> “The nice thing about the system is even if one gets stuck it either pulls down the line or completely off. So, I always carry a bunch of split-shots, which are cheap. Most of the time you’ll feel them tickling the rocks okay. When you’re in round rocks you don’t typically snag because there aren’t many imperfections. Granite and shield rock are the tough ones…they have cracks that your line can thread or grab. Same around wood. But the split-shots typically work through all of it pretty well.”
> …perhaps the biggest mistake anglers make rigging live chubs or other big minnows is thinking you need to ride the bottom at all times. “Walleyes will move pretty far off bottom to grab a big minnow. If you’re in 5′, you only need your rig 3-4′ feet down…if you’re in 10′, 5′ down is usually plenty.”
> …depending on the wind and fish location…Bro will deploy the rig on a controlled drift, a slow troll, or Spot-Lock with his bow into the wind, pitching the rig downwind to pods of fish he locates on his electronics. In the case of pitching, he’ll often go down to a shorter, 2′ snell.
Setting the hook
> …use the first couple bites to determine the best hook-setting procedure. “If you get a bite and you pull on it and the fish is already hooked, you know they’re eating it. Don’t overfeed the fish. There’s no reason to pull their butthole out the mouth. Most of the time. I’m feeding them line 5-10 seconds. The only exception is if I’m using giant chubs – then I’ll give ’em a bit longer.
> “When I feel a hit I’ll feed line, then I’ll check before I set the hook, pulling the chub a little bit – maybe a couple short pulls so the walleye eats it a bit more. I call this the ‘tease.’ Teasing walleyes a little bit really gets them to commit. Big walleyes are like ‘give me my steak back!’ Even in tournament situations when I watch guys feed fish for minutes, all it takes is a little tease.”
> The exception is rigging during extreme high-pressure situations when the tease can turn some walleyes off. “If they don’t eat after the tease, they’re typically small fish. But bug the big fish and they’ll gobble almost every time, even during post-frontal conditions.”
Bait choice and care
> “Fact is, chubs ain’t cheap – and they can dirty water fast. Proper live bait care makes the most of the investment. I always keep my chubs in fresh water with a bubbler.
> “In tournament situations I’ll also add some U2 G Juice, which prevents ammonia build up. It also contains electrolytes, which is like Gatorade for bait. When transporting back and forth with well water, I’ll actually feed the chubs small hunks of ‘crawlers to keep ’em full of fighting energy.”
The full write-up has a bunch more info, including how to catch your own creek chubs/redtails and some alternatives if you can’t find any…