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Bohn Slip Floats Mille Lacs Lake by Ted Takasaki with Scott Richardson


By Ted Takasaki and Scott Richardson

There’s a reason legendary Wisconsin guide Greg Bohn makes frequent pilgrimages to Minnesota’s Mighty Mille Lacs.

He’s known as Mr. Slip Bobber, and he thinks Mille Lacs is the slip-bobber capital of the world.

That’s especially true when the water temperature hits 70 and above.

“The walleyes come right up on top of the rock bars,” said Bohn,  who authored the new book, “Master the Art of Slip Bobbering: the Deadliest Method for Walleye,”  with outdoor writer Scott Richardson.   “It’s terrific.”

Bohn has spent the last 30 years perfecting the tactic that is one of the most used and least understood in walleye fishing.

Most anglers view bobbers as a secondary technique.  Not Bohn, who designed the new Pro-Series Slip Bobbers, Rigs and Snells for Lindy Legendary Tackle.   As a guide whose clients include novice anglers, he was forced to fine-tune a method of fishing that was both effective and easy to use.   Slip bobbering is it.

Slip bobbers are for experienced anglers, too, because they work.  Bohn’s guided clients have been known to catch 250 walleyes in a weekend.

“My question is, what else is out there that can catch 200 plus walleyes in a weekend,”  said Bohn, “It usually out-fishes everything else we are doing, After a while of watching someone catch fish after fish after fish with a slip bobber, it’s like, Hey, give me one of those things.”

The set-up Bohn describes is not the sloppy contraption that commonly passes for a slip bobber rig. You better think Hi-Tec rigging according to Bohn!

Most people start by sliding on any old slip knot or plastic bobber stop. They follow that with a  cheap bobber that sometimes slides, sometimes not.    They tie on a hook  and crimp split shot on the line.  Make no mistake.  That’s not a slip bobber rig.  It’s a recipe for disaster.

Plastic and rubber bobber stops have their uses, especially when you have to retie when bites are coming fast and furious.    But high-quality thread stops are best to hold at the proper depth longer without slipping out of place or damaging the line.

Toss out the those plastic beads that come with most stops. They stick, causing the bobber to stand upright before the bait reaches the desired depth.  Bohn has searched the world for the best uniform beads to insure they slide easily. He markets them as a Pro Bead Rigging Kit which work great partnered with the Lindy weighted and unweighted Pro Series bobbers.

Split shot?  No.  With rare exceptions like the Thill Soft Shot, split shot damages line and reduces perfectly good 8-pound test to 4-pound or 2-pound.

“As soon as you pinch split shot on the line and lose a 5-pound walleye at the boat, you’ll know you have the wrong weight,” Bohn said.

Instead, small rubber core sinkers are damage free.  Another advantage of rubber core, when line is snagged, it’s usually the weight that’s caught.  With split shot, that means a break off and losing precious time as you retie.   With a rubber core, simply pull.  The rubber core slides and works free. The rig also can be modified with Timb’r Rock Jigs or NO-SNAGG hooks to avoid snags in the first place.

For most uses, the business end of the rig usually consists of a #4 or #6 aberdeen gold or red hook.  Aberdeen-style hooks are best to avoid damaging bait, which must stay lively to do it’s job.  Jump to a #2 for big chubs and leeches.

Bohn also designed a hybrid between a jig and a hook he calls the Jig Bug.  It has a small amount of weight of  one-thirty-second or one-sixteenth ounces, on an oversized hook.  That helps keep the bait from swimming out of the strike zone, but it’s small enough to be inhaled with the bait when a walleye strikes.

Bohn adds another red bead above the jig, hook or Jig Bug for extra attraction.

At Mille Lacs, local custom is to use relatively big jigs of one-eighth or even one-quarter of an ounce coupled with Lindy’s Mille Lacs slip bobber.  Instead, Bohn prefers to keep the jig size small so a hungry walleye is sure to get the point when it inhales a jumbo leech.  If more weight is desired, add it to the line in the form of a larger rubber core sinker, not the hook. Bohn was quick to comment..if more walleye anglers use the Pro-Bead and Pro-Blade Rigging Kits, their slip float walleye fishing will never be the same again!

Whole nightcrawlers highlighted by glass beads and blades are dynamite at Mille Lacs in summertime, too, as well as leeches. But, if perch are around, they’ll peck at the bait and ruin its looks.  And, in slip bobbering, it’s critical for the bait to appear lively and natural.

When you’ve decided on a spot to fish, set the depth so the bait rides just one foot off the bottom.   Bohn uses a depth finding sinker common in ice fishing.  He lets it go to the bottom, reels the rod tip to the surface of the water and then slides the slip knot to within one foot of the rod tip.

Where to fish?  That’s an important question on a lake the size of Mille Lacs.   The best spots are gravel points with boulders mixed in that come way out into the lake, Bohn said.   Names like Indian Point and Brown’s Point come to mind.  Best depths are often 19- to 23 feet.

Like most big water, the wind helps concentrate fish on Mille Lacs.   It’s important to know which direction the breeze is blowing that day, but it’s even more important to know which way it’s been blowing a day or two before.  The wind moves the food chain to the windy side.   It also helps impart action to the bait.

“I love it when the wind blows over the tops (of structure.)  It moves the bobber around which is very helpful,” Bohn said.

Mid-lake reefs are popular, too, and if it’s numbers of walleyes you want rather than size they may be the spots for you.  Try Garrison’s Reef, Hennepin Island and Banana Reef.   Three Mile Reef tops out at about 17 feet, but look for several bars that jut out from it and top out at 22 feet.

Bohn also loves to drift over Anderson’s Reef.   GPS or marker buoys are a must on large areas like that.  Enter a waypoint or toss a buoy each time a fish strikes, then return to those spots and anchor so you can cast into the wind and let the wind drift your bait across the spot.

