What if I told you it was possible to catch twice as many fish, with the same number of trolling lines? I’m betting that every serious troller out there would “double down” on that deal!
A simple rig fished on an Off Shore Tackle Tadpole Diver is becoming very popular among crappie fishermen and this set up can be easily modified to catch walleye as well. Let’s call it the Tadpole Double Down Rig.
The Double Down Rig is ideal for slow trolling applications commonly used to target open water crappie and also walleye. There are many variations of this simple rig and all are useful for helping anglers catch more fish by simply putting more baits in the water.
DOUBLE DOWN FOR CRAPPIE
The Double Down Rig consists of a diving crankbait such as a Flicker Shad, Shad Rap or stickbait fished in combination with a 1/32 to 1/8 ounce jig on a dropper line. A three way swivel is used to present both the crankbait and the jig dropper on a leader about six feet long. The jig dropper should be about two feet long and the leader to the crankbait should be about four feet long.
A number 1 or 2 size Tadpole Diver is ideal for getting this rig to depth and of course the whole rig will catch more fish if sent out to the side of the boat on a Side-Planer or Awesome Crappie Board.
The beauty of this rig is the jig can be rigged with a host of different soft plastics or tipped with live bait in a tough bite. Attractor jigs like the Blakemore Road Runner or Northland Whistler Jig can also be easily incorporated into this rig to gain a little more flash and vibration.
When targeting crappie this Double Down Rig is going to produce best when trolled at 1.0 to 1.5 MPH.
DOUBLE DOWN FOR WALLEYE
The author recommends getting creative when trolling for open water species like crappie. This slab was caught using a Tadpole Double Down Rig in combination with the Side-Planer OR12 board.
The Double Down Rig is easily modified to adapt to walleye trolling applications. A wide variety of diving crankbaits and also stickbaits work well on this rig or the angler can opt for using a nightcrawler harnesses at the business end. For targeting walleye the jig component should be 1/8 to 1/4 ounce models. Some excellent jig choices would include maribou, bucktail and hair jigs, plus a wealth of jig and soft plastics options. The jig can also be tipped with a live minnow, leech or piece of nightcrawler to add a scent stream in the water.
Another interesting option would be to replace the nightcrawler harness with a slow death rig. Ideal for targeting lethargic walleye, using a slow death and jig rig would be an excellent choice on those days when walleye just aren’t in the mood to chase spinners or crankbaits.
Slower trolling speeds in the 1.2 to 1.5 MPH range will allow the Tadpole Diver to achieve target depths with modest trolling leads.
SUMMING IT UP
The Double Down Rig is a simple and easy way to maximize trolling efforts when targeting crappie and walleye. Double down with Tadpole Divers and double your catch.