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Swimbaits for walleye at night - what is the true cost?

4090 Views 40 Replies 39 Participants Last post by  James
Just recently I asked myself, what is the true cost of trying to catch walleyes at night on swimbaits?

The Costs?


Okuma 7'11" Heavy Big Bait rods at $110 ea.

Shimano Curado 301D casting reel w/$50 rebate from Shimano

Curado 301E casting reel

P-line CXX 25-lb monofilament, 500 yd spool

Luhr Jensen Duolock snaps (85 lb

Huddleston Deluxe 6" weedless trout

Huddleston Deluxe 8" trout, ROF 5

Spro BBZ-1 Swimbait 8' floating

Owner ST-41 Stinger trebles (2/0)

Econo-Lipper 15-lb scale/gripper

Full tank of gas to drive my pickup truck all over the Front Range searching for a lake that at had enough open water for casting

Pentax Optio W60 waterproof digital camera to hopefully record success


:eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:

The Rewards?
Watching fellow CF'er BigBrown make his firsts casts with a heavy swimbait, casting reel, and swimbait rod, in the dark and cold, wearing gloves, tough it out through multiple backlashes, and make it work?

Discovering that if you bounce a Hudd off ice, it make a sickening "thwack" and you then have to re-rig the hooks? Note to self: "use your headlamp to check for obstacles before releasing the Hudd!"
Potentially expensive

Snagging and then freeing the 8" Hudd but failing to realize that the line has been pulled down into the spool, and trying to launch the 4+ oz lure into the stratosphere, causing a backlash of horrendous proportions, spending 10 minutes trying to untangle it with increasingly frigid glove-free hands and finally going "surgical" and cutting away the first 30 yds of line and drastically reducing casting distance for the rest of the night.
Painfully expensive x 1

Watching BigBrown get his first strikes on a big swimbait and hearing him yell with excitement as fish after fish takes a swipe at his Huddleston trout.
Priceless x 1

Watching BigBrown finally hook and land his first night walleye ever, his first swimbait walleye, heck, his first swimbait fish. Did I mention that this walleye was only 27.5" long, weighed between 7 and 8 lbs (I need to get a more accurate'll see why in a moment), and qualifies as a MA fish?
Priceless x 2

Making the same rookie mistake as last time and shining the headlamp on the water, only to see a very large, very fired up walleye turn away from a BBZ-1 floater?
Painfully expensive x 2

Watching the water erupt as a big walleye crushes a waking BBZ-1 floater 50' out from shore and then landing said walleye, only to discover that it is 30" long and weighs between 8 and 9 pounds (see why I need a more accurate scale? Especially given that the walleye central calculator says it would be a 10 lb fish!)
Priceless x 3

Watching the water erupt, again, this time 3 feet from the rod tip as another walleye, this time a chunky 18 - 20" fish blasts the BBZ-1, only to have it discover that when you set the hook on 7'11" heavy swimbait rod with a sideways sweep you can hook and land the fish in one motion?
Priceless x 4

Discovering that you can make 5 or 6 casts before you have to stop and break the ice out of your levelwind and guides, yet discovering also that a pair of quality gloves keep your hands toasty warm.
Priceless x 5

Switching to a ROF 5 8" Huddleston rigged "Fish Chris" style and working the subsurface bite, and having the lure get crushed out in the darkness, leading to thrashing on the surface and culminating in the landing of a second 30", 8 to 9 lb walleye!
Priceless x 6

Behold the weapons of 'eye destruction! Actually, all 'eyes were released to stalk the inky depths once more.

Checking our sums again, we see that getting the gear needed for this trip cost two people $1,110 (the gear wasn't just bought for this trip, of course, and let's not mention all the other swimbaits hiding in the closet out of view of the CEO). Was it worth it? Well, let's see...three MA walleyes, including twin 30s, a way to extend the open water season long past prime bass time, a way to spend quality time with a fishing buddy and see him actually catch something on his first time trying for walleye (at night in sub-freezing weather) and a way to spend time with the family in the evening and still get my fix? Yeah, I'd say it was worth it!

Again, thanks to everyone here who was willing to post key information on how they caught their walleyes at night and answer my PM'd questions. You know who you are and you deserve serious kudos. I generally don't ask people for their hotspots (and don't bother asking me for mine :) ) but with a bit of leg work, some pre-trip scouting, I was able to get a handle on a handful of good spots to try and the results have been, well...

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1 - 20 of 41 Posts
holy smokes! here i was telling kodiak how crazy you were going out that night you pm'd me....nice job. never count the expenses... ;)
very nice doc... welcome to the 10# club ;)
Chris, I have been patiently waiting for this post and now that it has arrived have been not left wanting that's for sure!!!!! The kudos all go to you brother........awesome would be an understatement at the very least!!! Just wait til spring time and the bass are active but the big 'eyes are still feeding ravenously in post say you will be torn on which to pursue will be an understatement!!!! And BTW....30" walleyes are absolutely awesome irregardless of what they weigh!!! :eek:
Awsome job on the eyes !!!! 2 30's in one night is unbelievable :eek: :eek: :eek:
WOW!!! Nice fish Doc & Co.!
You guys are killing me over there. Simply amazing.
Wow! That is amazing! Great job. If you ever start fly fishing those trout are in trouble! ;D
Great Report, Great Pics, Great Fish........It just doesn't get any better than this! :eek: Unless I'm the one on the rod. Congrad's on the MA, Thanks for the release.
Badass for sure man!!

Thanks for sharing
Man, you have got the best posts and information!
What an awesome adventure!
awesome job, not even the pros git two 30" and a 27 1/2" on the same trip
Holy Smokes, amazing, thanks for another great post. When you add up the toys it does seem expensive, but when you reep the rewards, definately priceless.
1 - 20 of 41 Posts
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