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Trolling Crankbaits On River Flats

Trolling Crankbaits On River Flats

Trolling crankbaits on river flats can be deadly for spring and fall walleyes. Look for flats in 6 to 15 feet of water off the main channel, or at any places where the river makes a bend.

Once you find some suitable spots, rig up with a deep-diving crankbait that will run within a foot or two of the bottom. Because rivers can be littered with leaves, grass, weeds, sticks and other debris at times, it is imperative to keep your lures free of this debris to maximize fish strikes and keep you from continually having to retrieve your bait and clean it. I find the best way to do this is to use a bead and leader system. Slide an 8 mm bead on your main line, and then tie on a barrel swivel; from the other end of the barrel swivel attach a six-foot to eight-foot leader of 10 lb. fluorocarbon, and then tie on your crankbait. The bead will catch and deflect any floating debris, and keep your lure clean, enabling more strikes, more hookups, and more fish in your boat.