Jigging for walleye can be one of the most productive methods to fishing for these golden beauties. Several tactics must be taken into consideration prior to you setting up to jig. Jigging can be very productive as long as you are fishing in the right spot with the right jig setup. Below I will review a few factors that you as an angler must take into consideration prior to setup.
Always use technology and your available resources to your advantage. There is nothing more time consuming than fishing in a bad location and not knowing it. Fish finders, sonars, and underwater cameras can provide you with vital information to make a determination as to where you should start fishing. These pieces of equipment can provide you with water depth, temperature, let you know if baitfish are present, terrain, if fish are present, what depth fish are residing, and so on. You can see the value of this equipment and the risk you take fishing without it. Make the investment and become a productive angler.
Fish the Right Terrain
Depending on the time of day, season, and water temperature, walleye tend to prefer certain terrain and depths. During mid summer walleye tend to stay in deeper water with a sand or gravel base. Look for holes or steep drops that walleye might use for cover and jig around these areas. Shallow weedy water can work well in spring when larger bodies of water are still too cold for them to migrate to.
Jigging does not have to be a stand still method. Use current, tide, or your trolling motor to your advantage. Do not move too fast as you will transition for jigging to trolling, but move enough that you are slowly covering ground. I have found it valuable to just drift with the tide and bounce a jig off the bottom. This allows me to cover ground and still use the jigging tactic. It is important to note that if you are fishing in water deeper than 12 ft, this can be difficult to do as there will be slack in your line that will pull the jig well off bottom.
Ensure that you try different colours as walleye can be picky. Colours I generally recommend are green, yellow, orange, and gold. If you are not having luck try changing colours. If you can, set up your jig to include a stinger hook by the tail of the worm. Walleye tend to target the tail of the worm and it can be difficult to set the hook if they don’t commit to the greater part of the worm.
It is also important to have good presentation and to keep your worm extended rather than bunched up. Ensure the worm is able to fully extend and form a wave motion as you jig it in the water. My preference is to use live worms but artificial worms have provided just as much success.