Spencer Duetz from Fargo North Dakota has earned a fierce reputation for fishing tournaments on Devils Lake and beyond. Duetz also hosts the Yamaha and Scheels Kids Fishing Clinics which are extremely popular. In this Virtual Angling blog, Duetz breaks down some deep rock slip bobber tactics that have won him several tournaments on Devils Lake.
Midsummer and fall walleye on Devils Lake can often be found on deep rocks. Duetz stresses that deep boulders and rock piles can often hold big fish through the summer and fall. Finding deep rocks can often be accomplished with side imaging. Once rocks are found, Duetz likes to take a methodical approach to fishing these deep rocks with slip bobbers. According to Duetz, bigger rocks often hold bigger fish. On a rock pile, set up on the highest point or on top of the biggest rocks. Duetz fine tunes the program even further by using forward facing sonar to watch for fish moving through and around the rocks. Boat control or spot lock position has to be perfect so that the slip bobbers can be kept on top of the biggest rocks.
Duetz stresses that this isn’t necessarily a hands-on approach where you are holding the rod with this slip bobber program so high-end expensive rods aren’t necessary. “I like using a longer 7-foot 6-inch rod in a medium light action just for hooksets and for casting, but sensitivity isn’t paramount as long as the rod loads up and has the right action,” adds Duetz. The Scheels Tournament Series rod line up is a price friendly rod action that works perfect. The reel is paired up with ten-pound Fireline which helps with hooksets over deeper water. Many anglers shy away from braid with slip bobbers in part because the bobber stops will often slip when using braid. Duetz recommends cinching up the Thill premium slip bobber knots that are used with the thinner line. On the bottom of the braid below the slip bobber, a 1/8th ounce egg weight is used above a small swivel. Attached to the swivel is two feet of eight-pound fluorocarbon line and a 1/8th ounce standard shank jig. Duetz almost exclusively uses jumbo leeches.
With current and wind, slip bobbers are constantly drifting and controlling the drift is important with slip bobber fishing. When using multiple rods, you don’t want slip bobbers to cross and basically want to have an open lane for each slip bobber where the slip bobbers are drifting away from the boat and each slip bobber is drifting in front of accompanying rod. Duetz lays the rods in the back of the boat so that he can rotate rods and control the drift as an angler is constantly casting and reeling in rods especially in wind. The rod is also easier to pick up without resistance when you don’t use rod holders and lay the rods in the back of the boat.
This deep slip bobber program is deadly over deep rocks on Devils Lake where Duetz has cashed a lot of big checks fishing tournaments on this particular body of water, but this program can also be applied to many different fisheries wherever walleyes set up on deep rocks and boulders come summer.