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Bottom Bouncer

We are quickly advancing towards July.  Natural prey is going to be peaking in Nebraska waters in the next few weeks, and the bite is naturally going to slow.  Happens every summer.

In spite of that, I have heard some great reports from a lot of Nebraska reservoirs.  There is still time to get in on it.

I have stated before that probably more walleyes have been caught from Nebraska reservoirs on bottom bouncers and spinner rigs than all other presentations combined.

You know what a “bottom bouncer” is?  That is what happens when you are in a boat and the wind kicks up.

Seriously, bottom bouncers and spinners are a great way to cover water and find active fish.  However, it is a lot more than just dragging baits behind the boat:

Dragging a nightcrawler on a spinner rig is probably the most popular bait fished behind a bottom bouncer.  There are some tricks to doing that too:

Details are important!  Often they will be the difference between catching a few fish and a lot of fish; or the difference between catching some fish and no fish.  Pay attention to the details and always ask “why?”.  “Why did this or that work?”  Or, “why didn’t it work?”  Sometimes you will not be able to answer those questions.  There are times when only the fish know the real answers.  I am still working on communicating with them.

For example:  Why is a spinner rig and nightcrawler so effective?

I do not think there is anything special about the nightcrawler; mostly it just provides scent and taste to the presentation.  The spinner provides flash and “thump”, imitates a baitfish and attracts predators.  In the water, a big, bad predator falls in behind, tracking the drifting spinner.  Then, it picks up the scent of the ‘crawler, moves up, and “Fish On!”

With that in mind, there are a variety of plastic baits infused with fish-attracting scents on the market now (e.g. PowerBait, Gulp!).  Those plastic baits, especially on a good bite, can work as well or better than nightcrawlers, and are a whole lot less mess and bother.  When the pesky panfish are tearing up the ‘crawlers, the plastic baits are a great option too.

Oh, and do not be afraid to use big blades.

Spinner&Crawler

About daryl bauer

Daryl is a lifelong resident of Nebraska (except for a couple of years spent going to graduate school in South Dakota). He has been employed as a fisheries biologist for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for 25 years, and his current tour of duty is as the fisheries outreach program manager. Daryl loves to share his educational knowledge and is an avid multi-species angler. He holds more than 120 Nebraska Master Angler Awards for 14 different species and holds more than 30 In-Fisherman Master Angler Awards for eight different species. He loves to talk fishing and answer questions about fishing in Nebraska, be sure to check out his blog at outdoornebraska.org.

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