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It’s no secret that using a spinner and bottom bouncer setup is an incredibly effective way to catch summer walleye. Most people typically tip them with live bait (night crawlers, minnows or leeches). However, during mid-summer as the water warms up, fish metabolism increases. During this time, soft plastics can fish just as effectively as live bait. This is particularly true when running spinners in the summer.

The Benefits Of Rigging Soft Plastics for Walleye

The biggest benefit is that plastics are much more durable in comparison to live bait. That means whether you are pulling spinners through the weeds or trying to avoid perch from destroying your bait, there are many times when you are much better off trolling plastics. This way you spend more time fishing and less time rebating.

Many different soft plastic profiles work well with bottom bouncer and spinner harness rigs including:

  • Paddletails
  • Flukes
  • Elastic crawlers (like the Impulse or Gulp!)

How to Rig Soft Plastics for Summer Walleye

To find success rigging soft plastics, the key is to hook these baits just like a live night crawler. This means leaving a little bit of slack line between the first and second hook so that that the plastics hangs straight back behind the spinner.

When weeding through a lot of smaller fish, sometimes it can work well to even curve the plastic by hooking the second hook further back. This gives more of a tumble action in the water and the increased movement makes it so that the smaller fish have a harder time getting their mouth around it. Combine this with pulling your rigs a bit faster (1.8 to 2 mph), and you will get that bait to really tumble through the water. This will allow you to effectively target the bigger fish.

We also recommend you check out: How to Choose the Right Soft Plastic

Rigging Soft Plastics Can Help You Turn Over More Summer Walleye

Come summer, don’t be afraid to replace your traditional live bait with soft plastics. They’re durable, seem to catch bigger fish, and can increase your efficiency in keeping your bait in the water longer.

Looking for more summer walleye content? Be sure to checkout our walleye database here.


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