“Bottom Bouncing for Trophy Walleye”

by Shawn M. Koester | download and print this article

Bottom bouncing is my absolute favourite technique to catch numbers of walleye in
spring and summer on both the North Saskatchewan River and Tobin Lake. It’s the first method I learned to fish and it now has me tying hundreds of harnesses in the winter time for the upcoming season!

Here’s what you need:

  • 6 1/2 – 7 foot medium fast action rod
  • 8-10 pound monofilament or fluorocarbon test line
  • Spinning or bait caster reel
  • 1 – 1 3/4 ounce bottom bouncer weight (‘L’ shaped)
  • Clasp/swivel
  • Walleye spinner harness


  1. Fish in depths of 15 – 28 feet (18-22 feet is my target)
  2. Use your electric trolling motor to drift forward @ speeds of 1.5 – 2.5 mph
  3. Go with the current
  4. Sometimes trolling directly into the river current is advantageous
  5. Tie the swivel to your main line
  6. Attach the bouncer weight to the bottom clasp
  7. Attach the walleye spinner harness to the top clasp
  8. Let out line in the water to keep it @ a 45 degree angle
  9. Close the bail
  10. Set your drag @ medium resistance
  11. You’ll feel a scratching sensation as the weight skips along the bottom of the river/lake
  12. Lift up if you feel a snag to avoid getting hooked on logs or rocks
  13. Your rod will bend when you hook into a fish of any size

What’s a Walleye Harness?

  • A 48 inch piece of 10 – 14 pound test fluorocarbon fishing line
  • Tied with a #2 or #4 octopus beak hook
  • Consists of beads, float, blades and a clevis
  • Tipped with a leech, night crawler or minnow (leeches are the best)
  • Sold either individually or conveniently wrapped on a Tackle Buddy for easy storage, quick changes
  • Selection of colours, patterns, bead sequences, blade sizes etc. varies
  • Cost effective, tried, tested and true! (under $10 to get rigged up)