Is there a perfect fishing lure? Some magical offering that fish can’t resist and results in a full stringer or cooler every time? No, but there’s a fishy offering that will work most times.
They call it a Lindy rig, and it’s simple, but deadly effective. The Lindy was invented by the Lindy Fishing Tackle Company (Google) in the late 1960s, and the first time I used one was on a Minnesota lake in the 70s fishing with Al Linder.
It’s a simple rig, basically a half to one ounce slip sinker sliding loose on your line with a swivel to stop it at lines end. Two feet of monofilament is tied to the swivel with a No. 4 or 6 hook attached. You can make one yourself or buy some from the Lindy folks that might come with a colored bead near the hook or even small spinners.
It works very simply, too. To use it, you hook a nightcrawler by its head only so the rest can undulate through the water. Then lower the rig to bottom, raise it a few inches, and start drifting on your chosen water.
The rig is fished with the bail open, the line held with a finger, and the rod tip held high. Drop the tip occasionally to make sure you’re close to the bottom, and wait for a bite. When it comes, drop the tip, release line and count to 10 while the fish eats the worm, then tighten up until you feel weight and strike. Like I said, it’s lethal, and I’ve used this fish finder rig literally hundreds of times.
Why does it work? Because most fish will be very near the bottom, walleye, bass, perch, and other species, and every one loves a nightcrawler, though you can use a lip hooked minnow sometimes. If there are holes and reefs, the rig will find them and keep just above them, thanks to your frequent tapping to find bottom.
And they cover ground. Lots of the ground might be empty, but you’ll find a cluster of hungry fish sooner or later, and drift over the hotspot again and again until you fill your limit.
I well remember a trip made years ago on Lake Erie when I was catching nothing around a reef using weight forward spinners. A friend and I decided to move in close to North Bass Island and maneuvered to a side where the wind would take us from shallow to deep. We started in about six foot of water and caught several very nice yellow perch and rockbass.
Then at about 10-12 feet we began picking up smallmouth bass and sheepshead, and on a small unknown reef about 18 feet down we started catching walleyes, this with no one around to share our spot. We went shallow again moving about 50 feet west first, had similar luck, and drifted more times until we filled our limit.
I’ve done the same on inland lakes and upground reservoirs, drifting until I found a pocket of fish, then hitting it again and again until I had enough. It’s hard to lose because you’ll be covering territory until sooner or later you strike gold. Try the rigs this spring and summer and I’m betting you’ll be pleased with results. I’ve certainly been happy with them.
Dick Martin is a retired biology teacher who has been writing outdoor columns for 30 years. You can reach him at email@example.com. Martin writes a weekly column published in The Logan Daily News. The views of this column may not necessarily reflect that of the newspaper.