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A few Tips on Walleyes Using Lead Heads
By Sheldon Meidinger

A few Tips on Walleyes Using Lead Heads By Sheldon Meidinger No secret that jigs are accountable for an awful lot of walleyes. We can fish a jig anywhere at anytime and catch walleye. Dare say that the modest lead head jig is the most versatile piece of tackle in the walleye anglers tackle box. Pitch, jig or drag, with dressing or bait, the varieties of tactics that incorporate a jig are endless. From my years fishing professionally on the PWT, I have picked up few lessons from some of the best. Small details and refinements do make a difference. Here is a small list of jig refinements and tips that will hopefully make you a better jig fisherman. Sharpness and Proper Gap Almost everybody knows how important sharp hooks are to angling success but few anglers take sharpness very seriously. The people who win tournaments use sharp hooks and these anglers are checking the sharpness all day long. Carry a file or sharpener in the boat and touch those hooks up throughout the day. Donít use your hooks to pop the eye free of jig eyelets. Gopher tackle offers a huge assortment of jigs with premium hooks and paint free eyes. You can pick up one of these jigs and just start fishing. As important as the size of the jig is for getting down to the bottom, the size and gap of the hook is very important as well. Use the right size hook for the bait you are using. You want the hook to come through the bait and be exposed so the hook can catch in the fishís mouth easily. Donít ever cover the hook or bulk the bait on the hook to the point where the hook has no room to set when a fish bites down. To Sting or Not Stinger hooks can be a very effective option at times for catching more walleye and sauger on a jig. Notice, "at times." If you are encountering debris or getting snagged up much more because of the stinger hook, keep the extra hardware in the boat. Stinger hooks work well when you can find light biting fish over a clean bottom. The rest of the time, stinger hooks can actually cost you fish by making you less effective and efficient. The Right Stroke How far to lift your jig from the bottom, how much to jig and the like is really a guessing game but certain areas seem conductive to certain presentations. Notice the cadence of local anglers around you. Are they dragging the jig, snapping the jig off the bottom? The most important aspect on most river environments is simply being very close to the bottom. Vary your presentation and give the fish ample opportunities to hit. Often, less is more. If one angler is catching fish in the boat, not only watch how they are jigging but also be conscience of the angle of his line. How much line you have out and the angle of the line can be very important when trying to match what somebody else is doing to catch fish. Cast and Drag One of the easiest ways to catch a walleye is to simply drag a jig behind the boat, assuming you arenít getting snagged. Casting jigs is also simple and tops for producing walleyes holding in shallow water. On many Lake Environments, the jig doesnít necessarily have to be on the bottom when casting to shallow water. Vary the amount of bottom contact until you find fish. Cast and reel, making a mental note as to how fast or slow you are reeling. Vary speeds until someone catches a fish and than match the speed. Walleyes will often follow the jig right up to the boat and the hits often come as the jig changes angle and starts traveling up to the boat. Cosmetics Many walleye anglers will tell you that color is important but not what is most important. Common sense tells us that florescent colors might get the nod in stained or turbulent water. Chartreuse, white and green are very popular jig colors in many situations but each area may have unique color tendencies or traditions. Berkley Power Baits also have their place for walleye fishing. There are a couple of applications where I have found Power Baits to be very effective. The bulk and extra vibration provided by a shad or twister tail can make a difference in stained water. Also, the extra bulk can slow down the rate at which the jig falls through the water, which can be effective at times. Berkley Gulp is also very effective and as we continue to experiment with Gulp, we become less dependent on live bait. Conclusion Jigs and walleyes are a proven combination. Regardless of whether you fish rivers, lakes or reservoirs. Jigs are effective cast, trolled, dragged or dropped vertically over the side of the boat. As simple as the lead head jig is however, there are endless variations and subtle tricks that can put more walleyes in your boat this year. Editors Note: The author, Sheldon Meidinger has been a familiar face on the Professional Walleye Trail for several years. This Yar-Craft pro broke out of the gate at a young age and already boasts several accomplishments. 2004 PWT Cleveland Ohio, fifth; 2003 PWT Sportsman of the Year, 2002 PWT Championship qualifier; 2001 PWT Sportsman of the Year; 2000 Pro Team Walleye Championship winner; 1999 PWT Mississippi River, fourth; 1999 PWT Championship qualifier; 1999 NAWA Lake Sakakawea, second; and many other top-twenty finishes.


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