Walleye Fishing in Layman's Term
Ever heard of walleye jigging? In simple words, it is a method of fishing that has been used since time immemorial, which has evolved over time and been to modern-day's fishing techniques. In Layman's terms, it is a fishing method or technique where hooks attached to artificial lures are utilized to draw in and catch fish. The jigging lures are intended to look like little fish from which the walleye species ordinarily feed. Thusly, a fiberglass post telescopes down and pins your boat to the base. Needless to say, this is a much easier and calmer option in contrast to anchoring. Don't you think so, too?
Otherwise, you can simply think of "jigging" as a fishing practice involving a fishing lure called a jig. This so-called jig comprises a lead sinker with a guide shaped into it and is generally covered by a delicate body to draw in fish. Anything else that you should know is that jigs are intended to create a jerky and vertical motion. This is in contrast to spinnerbaits, which move through the water horizontally.
To synthesize, Walleye can surely be a difficult fish to target —but who here doesn't love a little challenge? You know how they say, the harder the fish to catch, the tastier they get when caught. The challenge and their delightful fillets definitely get a huge number of fishers going. While we can't promise to make Walleye fishing simple for you, we can make it more straightforward for you to discuss fishing Walleye —so it'll be easier for you to get started. If there's one thing worth noting is that walleye fishing is definitely a lifelong pursuit.
In this article, we will talk about the most effective jiggling techniques. Stay tuned if you plan to do walleye fishing soon. This is perfect for those who want to grasp the rudiments of fishing or are generally interested in fishing as a whole and might want to figure out how to look for Walleye.
THE MOST EFFECTIVE WALLEYE JIGGLING TECHNIQUES
There are instances where walleye fishes assemble in large groups in a specific spot. At times, the spot is a rockpile nearby a big drop, while other times, they congregate at a ledge that passes a current to make an underwater eddy. In addition, walleye fishes also reside at the high points of a reef. Hence, vertical jigging will most likely earn you a strike if you can position your boat over such a spot without scaring away the fish. As such, this is a very effective method to keep your bait in the zone while maintaining your fishing skills to be very precise with presentations.
When you think of jigging, you usually picture the practice of vertical jigging. In this premise, you can either use a lead head jig, a jigging spoon, or an ice fishing jig.
First of all, you need to let go of your jig and let it drop to the bottom of the water. Next, engage the spool and reel in line so the rod tip will follow the line toward the water. By standard, you can stop when the tip is about 1 ½ to 2 feet off the bottom. In such a length, you can definitely engage the reel and get started with your fishing adventure.
If you have a lead head jig with live bait, it is recommended to gradually work it up and down, simultaneous to its departure to the bottom of the water. You see, this is as a jigging method as there is. If you want, you can also hover the bait 6 inches or more off the bottom and just agitate it with the rod tip. You need to manage your expectations well because there are walleyes who will be all over your lures and meat, while walleyes will not be as enticed as others and will not touch the lure, no matter how captivating it is.
Just take your time and observe the fish. If you think it is going really slow, you may now need to intervene and drag a jig and live bait, as it is often the only way to catch fish. It is not really considered jigging, you may argue. But I, at this moment, argue next that it still involves a jig, right?
Jigging Spoons and Ice Jigging Lures below the Boat
The next technique we have here is jigging spoons and ice fishing jigs, where you'll need to do some aggressive "jiggling" action. You need to coordinate your action with the pace, rhythm, and the "up-pulls" repetitions. Or better yet, you need to do it in accordance with the jigging cadence. This may take some time before you get the hang of it, but you will surely have fun doing so.
This walleye technique's key component is ensuring that your bait hits bottom on about 90 percent of the drops. So, jig the bait up off the bottom and just allow it to fall back to the bottom of the water. In this way, the jig will have extra time to linger there for a couple of seconds, after which just repeat the process for a couple more go.
Lifting a Jig
Now, let's get into the business of lifting a jig as a technique to catch more fish. This specific method denotes casting a jig and retrieving it back or directly doing so under your rod. As such, when you present a jig in the casting/retrieving approach, you will need to engage in a "slow-fast-slow" system. Another important thing to note is that this whole "lifting" technique is useful in spring and fall cold-water periods. That is the reason why early in the year, when the water temperature hits the 60s, working your jig slowly is advisable. On the other hand, in the summertime, you can accelerate your jigging activities much better. However, in the fall, you need to slow down again.
To go further, when casting out a jig with your bait of choice on —which can either be a live minnow, a smaller fluke, shad, or minnow-style plastic— you need to make sure that the jig hits bottom. You need to engage your reel, such as spinning and reeling your rod tip down to about the 2 o'clock to 2:30 position. Next, lift the jig with a nice medium or slow pull, making sure to stop the rod in about the 12:30 to 1:00 position. This position is located at the top of the stroke. Keeping a tight line after stopping at the top position is strongly advisable in the cold.
Why you must ask? Doing so will allow the jig to fall at a slow rate or free fall on a slack line. Do not worry too much if you see it falling and going toward you. Gradually, it will hit the bottom of the water, and the fish will hover around it and feed on them.
Just continue the process over and over again until you earn your catch. Be sure to watch your line and feel for a strike while you're on it.
Popping a Jig
Another technique we have here is a fast-paced method of fishing that is usually utilized in the summer. During the summer, walleye fish have a much faster metabolism and are definitely up for grabs. For your information, walleye fishes are actually fast swimmers. So, be sure to be on your feet and get the best gears you can possibly use.
