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Rigging with Drift Control
By Ted Takasaki and Bob Riege

The edge of a specific structure is a great place to start looking for fall walleyes.   These edges form breaks, which almost act like barriers to hold fish a little longer to feed before they move on.   These are physical boundaries  between shallow food producing areas and deep water areas of the lake.  Here schools of active walleyes meet concentrations of food and often this is a prime fishing area. By fishing the edges of weeds, drop-offs and structure like rocks, you will increase your chances of finding a funnel point where fish concentrate.  These spots vary but are based on  factors like: water temperature, availability of baitfish, oxygen, light level, structure and schooling tendencies.  Success rests with proper presentation.  Once you have located the edge and fish, the next step is to entice them to bite.  Your bait presentation will depend upon the specific edge that you have selected.   If the walleyes are directly below and concentrated on a physical edge you can backtroll a livebait rig, jig, or use a
bottom bouncer rig, keeping the bait among the fish you see on the depthfinder.  If you find the fish strung out along the edge, keep the bait moving and they will bite.  If they're clumped up in one spot, hover over them and vertically jig them. Rocks also attract fish, try rocky shorelines.  Rock piles, humps or where rocks and weeds meet or are intermixed, work it over thoroughly with a jig or live bait presentation.  Try to determine where fish are
holding.  Keep asking yourself the question what is their pattern? Drifting the breakline on a windy day is a way to catch trophy walleyes.  The tackle is simple and the methods are easy to learn.
First, use jigs tipped with a crawler, leech or minnow. Terminal tackle
for a live bait rig usually includes a walking sinker threaded onto the
line on top of a barrel swivel . 

Traditional Lindy Rig
Lindy Rig 
Keep the sinker weight as light as possible, yet heavy enough to let you feel the weight along the bottom. Usually 1/4 to 1/2 ounce sinkers should be adequate for shallow water fishing From the opposite end of the swivel run a 2 to 4 foot snell of 6 to 8 pound test monofilament.  Adjust the distance of your live-bait rig from the bottom according to water clarity.  In stained water the fish will be tight to the bottom so the rig should run closer to the bottom.  Just the opposite frequently holds true in clear water

I prefer to use the Lindy Rig in this case because it allows me the versatility of getting the live bait right in the face of suspended walleyes.  A plain hook, or the new colored hooks are great, usually number 6 or number 8 finishes off the rig except for the bait.

Lindy Little Joes No-Snagg  sinkers

Lindy No-Snagg Sinker

The Lindy No-Snagg Sinker replaces traditional slip sinkers.  I want to fish as vertically as possible and the Lindy No-Snagg on a 3-way swivel gives me the control that I desire.  The ability to maintain bottom
contact, sense of feel and interpret changes in bottom conditions is essential for success. Lift and hold your sinker slightly off the bottom most of the time,
keeping the bait near bottom and to feel the changes, such as transitions from rock to sand or mud.  Deep fish like to lie along changes in bottom composition were the harder bottom of a dropoff joins the softer bottom of the basin.  Pay particular attention to such
changes along prominent points that gather walleyes.
This same technique can be applied to a vast majority of some of the biggest and toughest walleye waters around.  For example, the No-Snagg Sinker can be used in heavy current like a river especially if you are
concentrating on the rip rap.  This slip sinker will work all day long around the massive boulders. 
Pay particular attention to such changes along prominent points that gather walleyes. This same technique can be applied to a vast majority of some of the
biggest and toughest walleye waters around.  For example, the No-Snagg
Sinker can be used in heavy current like a river especially if you are concentrating on the rip rap.  This slip sinker will work all day long around the massive boulders.  The sinker will fall in between the crevices and cracks where the walleyes fighting the current are resting or waiting in ambush for their next meal.  It works especially well on Western and Southern big reservoirs where you have rock shale or stump fields that were next to impossible to fish before.
To determine proper snell length, I keep a close eye on my Bottom Line
sonar unit.  If the fish are detected three feet off the bottom, try a snell length of 4 1/2 or 5 feet.  If the fish are detected just a foot or so up, drop down to an 18 or 20 inch snell. As I mentioned previously the success of rigging is determined on your presentation.  Boat control becomes part of your presentation when you are rigging especially in windy conditions.  If the edges of structure
is where you want to fish then a Drift Control Sea Anchor helps me stay
on the edges of this structure. 
MinnKota Maxxum 101 bow mount trolling moto4r
Minnkota 101
Ranger 2000 620VS the ultimate fishing machine
I  operate my Ranger 620 from the bow with my  Minnkota 101 Maxxum bow-mount motor.  If I am following an inside turn, or sitting on top of a break line I can maneuver my boat by using the drag that I receive from the Drift Control Sea Anchor.

Use with you bow mounted electric 
trolling motor by tying to the stern 
of the boat.  This adds more precise
boat control and allows you to follow
the contour of the shoreline or hold on 
Drift Control Sea Anchors the Walleye pros choice for boat control and safety
Sea Anchors Click here to enter free drawing 
The Drift Control will allow me to make subtle changes and I will not over steer my position.  To keep in contact with the specific structure I will deploy the sea anchor off the stern of my Ranger boat.  It gives the stern that added control in windy and wavy conditions.  Usually, I will tie the Drift Control Sea Anchor off short so it will not interfere with fishing lines or the netting of the fish, but still give me the added control of staying on structure.

The Drift Control wind sock
Makes backtrolling more precise. 
Tie the sock  to the bow to prevent 
swaying.  You will enhance boat control 
and fish your pattern not the winds. 
If your motor fails in high winds tie the 
sock to the bow using a long tow rope 
and increase your safety by keeping the 
bow headed into the wind
If you are a backtroller and you want the same type of control rigging then you will want to tie the Drift Control Sea Anchor off the bow of the boat.  It will prevent the bow from swinging in the wind and keep you on the specific structure.  Try this method when you are using spinners along a breakline and you will see that you are fishing more than steering. I prefer the Drift Control Sea Anchor over all the other drift socks on the market today, because of the ease of deployment and the compact method of storage.
 Using this in conjunction with the rigging methods
describe before and you will have a winning combination. Hope to see you
soon on the water!

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