Late Summer Break line Bass and Walleyes

By Dave Duwe - August 1, 2007

When the hot summer days entrench southeastern Wisconsin, I switch to my favorite presentation: the Lindy rig. The Lindy rig is otherwise known as "rigging". This method is one of the most effective ways to present live bait in deep water.

Similar to buying a home, the key is location, location, location. All break lines are not created equal. In the dog days of summer I look for hard bottom associated with weeds. Some of these spots can be as small as 10 ft. by 10 ft. These prime locations will school the largemouth bass and the walleyes. I have several key areas where I fish that you can literally catch one fish right after the other.

The rig is a simple one; a 1/16 oz or 1/8 oz Lindy sinker and a small Mustad Kahle hook on an 18 inch leader. I peg the sinker with a small split shot. The split shot is more effective than a swivel because if you have to cut a deeply hooked fish, you simply slide the split shot up the line again to create the leader length. With rigging I prefer to use a night crawler or leech. I will always use a whole crawler. I am a firm believer in - big bait, big fish. I will almost always use 8 lb Silver Thread due to the heavy weeds. A lighter line will break if the fish takes you into the weeds. I like to use a 6'6" medium heavy spinning rod with an Abu Garcia Cardinal 3 spinning reel.

The best way to find the hard bottoms is to follow and trust your electronics. I use a Vexilar Edge 3 color graph. The color graph will show the contrast in the bottom hardness. Once you find the location I will vertically present the live bait right on bottom. I will experiment on the leader length, sometimes they will be 3-4 ft long. I will always fish with the bale open. When I get a strike, I release the line giving the fish about 6 ft of line.

Given enough time, I will reel the slack line in and when there is weight I will set the hook. Prematurely setting the hook will cost you a ton of money in bait. With enough practice there is no way you can mistake being bit. I will always try to keep my line vertical with bottom; this makes it easier to detect a bite and also helps work the bait through the weeds. The weight is determined by the wind, the stronger the wind the heavier the weight is a good rule of thumb. This presentation will produce walleyes, large and smallmouth bass and blue gills.

As like most fishing, the key is location. I like working water depths from 20-28 ft of water depending on the density of the weeds on the weedline. I will always work into the wind, this helps with boat control. Working into the wind also helps keep your presentation slow and deliberate. Look for little turns in the weedline, those turns with the right bottom can produce a lot of fish. As previously mentioned, hard bottom with scattered weeds is the best.

"Rigging" is one of the best late summer techniques you can employ, with some practice it will increase your catches.

Author Dave Duwe
Dave Duwe
Full-time guide Dave Duwe owns and operates Dave Duwe's Guide Service, featuring the lakes of Walworth County, WI. Dave has been guiding for over 20 years and is one of Southeastern Wisconsin's best multi-species anglers. Dave is an accomplished outdoor writer and seminar speaker. He is a member of the Great Lakes Outdoor Writers Association and Walworth County Visitor Bureau. Sponsors include: Lund Boats(Jerry's Sport Service Inc.), Mercury Marine, Arkie Jigs, and Vexilar Marine Electronics, a pro-staff member of Minn-Kota trolling motors,Hummingbird graphs, Cannon downriggers, Lindy, Pure Fishing and All Terrain Tackle. For more information, please check out Dave's website www.fishlakegeneva.com .