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X-TREME Slip Bobber Walleye Rigging! by Greg Bohn with Scott Richardson

By Mr. Slip Bobber Greg Bohn and Scott Richardson

Casting lures or jigs might help locate schools of walleyes in spring by plucking off an active one or two. But using slip bobbers to dangle live bait in front of the ‘eyes can produce massive catches even in cold water. Slip bobbers can increase your walleye catch by at least 50 percent. There are days when a jig won’t produce a fish but a slip bobber will net fish after fish.

What’s more exciting is that a handful of tackle companies led by Lindy Legendary Fishing Tackle have designed products for 2007 that will make slip bobbering so simple everyone can get in on the action. There’s never been a better time to make the move and get fired up about slip bobbering. The basics The problem many anglers have with depending on slip bobber rigs is that they tried them before new refinements made them deadly. The rigs most people remember were hit or miss at best. Years ago, a slip bobber rig consisted of nothing more than any old float, a bobber stop, a hook or a jig and some split shot to balance it all. But, that’s not close to a modern dependable rig. The wrong kind of slip shot can weaken line. The wrong float won’t slide all the way to the bobber stop, which destroys the rig’s chief asset, depth control. The wrong bobber stop can slip out of place and ruin depth control, too. Plastic stops can cut the line. Start with thread-style bobber stops. They snug tight enough to stay in place but slide enough to allow depth adjustments. They don’t nick the line like other styles can do. Trim the tag ends to about – inch long so you can tighten the knot when it needs it. Stick with a bright color stop knot and thread on a red glass bead so you can see it to be sure the float slides up to meet the stop every time. You need to know the bait is precisely where you want it to be. Lindy developed the Thill Pro Series floats (designed by Greg) that take the guesswork out of bobber choice. They come in four sizes and un-weighted or weighted designs. Each has its place. The un-weighted will support more weight below it, floats higher in the water and is perfect for calmer water. The weighted lets you cast into the wind. Casting with the wind may be easier, but once in place, your float just sits there and covers a small area.

Casting with the wind lets the bobber float back to the boat and beyond to showcase the bait to more fish over a larger section of water. The weighted bobbers also let you remove the weight when conditions change. Most importantly, the Pro Series bobbers are made with a grommit insert to let line to pass through without getting hung up. After three years of testing, they’ve never failed us once. Next add a Lindy NO-SNAGG barrel swivel. The unique design of the number 10 swivel boasts a larger loop at one end to prevent the swivel from getting stuck in the bobber and sabotaging its mission to set the depth. Tie on a 2-foot monofilament leader and a 1/32nd or 1/16th Bobber Bug (another Greg design) that add a very little weight to the hook to keep the live bait in the strike zone. The hooks are oversized to improve hooksets. And, they take big fish. (Greg had four fish over 10 pounds in 2006 all on 1/16th ounce Bobber Bug Snells and whole crawlers.)

The alternative is to use Tru-Turn Hooks in size 4 for minnows or size 6 for leeches and crawlers. Less weight at the hook allows the live bait to act naturally and lets the walleye inhale the hook along with the live bait. It’s better to use small rubber core sinkers or soft split shot a foot up the line to balance the rig. Neither weighting system will weaken the line. Add a red glass bead above the hook for even more attraction.

Lindy also has petite flicker blades that ride above the hook to add flash for attraction as they move as the bait swims. When a minnow or leech panics when they see a walleye approaching, they’ll swim harder to escape and the flicker blade sends out even more flash to trigger the strike. The good news is Lindy has taken the guesswork out of putting the rigs together with the 103-piece Thill Pro Series Slip Bobber Rig Kit. It contains 4 bobbers, two each weighted and un-weighted; thread bobber stops; glass beads; snells and Bobber Bugs in fire tiger and perch colors; and Tru-Turn hooks. The kit comes in a Plano tackle box with a $5 bonus coupon off the price of the book. Bohn keeps a dozen slip-bobber snells on a Lindy Rigger Extreme, which has eight containers inside for rubber core weights, knots, beads and everything else you need to slip-bobber fish. Using the kit, just slide on a bobber stop, a glass bead and bobber, tie one knot and you’re fishing. It’s all too easy. Best yet, the complete slip bobber rig eliminates down time rigging in the boat. We’ve all been there trying to rig slip bobbers in the boat.

Trying to re-rig after a break off in high wind and waves when the bite is on is no fun. There’s never been a better time to make the move and get fired up about slip bobbering. One word of caution; keep your Beckman net handy once you put the rig on your line, bait up and cast. You’ll need it. Lindy also offers snells alone that can be used as replacements when you need or under any bobber you prefer. Spring locations Slip bobbers are great early in the year for walleyes during prespawn, spawn and post-spawn. They are the slow antagonizing approach that seems to fit spring fishing. Rather than looking for walleyes, walleyes to come to you. They might bypass a lure, but it’s very hard for them to pass up live bait suspended a foot off the bottom with a red bead and a small blade adding to the attraction. Another advantage of slip bobbers is that they can be fished in 2 feet of water or 20 feet down. Walleyes at that time of year can be in either place. Now is the time to stick with lakes with good walleye populations that offer the chance of big fish. Avoid places with reputations as trophy waters where walleyes are relatively few. Go for the action. Look for the warmest water. Walleyes will travel miles to find water just a degree or two warmer.

Focus on rock or sand bars and protected places where wind has blown warm surface water. Fish can be found in a bay 5 feet deep, a mud flat 8 feet deep when there’s nothing there but warmer water. Emerging weeds are key. Elodia is the first plant to grow in 10 feet or water or less, and that makes it the first choice for early season walleyes. It’s like a carpet of fresh green leaves. And, it doesn’t take much. Several 5- to 6-pound walleyes have been caught off a patch no bigger than a boat and returning every day for two weeks to enjoy the same results.

Don’t overlook submerged wood, such as stump beds in 8- to 10-feet of water or less, in reservoirs. Fish may be buried in the wood. A slip bobber drifting past them will bring it out. Wind is your best friend. Water can be crystal clear early in the year. The breeze cuts light penetration so the walleyes are more active. The wind also drives bobber action, the bait moves, the flicker blade will turn. That’s what’s going to make the walleyes strike. Sometimes, the action on the slip bobbers can be so explosive you can’t do anything else than bait the hook, cast and catch. Anchor near likely spots. Set the rigs so the bait rides a foot off the bottom and cast into the wind. Never exceed 50 feet from the boat. Let the bobber float back to the boat and beyond. Twitch it a time or two before reeling to the boat to entice a strike if a walleye was watching it. If you found one fish in spring, you didn’t just find one, you just caught one, the others are right there.

