Lodging food and more
Rigging and Jigging with
By John Campbell
Walleyes love live bait, Whether it is jigged rigged or fished spinner
style it is tough to beat. There's no more practical way to present live
bait than behind a Lindy Rig slowly dragged along the bottom. Lindy
rigging, allows an angler to precisely fish an area that is holding fish.
The key to Lindy rigging is a slow, meticulous presentation.
A sluggish walleye is more apt to grab a small fathead or leech than a
big golden shiner or nightcrawler. Don’t stubbornly stick with jumbo
leeches or nightcrawlers just because they’ve produced in the past.
Terminal tackle for a live bait rig usually includes a walking sinker
threaded onto the line on top of a barrel swivel. Keep the sinker
weight as light as possible, yet heavy enough to let you feel the weight
along the bottom. Usually 1/4 to 1/2 ounce sinkers should be adequate
for late-season fishing. I prefer to use the No-Snagg weights in the fall.
I prefer to use the Lindy Rig in this case because it allows me the versatility
of getting the live bait right in the face of suspended walleyes.
A plain hook or a colored hook are great, usually number 6 or number 8
finishes off the rig except for the bait. Walleyes will change the level
at which they're running from day to day and even hour to hour. That's
why I use Lindy Rigs and Lindy Soft Stops exclusively for live-bait rigging.
Snell length can be changed in a matter of seconds, whereas most rigs must
be cut and re-tied to lengthen or shorten the snell. Another good
aspect about using the Soft Top is that it is soft plastic and it can be
reused and it won’t damage the line.
||The No-Snagg is a banana shaped sinker that has a balsa, lead antimony
weight that is surrounded by epoxy paint and a protective clear seal coating,
with a special rubberized coating on the outside. The sinker also
has a stainless steel wire feeler out of the bottom that is tipped with
a colored bead. This has the super principles of the 3-way and the
bottom ticking ability of the bottom bouncer. Also, the No-Snagg
when it hits an obstruction simply pivots away from the snag and doesn’t
get hung up.
From the opposite end of the swivel run a 2 to 4 foot snell of 6 to
8 pound test monofilament. Adjust the distance of your live-bait
rig from the bottom according to water clarity. In stained water
the fish will be tight to the bottom so the rig should run closer to the
bottom. Just the opposite frequently holds true in clear water.
The key here again is slow down. If you think you are slow now
slow down even further and watch your line, because if your presentation
is in slow motion your action will be fast.
When walleyes are more aggressive I step up to spinner rigs. The spinner
rigs we're talking about are the live-bait rigs with a blade and a few
beads just above the hook. As the rig is pulled through the water,
the blade turns, which attracts fish with both sound, vibration, and added
A spinner is a rotating blade on a clevis, sandwiched among plastic
beads, followed by a hook or hooks and livebait. Today’s standard
spinner rig consists of a metal clevis with a #1, #2 or #3 Colorado, Indiana
or willow leaf blade followed by 4 or 5 BB-sized beads and a single 1/0
Aberdeen hook for minnows or two #4 short shank snell hooks rigged in tandem
about two inches apart for crawlers or leeches.
So, you may have to slow down your speed a little bit to give the walleye
more time to react.
||However, another hot blade that is really working well is the Hatchet
blade! This standard rig is tied on 36 inches of 14 to 17 pound test
line. When using spinners, snell length is important. The snell length
is the distance from the swivel to the hook. When moving quickly,
increase the snell length as a general rule. This will get your bait
away from your bottom bouncer and improve your hookups. A faster
presentation is usually called for in clear water, and you want the bait
up high enough so the fish can see it from farther away. Also, walleye
are more likely to go up for a bait than go down for it.
In dirty water, the walleye will often be closer to the bottom.
This same technique can be applied to a vast majority of the biggest
and toughest walleye waters around. For example, the No-Snagg Sinker
can be used in heavy current like a river especially if you are concentrating
on the riprap. This slip sinker will work all day long around the
massive boulders. The sinker will fall in between the crevices and
cracks where the walleyes fighting the current are resting or waiting in
ambush for their next meal. It works especially well on western and
southern big reservoirs where you have rock shale or stump fields that
were next to impossible to fish before.
Another way that I like to use the No-Snagg Sinker is on the
Mississippi River when there is a large infestation of zebra mussels and
heavy current. I want to make sure that the bait stays off the bottom,
but I want the bait to stay within a short distance of the bottom.
In this situation I will attach a Lindy Rig to my leader line and slide
on the No-Snagg. This is a winning combination. Other times
when I need to attract the walleyes attention in stained or turbid waters
I will go to a small spinner about a #1 blade in gold or silver, just enough
to provide a flash to the walleye.
By dipping your bait into various spots in the flooded timber you will
find that many walleyes are present and willing to bite.
||Probably the my favorite is, fishing with a jig. The No-Snagg
Veg-E-Jig from Lindy is without a doubt the best way to fish timber and
weeds. This jig allows you to penetrate the toughest brush pile on
the water without getting hung up. The front eyelet position and the slender
profile allows the Veg-E-Jig to slip through all weed vegetation and timber
without all the frustrations of snags. Like the Timb'r Rock jig it
also has the seven strand wire guard that protects the hook from snags,
but this jig has the super strong, ultra sharp Gamakatsu hook and that
makes for an awesome live bait delivery system.
Another Lindy jigging technique is to tie on a Timb'r Rock jig to the
end of the line instead of a plain hook when slip bobber fishing snags.
The Timb'r Rock jig allows you to present live bait or plastic in all kinds
of cover without fear of snags. Due to its unique "weight centered"
design, it lands upright every time. The patented seven strand wire
guard protects the hook point from hang-ups. I like the color that
a jig head adds, plus I need to add a little extra weight to pull the line
down to the preset depth when using a jig head. If you use this slip
bobber method, it will enable you to jig your bait vertically without positioning
yourself over the top of the structure. With little or no wind you'll
have action on the bobber. This can easily be achieved by sweeping
the rod about a foot at a time. It might seem simple, and it is,
but the results will astound you.
Jigging in rivers requires Current cutters, or pancake jigs ie:
Jumbo Fuzzy grubs which are designed to be hydrodynamic in moving water.
They are great for rivers. Larger sizes can be used on a dropper line of
a three-way-rig to put an additional hook in the water where legal. Try
a stinger hook. Sluggish walleyes have a habit of striking short
and ripping up the tail of a minnow or snipping the end off a crawler.
By attaching a small treble or single hook to the bend and then inserting
one hook of the treble into the tail of your bait, you can hook many of
the short striking fish. This technique is deadly with a jig and
crawler or a jig and minnow.
For more information on rigging and jigging with Lindy contact www.lindylittlejoe.com
See you on the Water !
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