as tight as a drum and over 90% of the time we can save our setup. By long lining we allow our line to run more parallel to the bottom which seems to help us retrieve our set up.
If do not long line it, then you are pulling your bottom bouncer at a higher angle that just seems to wedge our bottom bouncer tighter into the rocks which virtually guarantees you will loose your setup.
Braided Line and How To Save Your Bottom Bouncers or Bottom Walkers
Even when we use braided line we will try this method but for whatever reason we still lose a lot of setups with braided line. My only guess to why mono will save our butts versus braided is probably dumb luck. I honestly have no clue why it works that way but that is the honest truth why I hate using braided line, because I loose a lot of setups in rock.
If you are fishing for walleye and working bottom bouncers it is really nice to have the longer rod because it will get you out away from the boat and it is easier on your wrist. There is not way you can effectively fish walleye using a rod holder. We are constantly moving our presentation up or down depending if we are moving over a hump or through some rocky terrain.
Make Your Own Custom Lure or Spinners or Crawler Rigs
We do not purchase walleye rigs or spinner rigs from the sporting goods store. They are to expensive, don’t work and basically can’t catch fish. Most of the packages we find all have spinner blades in them and we don’t use them. Instead we use our own beads, spinners, and hook spacing. I tied everything up to meet the needs of the crawlers we are using that trip. I will add some pictures and explain how we custom make our own fishing spinner setups. That will be a different how-to section on the site coming soon.
When it comes to purchasing bottom bouncers we like to purchase in bulk. we had been buying them locally but once I found out Cabela’s sells them in bulk we have been purchasing from them. We can get 2 ounce bottom walkers for around $13 and that is way better than what we can get here. If you want to see the difference sizes then follow this link. Bottom Bouncers Keep in mind the will reflect how many and what size you get. The link will definitely get you into the area where you can shop for the best price and the prices change daily. We purchase our bottom bouncers from Amazon but we will not pay more than $7 per for two 2 ounce weights.
If you have any questions about how to save your bottom bouncers, feel free to leave a comment below before I close it because of the spammers.