We live in revolutionary times when it comes to slip bobbering. Recent improvements have taken an antique system and move it into the 21st century. The rig works every time it’s put in the water. It’s become a finely tuned and deadly walleye system.

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About Legendary Walleye Guide Greg Bohn by Scott Richardson



Wisconsin’s Legendary Walleye guide, Greg Bohn has evolved into one of North America’s foremost fishing educators and tackle designers. Bohn has been a pioneer in walleye tackle technology and presentation techniques for over 30 years! His Walleye Tackle Inventions include the Original Stinger Hook, Timb’r Rock Jig, Veg-E Jig, No-Snagg Hooks, Thill Pro-Series floats, Float Rigs, Slip Bobber Snells, Mr. Slip Bobber Jig Bugs, Pro-Bead & Pro-Blade Rigging Kits, and Lindy No-Snagg Rigs. His walleye tackle concepts hang on peghooks at major retail outlets across the country. Bohn considered first by many, responsible for developing & pioneering significant Slip Bobber, Weed, & Wood presentations and locations for walleye. Bohn is known by those within the fishing industry as Mr. Slip Bobber.

Greg & wife Audrey who helped him develop the prototypes of the snagless Timb’r Rock Jig, No-Snagg Hook, and Thill Pro-Series floats which are now centerpieces of the Lindy’s nationally marketed tackle line. Bohn’s NO-SNAGG Hook, & Lindner’s NO-SNAGG Sinker designed by National Fishing Hall of Famer Ron Lindner, has been hailed as one of angling’s major new tackle breakthroughs. Infact this Lindner and Bohn team was honored with the “Best Of Show Award” at the National I-Cast Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Bohn’s first experiments with the No-Snagg technology began in the early 1970s when he pioneered new tackle concepts to contend with the wood and rocks of the Turtle-Flambeau, Willow and Rainbow flowages in Wisconsin’s Walleye Belt of Wisconsin’s Vilas and Oneida counties. His success using 7-strand wire hook guards and inventing the first-ever designed stinger hooks led to his earlier Stinger Tackle Company in the 1970s.

He eventually opened the Strictly Walleye Headquarters bait, tackle & guide service business in Minocqua, Wis. Currently Bohn guides daily, travels to seminars & promotes his walleye fishing techniques full time. His new book “Master the Art of Slip Bobbering ” along with Mr. Slip Bobber tackle products were newly introduced. Lindy Tackle has just resently introduced the New* Thill Pro-Series Slip Bobber Rigs and replacement Snells for 2007.

His guiding success is evidenced by the many trophies that have been hauled into his boat. In 1994, he guided Gerald Patterson on Little Bay de Noc to a #14 pound, 2 ounce walleye measuring 34″-1/2 inches. The National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame lists the catch as the world record for #17-pound line. It also was the largest walleye caught in Michigan that year.

Just two years later, Bohn guided Tom Bodenheimer on Little Bay de Noc to a #15 pound, 1 ounce walleye that was 34″-1/2 inches long. It was Michigan’s largest recorded walleye in 1996.

Then in 1997, Bohn introduced 12-year-old Marcus Steigerwaldt to a #15 pound, 7 ounce walleye on Lake Tomahawk that was 33″-1/2 inches long. The National Freshwater Hall of Fame recognized it as the world record for #25-pound line. The fish was the largest walleye recorded in Wisconsin that year. The largest inland lake walleye taken, in over a decade!

Bohn himself holds four National Freshwater Hall of Fame “Catch-and-Release” walleye records for #10-, #12-, #15- and #17-pound line.

Bohn collaborated in the late 1980’s with Fishing Hot Spots to write three highly-acclaimed books in the “Secrets of a Northwoods Walleye Guide” series. The first was “Slip-Bobbering…” The second was entitled, “Workin’ the Wood…” The third was “Weeds n’ Walleyes”.

Bohn’s new book titled “Master the Art of Slip Bobbering”…The Deadliest Method For Walleye resently released on Nov/2006. It’s the hottest walleye book to hit newsstands in years. Bob Maciluis-Outdoor Notebook.

Bohn is a highly sought-after nationally recognized seminar speaker. His walleye & slip bobbering seminars have been visited and shared with anglers in nearly every state.

Lest you think Bohn is Strictly Walleye, please note he caught a 56″ – #44 pound, 8 ounce muskie from Plum Lake in Vilas County Wisconsin. The Muskie nicknamed “Stood Up” was boated while Bohn fished alone after his clients that day never showed. It was the longest regestered muskie caught in North America and the second heaviest caught in Wisconsin during 1993. It still stands as the 8th largest overall muskie ever caught in Wisconsin.

He has written over 150 articles on a variety of walleye, float fishing and crappie topics for top national publications as “In-Fisherman,” “Walleye In-Sider,” “Fishing Facts”, “Midwest Outdoors”, “North American Fisherman”, “Outdoor Life” and “Outdoor Notebook”. Bohn also appears regularly as contributor on In-Fisherman, Mike Jackson Outdoors and Outdoor Notebook radio.

Bohn’s corporate sponsors include Heckels Marine, Lamiglas Rods, Lindy Legendary Tackle Co, Hummingbird Electronics, Minn-Kota Motors, Nature Vision, Navionics Hot Maps, Ranger Boats and Yamaha Outboards.

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Give Walleyes The Slip! Slip Bobbers That Is! by Greg Bohn with Scott Richardson

Give Walleyes The Slip!  Mr. Slip Bobber Secrets Revealed!

By Greg Bohn with Scott Richardson

Walleyes don’t give legendary Northwood’s guide Greg Bohn the slip.  He gives the slip to them, a slip bobber, that is.

