How to Rig a Bottom Bouncer

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Bottom bouncer rigs are frequently used when fishing for walleyes and can be extremely effective under the right conditions. A bottom bouncer consists of a section of slender wire that is weighted at the lower end. Such a configuration allows an angler to present live bait just off the bottom of a lake or river without the bait becoming snagged as it is dragged along.

Items you will need

  • Rod

  • Reel

  • Fishing line

  • Bottom bouncers

  • Snelled hooks

  • Bait

  • Snap swivels

Assemble your rod and reel and run the fishing line through the rod guides. The fishing line you use for fishing bottom bouncers should be at least 10- to 15-lb. test line.

Attach your line to the bottom bouncer of your choice using an improved clinch knot. As a general rule, add 1 ounce of weight to your bottom bouncer for every 10 feet of depth you plan to be fishing at. For instance, use a 1 oz. bottom bouncer when fishing in 10 feet of water and a 2 oz. bottom bouncer when fishing in 20 feet of water. You should probably use a 3 oz. bottom bouncer when fishing at depths beyond 20 feet.

Attach a snap-swivel to your bottom bouncer. Thread the eye of the snap-swivel onto the O-shaped wire portion of the bottom bouncer.

Attach a snelled hook to the snap-swivel by unhinging the snap portion of the swivel, threading the swivel's wire through the loop of the snelled hook, and closing the snap portion of the swivel. The monofilament line portions of snelled hooks used with bottom bouncers should not be more than 3 feet in length.

Attach your bait of choice to the snelled hook. Your bottom bouncer rig is now ready for fishing.


  • Check that the snelled hooks you are using are lighter than your main fishing line. That way, if the snelled hook does snag on the bottom you will be able to break the snelled line and retrieve your bottom bouncer without losing the rest of your fishing tackle.


  • If you are fishing with snelled hooks with longer lengths of monofilament line, consider using a live bait floater to keep your bait from snagging on the bottom of the lake or river.


About the Author

Jaysen Oldroyd received his juris doctorate degree from Brigham Young University in 2003 and has been writing professionally for two years. He previously published articles in the "Harvard Latino Law Review" and the "BYU Journal of Public Law." More recently, Jaysen has written and published a number of online articles pertaining to various forms of outdoor recreation.

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