Try Gulp! Crawlers on Spinners

Over the past couple of seasons I have developed a real confidence in Gulp! 6-inch Nightcrawlers in the natural color, especially when fishing spinners for summer walleyes. My advice to anglers – use them when the fish are biting very well. Also, when you are having to deal with “trash” fish like sheepshead, white perch, gobies, white and yellow bass continuously stealing your real crawlers, fish the Gulp! instead of live bait. You’ll appreciate how effective they are, and you’ll save time not having to re-bait constantly.

Total Solutions Technique

Fishing spinners for walleyes is a warm-water game. From early summer through early fall, a spinner harness dressed with a crawler (or better yet a Gulp! Nightcrawler) is one of the most productive tactics for finding and catching walleyes. The type of structures and locations you fish however can make a difference in how you present the spinners.

I’ve modified my spinner tactics for catching fish in weeds. I built special harnesses with two number 4 hooks. I run the hooks all the way thru the Gulp! crawler, then pull them back so the hook point is in the crawler’s body. With the standard five or six beads and a # 3 to a # 5 blade, trailing a bullet sinker by 3-feet, this rig can be snaked along the weed-tops. The key is tickling the weeds, and adjusting the weight (heavier in spring to get the rig deeper to the emerging weeds; lighter when the weeds sprout many feet from the bottom). It also works alongside the weeds. Speed with a bow mount or drifting with a sock should be about 1 to 1.5 mph.

In open water scenarios, where the fish are suspended, I run a similar rig, but instead of running the back hook into the middle of the crawler, I only skin-hooked it. In the Great Lakes, this is a quality presentation in April and May, and works in natural lakes all summer, right into fall.

Total Solutions Equipment

As I mentioned the key bait used for these spinner applications is the Berkley GULP! 6 inch Nightcrawlers in Natural color. Numerous times when fishing tournaments, my amatuer partners tell me, “I’m going to get me some of those!” As for trolling equipment, I use 8 ½ foot Berkley Heritage trolling rods(model BTH861M-M) with line-counter reels.  My main line for pulling spinners is Berkley Sensation in 10 pound test.


Berkley® 6 inch GULP!® Nightcrawler

Berkley® Heritage™ Rod

Berkley® Trilene® Sensation®