Known in the industry as Mr. Slip Bobber, Bohn has spent the last (33) years in northern Wisconsin perfecting the tactic that is one of the most used and least understood in walleye fishing. He is considered by most the master of this technique.

Most anglers view slip bobbers as a secondary tactic.  Not Bohn.  As a full time walleye guide whose clients include novice anglers, he was forced to fine-tune a method of fishing that was both effective and easy to use.   Slip Bobbering my way is it.

“I needed something more than jigging or drifting spinners,” said Bohn, who authored the newly released book, “Master the Art of Slip Bobbering: The Deadliest Method for Walleye”, with outdoor writer Scott Richardson. Bohn’s first book on Slip Bobbering for walleye with Fishing Hot Spots went into five printings and selling nearly 75,000 copies.

“You can’t teach & learn jigging in a half day fishing trip.  Heck, I’m still learning many new jigging tricks after 30 plus years,” he said. “But, Slip Bobbering allows people of any age and experience level to catch walleyes right away.”

But, slip bobbers are for experienced anglers, too. The bottom line is that slip bobbers work.   On one recent outing, an elderly doctor and his wife boated 155 walleyes while Bohn did nothing but bait their hooks and net fish.   The same couple ended with 250 walleyes over two days.

“My question is, what else is out there that can catch 200 walleyes in a weekend,” said Bohn, who recently designed the *New Thill Pro-Series of slip bobbers for Lindy Legendary Tackle. They are in retail locations right now and you won’t believe how smoothly they work. The open grommet concept is Unbelievable! “Slip Bobbering usually out-fishes everything else we are doing.  After a while of watching someone catch fish after fish with a slip bobber, it’s like, Hey, give me one of those things.”

Slip bobbers have other virtues. For one, they’re versatile.  Where crankbaits are designed to catch walleyes at a certain depth range, slip bobbers can be fished from near the surface to the bottom no mater how deep the bottom might be.  That’s a plus with a species like walleye that often loves to suspend.   “What else can you use which will do that?” he asked.

Slip bobbers rigs also can be used over weeds, wood, rock, boulders and mud.  Slip bobbers are good from ice out to ice up.  And, in states where multiple rods are legal, slip bobbers give anglers a potent way to present more bait to fish while they cast lures or drift jigs.

Be advised the slip bobber rigs Bohn describes are not what commonly pass for slip bobbering.   Most anglers start by sliding on any old slip knot or plastic bobber stop followed by a cheap bobber.  They tie on a hook and crimp split shot on the line.  Make no mistake.  That’s not a slip bobber rig.  It’s a recipe for disaster Bohn said!

True enough, plastic and rubber bobber stops have their uses, especially when you have to retie when bites are coming fast and furious.  But braided stop knots are best to hold at the proper depth longer without slipping out of place or damaging the line.

Don’t follow the advice of companies that suggest using slip bobbers without a plastic bead between the bobber and knot.  The advice is good but the beads are not. The plastic beads they provide are often inferior and stick, causing the bobber to stand upright before the bait reaches the desired depth.   Bohn only recommends solid red colored glass beads. Frustration causes many anglers to abandon beads altogether.  But, seeing the bead in place at the top of the bobber as it stands up is critical to insure the rig is working at the right depth.  Bohn has searched the world for the best uniform beads to insure they slide easily and don’t stop the bobber before it reaches the knot. He markets a unique (144) piece Pro-Bead Rigging Kit through his Strictly Walleye Tackle Company. This Rigging Kit works great partnered with the Thill weighted and unweighted Pro Series bobbers. I’ve used them with other slip bobbers in my collection and they made all the difference. Line slides through the bead and slip bobber like it’s greased!

Split shot?  No.  Split shot damages line and reduces perfectly good 8-pound test to 4-pound or 2-pound.

“As soon as you pinch split shot on the line with a needle nose pliers and lose a 5-pound walleye at the boat, you’ll know you have the wrong weight,” Bohn said.

Instead, Bohn recommends small rubber core sinkers that are line friendly and damage free.  Another advantage of rubber core, when line is snagged, it’s usually the weight that’s caught.  With split shot, that means a break off and losing precious time as you retie.   With a rubber core, simply pull.  The rubber core slides and works free. The rig also can be modified with 1/16 oz. Timb’r Rock Jigs or NO-SNAGG #4 Hooks to avoid snags in the first place.

For most uses, the business end of the rig usually consists of a #4 or #6 Aberdeen gold or Bleeding red hook.  Aberdeen-style hooks are best to avoid damaging bait, which must stay lively to do its job.  Jump to a #2 for big chubs and Jumbo leeches.

Bohn also designed a Slip Bobbering hybrid between a jig and a hook he calls the Jig Bug. It has a small amount of weight of one-thirty-second or one-sixteenth ounces, on an oversized hook.  That’s just enough to keep the bait from swimming out of the strike zone, but it’s small enough to be inhaled with the bait when a walleye strikes.  Bohn always adds another pure glass red bead directly above the Jig Bug or hook for extra attraction. His favorite bead the Aurora Borealis comes standard in the Pro Bead Kit.

How deep to fish?   Bohn starts with the one-foot rule.  In his experience, many walleyes are that close to the bottom most of the time.  He uses a clip-on weight used for ice fishing to set the depth.

Where to fish a slip bobber changes with the seasons.

That slow natural presentation a slip bobber offers is perfect for fishing cold water as walleye season opens.  He targets rock bars or newly emerging weeds.  Slip bobber rigs are great to use over the low, uniform tops of vegetation.  Minnows are best in water colder than 60 degrees.

By summer, he focuses almost exclusively on weed beds on flats and bars that host the green stuff.  Slip bobbers are a tremendous stealth presentation in dark water, where weeds could be in 5 feet of water or less.

Leeches become more favored as water rises through the 60s until they are used nearly exclusively when the temperature reaches 66 degrees and above.

