Walleye fans looking to beef up their open-water trolling arsenal this season will do well to consider Northland Fishing Tackle’s Rumble Stick. A tough, smartly designed, balsawood trolling bait available in two deep-diving sizes and 15 “’eye-catching” patterns, this premium stickbait entry imitates larger sized baitfish with a tight action that triggers a predatory strike response.
“This is a surprisingly versatile, premium trolling bait,” says Brad Hawthorne, who makes his living as a fulltime guide on Minnesota’s famed Mille Lacs walleye waters. “You can pull it on the Great Lakes after ice-out, during the dog days of summer, and right through the fall. It flat out catches walleyes of every size from barely legal right on through the 30-inch class.”
Part of Northland’s renowned Rumble series of premium balsawood lures, which also includes the Rumble Shad and Rumble Shiner, the Rumble Stick is deadly on walleyes and other gamefish targeting larger forage. Individually tank-tested, it works equally well on flatlines and leadcore, features a responsive, heat compression molded (HCM) balsa body to ensure every lure is perfect when you take it out of the box, and sports welded through-wire construction with superior short-shanked trebles to handle the trophy-class fish it’s known to excite. A performance oval split ring at the line tie ensures a tight, responsive wobble from the minute you kick into gear.
“I absolutely love the action of this lure,” says Hawthorne, “and it’s my favorite midsummer walleye offering because it doesn’t take much to get it moving. It starts wiggling at 1.2 mph, but it keeps a beautifully tight wobble right on up to 2.6 mph. That gives it an almost infinite range across the most productive walleye trolling speeds. Throughout that range, it maintains a great shimmying action that can work on your own local lake or on bigger open-water environments.”
In addition to the Rumble Stick’s versatile action and ability to dig deep, Hawthorne also appreciates the awesome color selection, noting that “Sneeze” is his overall favorite as it seems especially visible in the waters he patrols, especially down deep and when running lines just a few feet above the bottom. “I used to buy a lot of custom painted lures,” he says, “but Northland offers all the patterns I need across their entire Rumble line, so I don’t have to go custom anymore. That’s both convenient and a money saver.”
In terms of trolling set-ups for running Rumble Stick spreads, Hawthorne prefers custom 8.5’ telescoping rods featuring Daiwa Sealine line counter reels filled with 10-pound test Berkley fluorocarbon line. He’ll troll at any speed from 1.2 to 2.6 mph, trying to position his lures just above the fish so they’ll see them cruising by slightly overhead. “These lures,” he states, “do a great job of imitating spottail shiners, smelt and regular shiners in my waters, and with a quick change of colors they can also imitate six-to-nine-inch perch – a favorite snack for the biggest walleyes.”
Typically, Hawthorne runs a selection of patterns in the 5/8-oz. size on flat lines behind planer boards until he notices a color preference. Once he gets the right colors, speed and depth dialed in, he might also slip in a 3/8-oz. size just to have a slightly smaller offering available.
“That spread of lures will catch just about any walleye that swims, especially during the summer doldrums,” he adds, “Once those big fish start suspending, they’ll just crush these lures day and night since they do such a great job of matching the baitfish cruising right above their heads.”
Northland Rumble Sticks are available in 3/8- and 5/8-ounce sizes, both priced at $9.99, MSRP. For more information about Northland Fishing Tackle Company, the Rumble Stick, and the Rumble Series, visit: https://www.northlandtackle.com.