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updated: 10/10/2012 2:17 PM

Another means to an end

Another means to an end

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  • Fishing expert Ron Lindner recently spoke with outdoors columnist Mike Jackson about some new success he's encountered with the Little Action Mac pre-rigged worms.

      Fishing expert Ron Lindner recently spoke with outdoors columnist Mike Jackson about some new success he's encountered with the Little Action Mac pre-rigged worms.
    Submitted photo

  • File photoMike Jackson's tackle box always has some Little Action Mac baits in it.

      File photoMike Jackson's tackle box always has some Little Action Mac baits in it.


I don't like doing it, but the act itself often pays off.

I strongly believe there's too much effort expended in setting up, rigging, and getting bait in to the fish zone.

Of course, I'm talking about trolling. And I'm admitting my prejudice against the technique most tournament anglers use to cash checks.

While I admit trolling is the fastest way to locate schooled and suspended fish, it doesn't mean I have to love it.

And that's why I avoid Lake Michigan salmon fishing. Even though there are scads of experienced charter boat skippers, the trolling process can often be quite boring, tedious, and unproductive.

But some new information came my way via a conversation with angling guru, maven, and Freshwater Hall-of-Famer Ron Lindner.

Ron knows my great appreciation for the Little Action Mac pre-rigged plastic worm. This is the little gem that corkscrews through the water when retrieved. This is also the soft-plastic bait that helped me rack up fantastic bass-catching results for the last two decades.

Lindner shared with me how an ever-increasing number of walleye fishermen on Lake Erie have gone to the Mac to tempt big walleyes.

"They troll the Mac behind some kind of bottom-bouncer rig," he explained, "and the big walleyes go nuts when it comes into their range."

I thought to myself, here we go again, another revelation that will create a stampede -- maybe.

This wasn't any major surprise for me because I have taken Little Action Macs to Ontario several times and used them to dredge out big walleyes as well as bass. And they always worked, but the strange thing is that I never trolled with them back then. It was always a process of casting to drop-offs and deeper water.

Bottom-bouncing sinker setups have been around for a while. The infamous Wolf River three-way sinker rig has been one of the most imitated styles of bottom fishing, and it also has been used successful ly to plumb the depths for suspended fish.

Lake Erie walleye fans also have embraced the weight-forward spinner and nightcrawler setup for years and wound up doing very well. There were times when a lure such as the "Erie-Dearie" would never spend time on the wall of tackle dealers because that was the live-bait lure to have in your box.

Lindner admitted he wasn't surprised with the use of the Little Action Mac of late because in his words, "walleyes love nightcrawlers, especially when an imitator looks as good as the original and subsequently drops right on to their front porch."

The late Bill Binkelman taught the world that walleyes literally gobble nightcrawlers like pieces of candy. He demonstrated to loyal "Nightcrawler Secrets" followers that small pieces of a nightcrawler on a tiny hook would result in catches of smaller fish. He always preached using a fresh nightcrawler once it had been nipped by pan fish or walleye.

So with all that quasi-scientific research out in the open, it makes sense that a juicy-looking, soft-plastic meal will ring the dinner bell not just for smallmouth and largemouth bass, but more important at this time of of the year, for walleyes in colder water.

And despite some of the negatives rumors that walleye angling on Erie has gone downhill, Lake Erie is still continuing to furnish fishermen with wall-hangers throughout the year. There are lots of fish waiting for you to feed them.

Lindner noted that what I just wrote is not a theory, but rather an actual series of events that can be adapted to any deep-water lake or reservoir holding schools of big walleyes.

Bounce the Mac off or on the bottom and then hang on.


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