As the season progresses, weed beds thicken, limiting anglers to targeting pockets or weed edges that could be 18 to 25 feet down.  Sand grass and coontail are his favorite weeds that time of year.  The edges are so sharp they seem to have been cut with a lawnmower, he said.    Concentrate on points and turns in the weed line. That’s where those walleyes are!

Bohn moves to the windy side of the lake where the food chain will be most active and his bobbers can be used most effectively.  He sets the depth one foot from the bottom and casts near the weeds, letting the wind drift the bait to the edge.  Wind creates waves too, so the bait’s own movement is augmented by the up and down motion of the bobber and the movement toward the weed edge.   “You have a lot of things going for you,” Bohn said.

Most people who bother to use slip bobbers in spring and summer at all abandon them in fall.  Bad move. “It will perform in fall just like it did in spring and summer.  There is no stopping this rig,” Bohn said.

The key is to follow the walleyes out as they vacate weed beds as vegetation starts to age by mid-August.   Plants still look green, but cooler nights and shorter days are beginning to take their toll.  Some walleyes, especially in clearer lakes, will stay in the weeds well into fall.  But, others move to sand or mud bottoms, rock bars, mid-lake humps and deeper drop-offs.   Bohn concentrates on deeper mud flats where walleyes stage to eat mayfly larvae.   He slowly drifts with slip bobber rigs watching his sonar for telltale bumps on the bottom.  When he gets strikes, he enters the waypoints on his GPS or tosses a marker buoy over the side so he can return, anchor and work the area.

By late fall Bohn targets trophy fish on deep rock bars in depths of 45 feet and more.  Best bait then becomes big chubs.  Nightcrawlers work in fall, too.  Fellow guide and friend Lyle Chapman proved that to Bohn one day by boating six walleyes over 7 pounds on nightcrawlers in November.

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Think Green To Find The Gold! by Greg Bohn With Scott Richardson

Think green to find the gold! 

By Mr. Slip Bobber Greg Bohn and Scott Richardson

(Editor’s note: Mr. Slip Bobber Greg Bohn has perfected the art of slip bobbering during 30 years as a top Northwoods walleye guide. He recently teamed with outdoor writer Scott Richardson to produce the newly published, Master the Art of Slip Bobbering: The Deadliest Method for Walleye! See the advertisement in this edition of Midwest Outdoors.)


The most exciting thing about fishing for walleyes in May and June is the explosive action found in emerging weed beds.
Walleyes wait all winter for fresh green vegetation to appear.  When it does, they flock to it, and so do anglers who know how to use slip bobber rigs.

The best walleye-attracting weed in spring is a species named elodia.  It’s an aquatic plant that grows well in cold water, so it’s the first green weed to sprout at depths of 10 feet or less.   Since elodia emerges first, it’s the first to draw walleyes. You’ll know elodia by its deep green color and groups of three or four leaves attached directly to the stem. Other plants like narrow cabbage and broadleaf cabbage, which is also called musky weed, start to emerge at the same time, but they grow much more slowly.   Like elodia, they’re commonly found at 4- to 12- foot depths.
The cabbage species feature thick stems, broad leaves, and seed heads that often reach above the water’s surface by late in the season.  They collect large schools of walleyes in open water areas and are a good early-season producer.  They also seem to attract the biggest walleyes in the system, and on many lakes in the northern Midwest, they’re the best place to find walleyes during cold fronts. Slightly deeper weeds like coontails will turn on later in July and August. Don’t worry about them now.
Lake selection is important for timing the slip-bobber weed bite.  Water temperatures of 55- to 65 degrees are best.  Smaller lakes of 500- to 1,000 acres get the hot slip-bobber bite first. They ignite in early May and taper off in June.  Lakes of 1,000- to 2,000-acres will have the same hot weed bite, but it occurs in June and July.

The north end of any body of water grabs the most sun and warms first, but that isn’t the only factor to consider.  Follow the wind because that’s where the warmest water is headed.  Windy areas right up to the shoreline will get pretty active.

Food is plentiful in weeds in May and June.  Young perch are a major food supply, and they seem to be everywhere.   Start the search by looking for large bays with fresh green weed growth where walleyes come to feed.

Northwoods guides commonly locate new weed beds by fan-casting an area with one-quarter to three-eighths-ounce jigs.  They snag weeds and tear off a piece to identify the species.
But, weed beds can be massive.  Narrow the search even more by looking for places that feature unusual weed growth patterns. They are the “something different” weed fishermen love.   Huge schools of walleyes roaming for food collect at those non-typical weed-growth areas.    They’re like a magnet, a stop sign.   For example, picture a smooth carpet of elodia surrounding a circle of taller cabbage. Walleyes will be in the cabbage in big numbers.    Even a small area with a few taller stalks amid shorter weeds can produce limits of fish.

Other places to look are shallow weedy mid-lake sandbars that top out at 4- to 8-feet. They’re especially good when wind is blowing over the top.

Water temperature supersedes the presence of weeds at times.     Sometimes a mid-lake hump without weeds is loaded with walleyes due to the mere presence of warm water.  With the right water temperature, even dead weeds may become active.
Once a likely location is identified, it’s time to put away the jigs and break out the slip bobber rigs.   In this situation, their benefit is they can cover lots of water in big bays to search for active fish.   The key is to cast slip bobbers into the wind, not with the wind.  When the bobbers land upwind, the breeze will drift them back to the boat and beyond.  As a result, weighted slip bobbers are a good choice.   They yield more distance with each cast than conventional non-weighted bobbers do.   Thill Premium Weighted Floats of one-half-inch in diameter in oval and pencil styles are good choices.  Another favorite is the three-and-seven-eighths-inch Lindy Gold Medal Supreme Super Shy Bite number 2 which allows the use of a weight or not.
For calm conditions, try the Thill Center Slider series.

