Wait, don’t toss out those dead minnows! Here’s how to give floaters a second life to still catch fish
Dead minnows really shine when trolled in conjunction with spinning harnesses and spoons. Here, my go-to walleye technique is to lip-rig a dead floater on each hook of a standard worm harness and troll it at low speeds, just as you would with a crawler. The difference is the minnows will swim and sway independently, adding plenty of erratic action to the presentation. I’ve caught loads of walleye over the years on this set-up, including some of my personal best fish. Dead minnows also work exceptionally well on single-hook harnesses.
If the fish aren’t hitting a double-hook rig, I dial down the action using a single-hook spinning lure enhanced with a stinky floater. For example, I catch piles of trout and walleye trolling at depth with a Lucky Strike Victor Spoon Spinner and a dead minnow. An undulating Williams Wabler is also a beautiful thing with a floater lip-hooked on one barb of the treblehook. This deadly combo has been just the ticket on many occasions when lethargic suspended lakers need a little extra incentive.