To be particular, this method is called "popping" a jig because it involves retrieving and casting out your ¼ to 3/8-ounce jig and plastic bait. Just a precaution, don't use live bait this time because it is largely prone to rip-off. But apart from that, you don't really need live bait during this popping technique. After which, as soon as the bait settles down in the bottom, get a quick snap or pop to prompt the bait up off the bottom and then let it free fall on a slack line. In this case, always remember that less is better. Hence, don't use your entire shoulder, forearm, and wrist to do the "popping." Instead, use your wrist as lightly as you can.
Moreover, if you want the bait to snap off the bottom as fast as it could, you should know that the jig does not necessarily have to travel very far. You can do this all the way to the boat. If you are a young angler, you might have enough energy to pop the jig two times, getting the bait even higher off the bottom. Either way, one pop or two will work, just play around with it and master your way up. The basic mechanism for this relies on the so-called trigger effect.
You'll feel the bite from time to time, but oftentimes, you won't. This is because the hits are at the very bottom, and therefore you will simply feel or hit the fish on your next pop. For recommendation, the fluke-style bait is an excellent option. It is very versatile, to say the least. You can go between 3 ¾ inches to 5 inches. Generally, any color works in this technique. Still, natural patterns like shad, perch, or minnow, including chartreuse and or white, are the best colors to use.
You may also use the Zoom fluke, Lunker City Fin-S Fish, or Berkley Power Bait Minnow.
Ripping a Jig
It may have been mentioned above that being young, with extra energy and healthy joints, is advantageous in doing walleye jigging. However, if you are an old person taking an interest in this kind of fishing method, then don't worry. You can be as efficient as the young ones. Especially in this next technique, you can go ahead and rip away, but also remember to take your time and compose your balance.
In this technique, the best baits to use are bucktail jigs, with spinning rods ranging from 6'6 inches to 7 inches that only require a medium action and a braided line. It is debatable which rod actions will work best, but I think it's a matter of personal preference and ability to know what will work for you.
Now, get that 3/8 to ½ ounce banana head-shaped bucktail to get your "ripping" started. Initially, you will need to cast the jig directly into a weed bed. This is not the same as trying to fish the edge because you are actually fishing water weeds. Moreover, it is important to note that there is a specific ripping-in-weeds bucktail that does not have a weed guard. Still, this technique makes the jig "free" from weeds for most retrieves.
As soon as the jig hits the bottom of the water, you need to employ an extremely sharp and quick rip in an attempt to snap or pop to pull the jig into and through the weeds. After which, let the jig fall on a slack line so that it can settle down back to the bottom. In cases where you want to keep your line taut or even tight on the drop, it is impossible for the jig to freefall in a non-straight motion, but trust that it will hang up in the weed stems or leaves eventually. Ultimately, this method will only take into effect if the walleye fish are sitting high in the weed and much better if the jig hits the bottom perfectly.
Commit to this process; keep retrieving it until the jig is out of the weed bed before you cast it out to a new spot. As previously mentioned, getting notified by the tap of the walleye fish when it hits your jig may leave you feeling dense and oblivious to the surroundings. However, you should know that it is perfectly normal and that this will set you up for your next "ripping" activity.
Just a disclaimer, if you haven't tried rip-jigging a weed bed for a walleye yet, you should know it is not gonna be a piece of cake on your first try. Still, just go on and practice the craft until such a time when it becomes easier for you to do. Sooner or later, you will get the hang of it.
Swimming a Jig
I guess it is safe to assume that swimbaits were originally designed to feed on largemouth bass. However, you will be surprised to know that they work well on a jighead, as well as Walleye, too. To do this, the standard swimbait retrieve is casting and reeling, similar to spinnerbait or crankbait. On the contrary, soft swimbaits are specifically designed to jig, so why not try it, right? You can use a small to medium swimbait, typically about 3.8 to 5 inches long.
To go further, it is highly advisable for swimbait Walleye to retrieve to garner a combination of cold water and warm water presentation. You can lift the bait aggressively while taking advantage of the swimming action. To execute this flawlessly, you need to carefully observe the bait drop and the tail swaying. The main component here is for you to maintain the line taut as it slows everything down.
Snapping an Ice Jig or Rattle Bait while Casting
Now, let's get into detail about snapping an ice jig or rattle bait while casting.
Let's go first with an ice jig. Needless to say, ice fishing jigs are a very viable method to utilize in untamed water. You can either use a 10-, 12- or 15-pound braid as the main line and tie on a five-foot or longer, 10- or 12-pound fluorocarbon or monofilament leader. The most important thing in walleye ice fishing is to ensure that all or most braid is a soft-tipped rod. Furthermore, you can also see the "retrieving" pattern as one similar to pop-jigging.
The sleeper bait for this whole segment is the rattle lure. These baits are typically connected with bass. As such, they can be a magnificent Walleye catcher or any ice fish, for that matter. You can simply use it the same way as an ice jig so fish can go nuts with that rattling sound.
MORE WALLEYE ADVENTURE, OFF WE GO!
To conclude, walleye jigging is definitely one of the best all-around catchers in the whole world. By employing the aforementioned techniques we've discussed above, you can work your way into it and gain expertise in catching Walleye in no time. With these walleye tips, it will surely be an exciting activity to do during your next fishing trip.
Now, to more walleye adventure, off we go!