Run multiple lines where legal, but don’t exceed two lines per person even if more are allowed.    Once walleyes are found, action can be swift and furious. Watching more than two lines becomes a hassle.
Always take at least two kinds of live bait along. Take fatheads and medium redtails.   But, always take a non-minnow choice, too, such as nightcrawlers or leeches.  Even slight changes in water temperature caused by the sun or the presence of clouds can alter the walleyes food preference over the course of a day.    They may want minnows early in the morning and leeches or nightcrawlers by midday after water warms.    A front that brings an overcast sky can lower the temperature again. Their menu choice could change back to minnows.
Unlike most of the fishing season, a great mid-day walleye bite may occur during this period.Work from an anchored position once walleyes are found, Richter anchors grab the soft bottom well.

If you’re convinced you’re in the right location, give the spot time.  Walleyes on the move looking for a meal will find you. Likewise, if action stops, give them some time.  Walleyes may only have buried themselves deep the weeds when a muskie passed by.  The walleyes will be back.  But, if they don’t return soon, they didn’t more far.  Simply pick the anchor up off the bottom, drift 20 or 30 feet and lower it again.     Repeat the process until the fish are relocated.

Water clarity is an issue early in the year.  Walleyes can be easily spooked in clear shallow water.  They pick up on your presence quickly.  Be quiet.
Slip bobbers and weeds are a great combination for success in spring.  Think green to find the gold.

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Book Review “Master The Art of Slip Bobbering” by Dave Richey

By Dave Richey

The Detroit News Staff Outdoor Writer (23) Years

Master The Art Of Slip Bobbering

Master The Art Of Slip Bobbering: The Deadliest Method For Walleye! by Greg Bohn (Mr. Slip Bobber) with Scott Richardson. Published by Strictly Walleye, 6087 Highway 51 South, Hazelhurst, WI 54531. The ISBN number for bookstore ordering is 978-0-615-12875-7. Author autographed copies if requested are available from the above location. The price for this paperback book is $13.95.

Slip bobbers for walleye are nothing new, but some of Bohn’s techniques are just different enough to make catching jumbo walleyes a daily fact of life rather than a hoped-for dream for most fishermen.

The author walks anglers through his daily slip-bobber routine, and tells how to measure the water depth and how to adjust the rig to put the bait in the proper strike zone and location to hook big fish. Bohn has guided anglers to two record-class Michigan walleyes of huge size, and another from Wisconsin waters. Walleyes of 10 pounds or larger are often caught by anglers using his methods.

“Nine out of 10 experienced walleye fishermen failed to meet my simple boat challenge: how to put together a basic slip bobber rig,” he said. “People who buy and study this book will learn how to do it right, every time.”

The table of contents reads like a laundry-list of exactly what to do. There are chapters on stop knots, do-it-yourself stop knots, properly hooking live bait, reading between the lines, setting the depth, steps to setting the hook, Greg’s “Secret Six” walleye slip bobber rigs, the wind factor, fishing big waves for big walleyes, anchoring strategy, drifting patterns, weighted slip bobbers, 3rd shift walleye patterns, slip bobber tools and much more.

The author describes his drifting method of fishing three lines for walleyes. One line is fished close to the boat, another is 15 feet away and the rig farthest away is at 30 feet. Anything farther away becomes too difficult to see and makes an accurate presentation much harder.

This book is destined to be a winner. It details what Bohn calls proper slip bobber tackle selection and exactly how to fish a slip bobber rig under all kinds of circumstances. This presentation is a natural for big walleyes. Walleye fishing is big business in Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and across the nation, and it’s seldom that anything really new comes along.

In this case, Greg Bohn’s new book on slip bobber fishing is just the ticket. It is brand new, packed with guide secrets and exciting to read. This book can lead to bigger and better walleyes, regardless of where an angler fishes. It is the bright new spot on the walleye-fishing horizon.

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The In’s and Out’s of No-Snagg Fishing! by Spence Petros with Ted Takasaki

By Spence Petros,Greg Bohn,Ted Takasaki and Scott Richardson

If David Letterman ever asked fishermen to rank their Top 10 aggravations, getting snagged would make the top of everyone’s short list.
Avoid hang-ups completely? Not likely. Truth is most species stay close to cover much of the time, and you must be willing to get snagged once in a while to go after them. Sadly, most people don’t. They shy away from the weeds or the wood or the rocks just to keep from breaking off. Sadder still, they often go home fishless as a result.
As Wisconsin guide and tackle manufacturer Greg Bohn notes, “Most people say, Look at those trees over there. Stay away from there! Well, I go there. I’ve been at a lake where there were only two trees lying in the water in the whole place, and I’ve pulled a limit of walleyes from each one.”
Limit your frustration with the right choice of tackle for the job. Here’s how.

Jigging in weeds and wood

A guide for 25 years, Bohn noticed years ago his clients spooked walleyes from cover before they ever had a chance to catch them. Using the standard jigs then available on the market, they would cast into the midst of weeds or brush, get snagged and then try to rip free. Bye, bye walleye.
It didn’t take long for Bohn to learn jigs with the nylon-fiber guards or Y-guards weren’t the answer either. He’d sometimes get 20 or 30 strikes to boat just two or three fish. Snag-free also meant fish-free too often.
Bohn and wife Audrey went to work to design a jig that would get through thick cover and catch fish, too. The result was the Timber Jig series.
The Timber Jig and the Deluxe Timber Jig both feature 7-strand wire guards that prevent most hang-ups while being flexible enough to let the business end of the hook do its job. The wire guard can be adjusted upward to increase the hook protection or bent downward to fish in lighter cover or to help snare light-biters.
“I don’t know of a deadlier jig on the market,” said Bohn. “It will literally go through anything.”
It’s standard ball-style jig head will literally bump off weeds and roll over obstructions. The jig’s value was proven one summer when Bohn and his clients fished a clear Wisconsin flowage in the middle of heavy weeds where fish had retreated. Bohn and company returned with limits 37 straight days while other guides struggled with standard jigs that spooked fish.
“Everyone thought I had a secret lake,” Bohn laughed. “I had 11 guides follow me on a single day to see what I was up to.”
The Deluxe Timber Jig is for rock or heavy wood like fallen timber, brush piles, fish cribs or beaver cuttings. It’s shaped like a piece of M&M candy, and the hook eye is on the front. It will crawl over anything. To prove its snag-free qualities to non-believers, Bohn has been known to cast one into the wood – not the stuff in the water, the heavy brush on shore. It’s design means the hook stays on upright away from bottom snags when cast.
Both the Timber Jig and the Deluxe Timber Jig come in sizes of 1/32nd, 1/16th and 1/8th of an ounce. Bohn explained heavier jigs tend to hang up from their weight alone. But, despite the Timber Jigs small size, they carry big hooks. Even the smallest one sports a size #6 Aberdeen. That’s large enough for Bohn to take a 12-pound, 10-ounce walleye using a Deluxe Timber Jig under a slip float in a stump field. A client once caught a 15-pounder on a similar set-up.
The lighter jig also has another advantage, it lets a fish engulf the hook along with the bait, whether leech, minnow or crawler. The light Aberdeen-style hook can be bent free if a snag does happen.
Add color with a Fuzzy Grub body. Fishing educator Spence Petros cuts off the front one-third portion of the plastic and glues it in place.
Even with the right “tool,” Bohn must train his clients to sense the difference between a fish bite and a hang-up. Walleyes sometimes merely take the bait on hold onto it. Instead of setting the hook immediately, Bohn advice is to dip the rod tip downward to give the line some slack. A 10-second wait should be enough to see if line movement signals fish-on. If a snag, merely shake it free and keep retrieving.

