Save 40% Off An Annual Plan
Enter Code: SAVE40
Save 40% Off An Annual Plan
Enter Code: SAVE40

Bottom bouncing is no secret to walleye fishing, but doing it with beef heart might be for you. Traditional bottom bouncing consists of a simple setup including a weight (the bottom bouncer), a leader and bait. The leader is often a classic spinner tipped with crawlers, minnows or plastics mimicking these types of bait. Often times, the biggest issue with using “real” bait is its lack of durability. This can become quite the issue for catching fish when you are setup trolling without bait on the end for a long time.

However, for those times real bait is necessary, there can be no better option than strips of beef heart. It’s a tougher and more sustainable solution that allows me to keep my line in the water for longer.

I was originally introduced to this method from a seasoned guide, John Wolters (Bakers Narrows Lodge), who uses it religiously during his long days as a walleye guide. After a successful trip, I decided to bring it home and share its application with my fellow midwest anglers. Below I go through exactly how to get it, why you need it and how to use it, so you are ready to get more out of bottom bouncing the next time you are on the water.

You can bulk buy spinners at Lurenet with 15% off using nicole15 at lurenet.com. I buy these and these to get me by all summer long.


Ana On Ice Bottom Bouncing Walleye with Beef Heart

Beef heart isn’t exclusive to bottom bouncing. In fact, it can be used on multiple presentations. The reason it’s become a favorite for bottom bouncing has much more to do with its durability than innovation. Beef heart works well because:

  1. It can be cut to resemble a nightcrawler
  2. It’s tougher than a nightcrawler and therefore stays on your hook longer
  3. It’s affordable (once you find it)
  4. It’s easy to transport
  5. Its scent, flavor, and texture is “real” compared to just plastics.

Sometimes the most durable baits are the best to fish with.


Once you decide you want to give beef heart a try, you’ll need to figure out where to get it. There is a good chance that you won’t find beef heart at your everyday grocery store, let alone a bait shop. However, there are places in your community that will have it if you put some effort into looking for it.

In most instances, you are going to have to hunt down a meat processor/butcher or meat specialty store. Many places have local smokehouses or barbecue stores that also do their own processing. These are good places to start looking. Talking to a local farmer is another option, as they may have customers who don’t request the heart after being butchered. Once you find where to get one, I highly recommend stocking up.


Although beef heart could probably be used in multiple ways, for this instance, we need it to replicate nightcrawlers. Therefore, the strips must be slender, long, and able to be put on a spinner or harness.

All you will need to achieve this (other than your traditional fishing equipment) is:

  • Beef Heart
  • Knife
  • Scissors
  • Spinner & Bottom Bouncer for trolling.

It doesn’t get any more simple than that.

1. Cut the beef heart into long pieces

Cutting the Beef Heart

Cutting up beef heart is as easy as it sounds. Take a package of thawed beef heart out on the boat with you, or cut it up beforehand. Find a knife and start cutting the beef into long, thin strips. Remember, the key here is to make the beef resemble a night-crawler.

2. Take a pair of scissors to cut it into multiple narrow strips

Cutting the Beef Heart into Strips

It’s going to be hard to get it thin and precise with a knife, that’s why scissors are important. Once you have the beef heart cut into sections, you are going to thin those sections even more with a pair of scissors.

3. Attach it to a spinner/bouncing setup

Using a Spinner and Beef Heart!

Once you have a long, thin piece of beef heart ready, it’s time to hook it on to your spinner. If you are using a traditional single hook spinner, make sure to hook the meat securely on one end. If you are using a worm harness, then connect both hooks to the piece – just as you would with a nightcrawler.

4. Get out there and troll (watch out walleye!)

That’s it. It’s pretty simple, right? The best part is that once you have your beef heart strip attached, it’s going to take a lot of trolling to lose. This, of course, helps limit the amount of time your lure is out of the water; therefore improving your odds of catching more fish.


Of course, with all fishing, there isn’t a “one size fit’s all” solution. However, if you are looking for another tool to add to your tackle box, then beef heart is a perfect addition for you. It’s cheap, tough, easy to use, and best of all – it’s unique. It’s the perfect bait to try when you need to grind it out all day to catch that walleye!


Leave A Reply

Enjoying this post?

Get your full access pass to our members-only tips, fishing reports, gear guides, and more, by becoming a member today.