Last week we were out north of the crib in 3 to 5's. We drifted stern into the wind and pulled 4 inline boards just like we were trolling. Speed was 1.2 to 1.8. Took 4 in about two hours before we got tired of fighting waves.
Thats all I've done is drift fish using a crawler harness attached to a leader above the leader a 1/2 to 1 oz slip sinker, I seem to have best luck in 3' waves. I'm not doing it enough to invest in all that trolling gear nor do I have the funds for anything more so I have to keep it simple. I get skunked alot too. Back in the late eightys it wasn't uncommon to catch 3 or 4 eleven pounders right off Wildwood when it was still Neff Rd. it was where I was first introduced to Lake erie walleye fishing and all we used were Erie Deeries and wally spins drifting crawlers, it's the only way I know and looking forward to trying again.
Having kids I would love to know how to get them drifting. I spent sunday drifting at geneva in 73 FOW (drift speed was 1.3) with no luck but I did have one sure walleye hit. I was using a 1.75 oz and worm harness and we caught many whites but at least it kept the kids happy having a rod in the hand and not fighting in the 150 plus foot of line trying to pull walleyes from the mud trolling. I am new to the lake and really interested in anyone having any success. I know every trip I will be trying different ways to get them and my kids appreciated the try. I keep trying to teach them patience and find my own being tested but I wouldn't change it at all.
To be successful at drifting you need to work the bait. You need to "locate" the fish just like trolling If the fish are at 30 feet in 40 feet of water and you're fishing the bottom, you're under the fish and won't get a bite. Locate fish on your sonar and then try to get your bait in that zone. Be aware of where your bait is -- on bottom, half way back to the boat, near the boat and then try to target that area. Use a count down and try to repeat what catches fish. Just dragging a bait will catch some fish (most times) but working at catching will give you a lot more fish.