Snag-free hook

Bohn also manufactures a Timber Hook that sports the 7-strand wire hook guard. It comes in sizes #8, #6 and #4 to cover the gamut of live bait from crappie-sized minnows to jumbo leeches. The hooks also sport two-tone colors, including chartreuse/orange, chartreuse/green, chartreuse and pink glow. They are perfect for slip-float fishing in heavy wood and live-bait rigging along weed or timber edges.
But, as Bohn notes, “A no-snag rig is only as good as the whole package.”
The Timber Hook moves through heavy cover, but until recently, standard live-bait weights paired with it would get hung up. Enter the No Snagg Sinker, new from Lindy Little Joe.

Name says it all

A futuristic-looking snagless sinker hit the market this spring that lets you boldly go where no sinker as gone before.
It’s a tackle breakthrough that may cause fishing educators to abandon the adage, “If you aren’t getting snagged, you aren’t fishing where the fish live.” Timber, rock, weed beds, even oyster beds and coral reefs – the No Snagg Sinker reaches fish in places previously labeled “unfishable.”
The No Snagg Sinker is the brainchild of innovator Ron Lindner. It’s the culmination of a 30-year promise he made to Nick Adams, the outgoing president of Lindy Little Joe, who long ago predicted the need to go one step beyond the Lindy rig. True, the Lindy rig is still the best method to serve up live bait on smooth, snag-free bottoms. But, leave it at home when fishing in rocks and wood. That’s precisely where the No Snagg shines. A slight banana-looking bend causes it to twist free of obstructions.
After Lindner built prototypes, he kept some for himself to test off the saltwater coast and freshwater lakes near his winter home in Florida. The others he passed to brother Al to try in the northern reaches of walleye and smallmouth country.
When they took No Snagg to the water, they shared a singleness of purpose – to get hung up. But, they soon found themselves fishing with the same sinker several 100-fish days later. It didn’t matter whether they targeted red fish and snook in oyster beds or catfish amid river-borne stump fields or largemouth bass in weeds and rocks or walleyes and smallies in natural-lake timber. If hang-ups happened, they were on the hook, not the sinker. (They didn’t try it with the Timber Hook, a combination we think that you’ll find deadly.)
The No Snagg can be fished like a Lindy Sinker or a Carolina rig. It can be used as a slip sinker or fixed. Leader length varies, but 18 inches is average.
Use it while anchored. Drift it. Troll it. Anything a bottom bouncer can do, No Snagg can do, often better. Where jigs may get hung up in a rocky crevice, the long, thin shape of No-Snagg drops a bait right down inside. Come out snag-free often with a fish that thought it was safe in heavy cover.
Petros sees an application for fall smallmouth and walleyes on rocky humps in deep water. The No Snagg not only will take a lip-hooked minnow down, it acts as a depth finder as well. Use a heavy version like the }- or 1-ounce and start high on the structure dragging it slowly ever deeper. Be alert to sense the subtle changes of just a few inches that can make all the difference. Once you find a ledge so narrow that even your sonar could not detect it, hook the minnow through the back so it swims upward and away from snags on the bottom. When you feel a strike, dip the rod tip slightly and set the hook fast.
Fishing in thick short grass for crappies or bass? Petros uses a No Snagg Sinker, Lindy snell floats and a brush hook on a long leader to put the bait just above the fish.
Heaven may be have snag-free lakes filled with big fish. But, until we get there to find out, snags can’t be eliminated entirely. Still, the right choice of tackle can help.

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Deep Sandgrass Walleye! by Greg Bohn with Ted Takasaki

Deep Sandgrass Walleye
By Ted Takasaki, Greg Bohn and Scott Richardson

BohnholdingsandgrassEarly-season weed walleyes are not exclusive to America’s Northwoods. Fishermen in the nation’s Southland find spring walleyes roaming highland reservoirs over beds of moss, a kind of water hyacinth, said John Holstine, founder of the Arkansas Walleye Association.
Early in the year, Wyoming anglers round up walleyes in flooded sage brush and buffalo grass on the edges of reservoirs, added Scott Golden, a westerner and founder of the popular Web site Walleye Central.
In Arkansas, canyon-type, clear-water lakes like Ouachita host moss that blankets mid-lake humps normally found on channel edges. Holstine said some of the humps top out just below the surface. Vegetation covers the humps and flats adjacent to them down to depths of 18- to 46 feet.
Favorite tactics include running spinner rigs and nightcrawlers on bottom bouncers along weed edges. A second approach is to troll those same spinners over weed tops. Depending on the desired depth, use their own weight, a lead sinker pinched on the line or snap weights to take them down. Separate them using planer boards. Some trollers use crankbaits instead.
On calm days, it’s hard to tell Arkansas walleye fishermen from bass anglers. Both are equally successful casting crankbaits along natural pathways in the weeds. Lures swim back to the boat in the channels imitating forage. Gamefish lay in ambush along the weed edges and pounce as the bait passes by.
Golden said Wyoming fishermen target the “picnic-table bite” at that same time of year. Spring rains and snow melt push reservoirs to high levels. Water submerges spots where families will eat dinner by the Fourth of July. But, early in the year, walleyes utilize those same areas and others where weeds grow in 5- to 10-feet of water. Vegetation may top out just 2 feet below the surface. Golden runs crankbaits or spinners just over weed tops and edges. Fishermen also troll along the “stair-step” drop offs on the shore caused by water action as the reservoir levels fluctuates over the course of the year.
Both patterns may produce through June. By July, irrigation needs draw water down from shoreline vegetation on Western reservoirs, and walleyes move to classic structure. In the South, walleyes often stay in the weeds feasting on newly-hatched bluegills and minnows until the arrival of summer when they move to deeper water.

