Hockey Night & Blading Baits

bottom bouncing_2What’s the connection between the NHL and bottom bouncing for walleye?

The winter months can be long and trying for anglers. The ice fishing season is in full swing but many are simply scratching the fishing itch until open water returns. We dream of casting a well presented fly to an unsuspecting trout, casting a Len Thompson lure to an aggressive feeding pike, or setting the hook on a soft biting walleye. It’s a waiting game as the snow accumulates.

If you’re like most Albertans, hockey consumes most of your evenings during the winter months. Albertans are amazing at multitasking and that skill can be put to good use during the winter months for a summer’s worth of fishing.

I love watching hockey, any of the Canadian teams. As I watch my favorite hockey team play I multitask by tying my bottom bouncer spinner baits. There is nothing like threading beads onto fishing line while you try to keep one eye on the TV so you don’t miss a single hit or a highlight goal.

At this time of the year the NHL is really getting heated up as they move further into the second half of the season and teams fight for a playoff spot. While you’re sitting in front of your TV watching the big game, it’s the perfect opportunity to tie a variety of bottom bouncing baits for the upcoming open-water walleye season.


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Every walleye angler has their favorite blading bait patterns, and everyone has their own way of tying their blading baits. However, it all starts the same. Before the game starts I get all my needed gear laid out on the coffee table in front of me and of course, my favourite adult beverage. I tie close to 60 blading baits during the winter months in a variety of colours and patterns and I have my routine down to a science.

  • bottom bouncing_1I start with three feet of 8 to 12 lbs clear fishing line ranging from monofilament to breaded line for different applications.
  • Tie a quick clasp with a barrel swivel on one end. All knots are Palomar knots.
  • Install four to six coloured beads then I install a blade swivel clasp. After the swivel clasp, install four to six more coloured beads. (Your preference).
  • On the other end of the three foot line I tie the first hook 4 inches up from the end of the line.
  • Three inches below the first hook I tie a second hook at the end of the line.
  • If I’m tying a Slow Death hook blading bait, skip step 4 and only tie one Slow Death hook on the end of the line.

Some of my biggest walleye have come on my own rigs including my biggest to date – a 12 lbs 2oz walleye that I had a replica mount made and live released the fish.

Tying your own bottom bouncing baits is that simple and it can be done while you’re watching your favorite team win the big game.

Wes David

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Editor’s Note: Wes was unavailable for comment when asked his definition of “Big Game” as it pertains to certain teams. 😉


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