Time Honored Tradition, Lindy Rigging
Nov 10th, 2010 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Nov 10th, 2010 at 12:00 AM
Time honored tradition,
By NPAA Member 292 Kirt Hedquist
Lindy rigging or live bait rigging is a mainstay presentation in the walleye fishing world. A subtle way to present bait to the sometimes fussy palette of the walleye, one day a leech or a night crawler and the next day a big red tail chub.
I remember as young angler slowly moving across the water with a spinning rod and a Lindy Rig patiently waiting for that tug on my monofilament line from old marble eyes, I learned this time honored presentation called Lindy Rigging from a veteran angler friend. The Lindy Rig or live bait rig may seem simple, but there are many slight variations to fine tune this precision set up. The Lindy Rig is an adaptable set up, it can be used to catch Walleyes anywhere they roam with a few basic component changes.
Equipment and Rigging
My favorite set up for Lindy Rigging is a 7′ spinning rod, medium power with a fast tip, combined with a spinning reel spooled with 6lb to 8lb test monofilament. This set up should be light and balanced, allowing it to be held comfortably all day, sensitive enough to detect subtle bites with enough forgiveness to finesse those big fish to the boat.
On the main line, a Lindy No-Snagg sinker is attached to a spinner clevis, the clevis allows the main line to slide through as the fish is taking the bait, and allows the weight to be changed quickly if needed, then a bead and a ball bearing snap swivel. A typical snell will be 6lb test fluorocarbon leader 6′ in length. I use a light wire wide gap hook, varying in size based on type of bait; crawlers use a #6 or #4 size hook , minnows use #2, 2/0 or 1/0 hook depending on the size of minnow.
Snells are the biggest variable of the Lindy Rig, let the fish and lake conditions dictate the snell set up. Typically a shorter snell when faced with lightly pressured fish, stained water, snaggy conditions and fish holding tight to the bottom. Highly pressured fish, cold front and clear water conditions may require snells up to 10′ in length.
There are times when an added attractant is needed, this can be accomplished by adding colored hooks and or a colored bead above the hook. If faced with snaggy conditions a small float placed ahead of the hook will keep your bait off the bottom. Crawlers can be injected with air to float them off the bottom keeping them snag free. There are occasions when noise could be an added attractant, a Lindy Rattlin No-Snagg sinker is perfect for this application, it has an internal rattle system to get old marble eyes attention.
If you choose not to tie up your own Lindy Rigs these components are available from Lindy Tackle. They have a wide array options available ranging from Lindy Rig Snells, X-Treme Snells, Techni-Glo Lindy Rig Snells and No-Snagg Rigs. The Lindy Rig X-Treme and Floating Rig X-Treme options sport No-Snag swivels, bite-triggering attractor beads, and Bleeding Bait red hooks. Techni-Glo Lindy Rigs and Floating Snells feature Lindy’s leading Techni-Glo colors on hooks, sinkers, and floats. http://www.lindyfishingtackle.com/
Lively and fresh bait is also vital for successful Lindy Rigging, Lindy Tackle has a number of options available to care for Leeches, Night Crawlers, and Minnows. Keeping leeches at the proper temperature so they stay lively and don’t ball up when put in the water, put leeches in the Leech tamer and put it in the livewell full of water. Another use for the Leech Tamer is storing Night Crawlers, crawlers typical come packed in messy dirt or bedding, at the end of the day the boat is a mess. What is needed to prevent this, a small cooler, ice, towel and a Leech Tamer. Put ice in the bottom of the cooler, lay the towel over the ice, rinse the night crawlers in fresh water then place them in the Leech Tamer and finally lay the Leech Tamer on the towel, the night crawlers will stay cool, fresh and will plump up nice and juicy from the melting ice water that soaks into the towel. Available for minnows are a number of options in the Bait Tamer line choose the size that works the best for your application, from the 1 gallon size for the boat to the 30 gallon size for keeping bait dockside.
On the water
Keep the line at a 45 degree angle when Lindy rigging which is accomplished by changing the weight size, allowing the best control of the Lindy Rig, the weight or bait typically should not drag on bottom. Let the electronics show how high the fish are, then adjust your bait to the correct depth at which the fish are holding at. Speeds will range from .2 mph to .8 mph and high as 1.5 mph for power rigging.
Precise boat control is crucial in this presentation. Staying on various structures, break lines and hovering over fish pinpointed on the locater keeping your baits in front of the walleye. Boat control and speed can be accomplished a number of different ways, a bow mounted trolling motor to pull the boat forward thru the water is one option, back trolling is another popular option this can be accomplished a number of different ways, a transom mounted electric trolling motor, gas powered kicker or the main engine run in reverse pulling the boat backwards in the water. Personal preference will be the deciding factor how to control the boat.
When fishing keep the bail open and the line resting on the pointer finger this allows the bite to be detected in the finger, at the first sign of a bite let the line slide off the finger giving the fish time to take the bait completely, keeping the bait presentation as stealthy as possible. The mood of the fish will dictate how long to feed the bait, crawlers and larger minnows may require a longer time than a leech or a small fathead minnow, now reel up any slack line and feel for the weight of the fish then using a long sweeping motion upwards to set the hook.
As you can see the Lindy Rig is a simple, versatile but adaptable setup that can be used all thru out the year. Remember to let the fish show you what they want. Lindy Rigging has put countless numbers of marble eyes in angler’s boats for years. Keep passing on the tradition and take a kid fishing, leave them with a lasting memory.
Kirt Hedquist NPAA 292
Sponsored by Tuffy Boats, Mercury Marine, Lindy Tackle, The Rod Glove, Humminbird, Minnkota, Cannon and Off Shore Tackle