A couple of weeks ago, my father, brother, uncle, brother-in-law, and I made the short (albeit adventurous) journey from our homes, in Boise, Idaho, to the Columbia River, where we chased walleyes and sturgeon in the few miles between the Dalles and John Day dams. We trolled bottom-bouncer rigs with 4- to 6-foot crawler harnesses attached to the trailing swivel downriver in 15- to 20-feet of water.
The five of us are not exactly petite men, and even though we fished from a wide, 26-foot Alumaweld boat, we did a fair amount of shuffling around, especially when netting fish. Fortunately, the outfitter was organized, especially when it came to the tackle trays under the gunwale. One of his homemade tackle-organizing items was a plush paint-roller cover.
To keep crawler harnesses from tangling, press the end that attaches to the bottom bouncer against the roller. Then, with your other hand, tightly wrap the monofilament around the roller, which should compress the plush material. Once the rig is neatly coiled, embed the hook into the fibers.
Replaceable paint rollers are inexpensive and available at nearly every home-improvement store. For a few bucks, you can keep just about any long monofilament, or wire, rigging system neatly organized and stored. Plan ahead and wrap different harness colors onto one roller so you can swap out schemes depending on the fishes’ preference.