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Lindy Little Joe Releases No-Snagg Veg-E-Jig by Ron Kiffmeyer

vegcardBRAINERD, Minn. – Lindy Little Joe has introduced a new weed-defying jig to complement their leading NO-SNAGG line. Manufactured from a design by Greg Bohn and incorporating Lindy’s patented NO-SNAGG seven-strand wire guard, the VEG-E-JIG offers 95 percent snag-free operation in heavy vegetation, a prime feeding ground for walleye, northern pike and bass.

The VEG-E-JIG features a slender profile that allows the jig to slice through weeds and maintain contact with the bottom. It also features a Gamakatsu premium hook, making the jig ideal for live or artificial bait. The jig features an adjustable weed guard to allow snag-free fishing in a variety of conditions. According to Ted Takasaki, president of Lindy Little Joe, The VEG-E-JIG is designed to catch fish, not snags.

For more information on the VEG-E-JIG or other Lindy Little Joe products, call 218-829-1714 or visit


Known as a leading freshwater tackle company, Lindy Little Joe, Inc. is credited with developing many of the freshwater lures and methods that dominate the industry today. The company also offers a complete line of market-leading terminal fishing tackle: NO-SNAGG sinkers, jigs, rigs, floats and accessories including name brands such as Lindy Little Joe, Thill and System Tackle.

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“Snags No-Problem” For This Wisconsin Walleye Guide! by Scott Richardson

Snags are no problem for Wisconsin guide

Oh, boy, another snag!” Only the “snagmaster,” Greg Bohn, would say something like that.Most fishermen hate snags. But Bohn, a guide in Minocqua, Wis., for nearly 30 years, is responsible for the breakthrough that has changed the way walleye fishermen think about snags forever.

Years ago, Bohn discovered that walleyes, like other species, hold near and in heavy cover, including both wood and weeds. Problem was there was no good way to reach them. His clients would constantly hang up with regular jigs. The disturbance that trying to free one snag caused would spook fish way.

As a result, Bohn experimented with wire hook guards, finally perfecting one with seven-strand wire that avoids snags while providing reliable hook sets.

I got the chance to learn how to use the snagless jigs when I fished with Bohn last week on a flowage outside Minocqua in the famous Vilas County. Bohn explained how flowage walleyes move into shallower water in fall to feed and work deeper as the water cools and the reservoir is drawn down to make room for snow melt and spring rains. We intercepted fish at 12 to 13
feet. Water temperature was 47 degrees.

We were on a 5,000-acre wide-spot in the Wisconsin River. Walleyes and big perch were staging on sand flats littered with wood in the form of brush, submerged trees and root systems. No way would normal jigs make their way through the hang-ups. So we
tied in jigs with Bohn’s seven-strand wire hook guards. They are
available on the Timb’r Rock Jig and the Veg-E-Jig by Lindy Little Joe.

We used a one-eighth Veg-E and had our two-man limit of six walleyes by noon after launching at 7:30 a.m. Another hour later, we had a total of eight walleyes from 16 to 21 inches for the day. We also caught 17 big, bonus yellow perch. We lost only three jigs in a spot where we would have lost regular roundball jigs on every cast. If the wind was calm, Bohn would have used the electric trolling motor to move slowly over the flat while we cast jigs and let the slip-float rig dangle next to the boat. As it was, the wind gusted to 30 mph. He was forced to anchor while we made fan casts to cover an area before moving on.

Bohn uses a Leech Stick, a spinning rod he makes himself. It’s 7-foot, 2-inches long, medium action with a fast tip. Six-pound line and a jig completes the presentation. We each had a second rod rigged with a slip float, a red hook and bead and enough weight to balance it to signal the lightest tap. Those were hung over the side. The depth was set so the minnow was swimming one foot off the bottom. Every so often, the floats next to the boat would dart below the surface and we would have another perch. Bohn pointed out the presence of perch was
the main reason the walleyes were on the flat, too. Walleyes wanted small perch. The ones we caught were up to 12 inches long.

“We may have some of the best overlooked perch fishing in the Midwest,” said Bohn, inviting me back to try for perch through the ice this winter. Everyone comes for the muskies and the walleyes.”

Bohn guides for muskies about 40 percent of the time. The rest of his days he is after walleyes both on the flowages and on the bigger lakes surrounding Minocqua. There are about 3,000 bodies of water in Vilas and neighboring Oneida counties to choose from. When wind cooperates, Bohn searches for trophy walleyes on the bigger systems. The day before I arrived he had one bite all day using heavy jigs of three-quarters of an ounce to vertical jig over deep structure. That one bite resulted in a walleye that weighed about 8 pounds.

The pattern we fished and the big-fish tactics will be good through mid-November when ice forms. Wisconsin anglers in that area will be cutting holes to reach walleyes and perch by Thanksgiving.

Call (715) 356-4633 to reach Bohn to guide for ice fishing or for open-water fishing next year.

There are no stop lights between Bloomington, IL-Normal and the parking lot of the Aqua Aire Motel 400 miles to the north. Call Dick and Joanne at (715) 356-3433.