Walleye Jigging and Where
the years the jig has possibly accounted for more species of gamefish and more
pounds of fillets in the frying pan than any other lure. Crappie, bass,
walleye, lake trout, musky--- you name it, a jig has caught it. Even in this
modern age of angling when new "Super Lures" crop up almost daily, the simple
jig is the magical lure.
Without question, Fuzz-E-Grub jigs are the walleye angler’s lure of choice,
simply because jigs can be used effectively to maintain contact with the lake
bottom. Since a versatile array of sizes, shapes designs and colors are
available, jigs can be fished in a seemingly infinite array of combinations
under a variety of conditions.
Look for long fingers or spines, of rock that protrude
toward the main lake. Roaming baitfish usually congregate along these fingers
and filter down them. Walleyes wait at the tips. Find those spots and you'll
find big walleyes. Bright warm days are preferred to cold, blustery ones. The
sun is lower in the sky this time of year, so light penetration is decreased.
However, bright days will cause the water to warm up, which will turn fish on.
Frequently, action will be better from mid-day on.
Baitfish are usually the key to location. The big walleyes are never too far
from them. Whether it's shad popping or panicked bluegills, baitfish bare
watching. As the baitfish go, so go the walleyes. I had a chance to watch the
summer migratory pattern of a large school of walleyes I'd stumbled across in
mid June. With the aide of my BottomLine NCC 6300, I found a school of active
walleyes hanging out on a small weed line. They were there for three days,
then they moved to a rocky point 50 yards away. They remained on this gravel
flat for two weeks, maybe three; then they moved off slowly down to another
gravel flat 300 yards away. By this time, most of the people fishing the
original gravel point had given up. In a two month period they moved 600
Time of day can play an important part in solving where the fish are. Some
spots turn on at different times of the day. You can fish over a huge school
of inactive walleyes and never get a hit, then come back two hours later and
find that they're going nuts. Always double check a good-looking area. If you
keep checking these locations eventually you will find active walleyes on one
Many anglers think of rocks, sand, drop-offs, and deep water when walleye
fishing. But walleye chasers are missing some good fishing if they aren’t
poking around in the weeds when they’re after walleyes. Walleyes will make
extensive use of weed clumps if they’re available, and often the fish that are
in the weeds are looking for a meal, making them susceptible to any type of
First of all, what type of weeds will hold walleyes? Coontail will hold a few
fish, and on some lakes will be pretty good. But my favorite vegetation, day
in and day out, will be cabbage weed. Cabbage is abundant on many bodies of
water, and will also be the feeding grounds for bass, northerns, muskies and
panfish. I’ve found the best weed beds for walleyes will be located at the
edge of a drop-off and extend over the flats into shallower water. At times
the fish will be down the drop-off a little, but frequently they will be up on
the flat right in the middle of the weeds.
One of my favorite jigs is the Fuzz-E-Grub, partially because it has been
around since I started fishing and secondly it is the most effective jig on
the market today. The Fuzz-E-Grubs have a soft plastic body that feels natural
to the fish and a tiny marabou feather tail that adds a slight swimming
motion. This is important because a walleye is not only visually orientated
but also sound and motion given off from the marabou tail gives the jig a
pulsating live bait feeling.
Jigs often work best fished quickly along weedbed edges, or over shallow
humps. When the fish are on spots like this, they’re frequently active.
Casting is usually the best way to work jigs quickly along these areas.
Be on the lookout for small isolated clumps of cabbage near the weed bed. In
fact, many times the weed bed will be made up of a bunch of clumps of weeds.
These individual patches of cabbage can provide a fisherman with some hot
One way to look for a productive area for walleyes in weeds involves another
species of fish. If you can find where carp are visible you will find
productive weed walleye locations.
Work the jig quickly through the fishholding area. Hop it or swim it, even
snap the jig and don’t pause as you usually would, but instead keep the bait
moving. The theory behind this type of action is, if the walleye is serious
about hitting your bait it will be there when you move it quickly. Many times
when you are starting to snap the jig or swim it to you the walleye is already
hooked. The strike will usually be quite firm.
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