Bottom Bouncing for Detroit River Walleye

Bottom Bouncing Detroit River Walleye
The Detroit River is well known for the annual walleye run and jig fishing. When the month of May comes, jigging is still productive but bottom bouncing starts to become a very productive method as well. This setup will also work for any body of water with walleye. In rivers, we find it most productive to go with the current, rather than against it. In the Detroit River our speed will vary from 2.3 - 3 mph. This is different than lake speed as most of the speed is us keeping up with the current. You need to go fast enough to keep the blades spinning, so you can simply hang the rig over the side of the boat to see if the blade is spinning before dropping it down. We typically go faster than "just fast enough for spin" as it covers more water, is more productive and keeps the junk fish more manageable. Drop down, hit bottom and engage the reel. Hold the rod and wait a few seconds for the rig to straighten out and pull up into the current. Lift the rod a few feet and drop a second time. After you hit bottom, crank the reel over a time or two until the line is back tight and hold on or place the rod in a holder. Adjust your lead lenghts for depth changes and watch your rod tip for snaggy areas. If you are hitting bottom a lot, you need to bring a little line in. In the lower river it's very snaggy, so you want your bottom bouncer just off the bottom. When you get a walleye on, there is no mistake. Since you are going downstream, the rod will load and be bent over heavy when you get a decent sized fish on. You don't need 30 different color harnesses. One day they want a brass back and the next they might want silver. Other than the change in the solid back color of the blades varying between silver/brass/gold, color doesn't matter much. Our Eye-Slammer Crawler Harness works perfectly for this application as it's a 36'' lead. You don't want to use a harness any longer as they snag more often. Plain, unpainted lead bottom bouncers are 100% sufficient as well. We stock a cost effective, Eagle Claw Bottom Bouncer that comes in a 2 pack and simply gets the job done. We have tried replacing live crawlers with artificials of all shapes and sizes and none of them have ever performed as well as the real thing, so we quit using anything but real nightcrawlers. This is coming from many, many years using this method on the river and trying everything under the sun. This method covers around 300% more water than jigging, so it can fill the boat insanely fast once the water is in the mid to upper 50's. In May and June, you want to have both the jig rods and bottom bouncing gear on the boat! Jigging is addicting but so is bottom bouncing with 2-4 on at a time! If you start your day jigging and late morning the bite tapers off, bottom bouncers bring life will back to the party almost every time, especially if there is little to no wind. Fish-On 🐟

Click HERE to see a video clip on our YouTube channel showing more on bottom bouncing and how we set them up. 

Bottom Bouncing the Detroit River
Detroit River Walleye
Detroit River Walleye