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More to Jigs Than Meet the ‘Eyes
by Gary Parsons and Keith Kavajecz

Few anglers would argue that a jig presentation is one of the most effective walleye fishing tactics there is, whether pitched, vertically jigged, or even slow trolled. Walleye jigs in general are thought of as pretty simple lures, both in
design and function, but never let it be said that walleye anglers are ever satisfied with the status quo.
As a fraternity, we’re notorious for taking a good presentation and tweaking it into a better one. That’s one of the things that makes fishing such a great sport. There’s always a better way to “doll up” a lure to help trigger more fish.
When it comes to head designs, jigs run the gamut from the basic “ball” style to shapes that mimic baitfish.  Some shapes are made to work better in current, others are better suited to slither through weeds.
The ‘ole stand-by ball-headed jig is as versatile and deadly as they
come, however, particular scenarios call for a change. 

Northland Stand Up Fireball Jig

Northland Standup Fireball Jig

Northland Lip Stick Jig

Lip Stick Jig

If, for instance, you find you’re getting bites, buthaving a tough time hooking-up on fish, “stand-up” style jigs like Northland's Lip Stick Jig and Standup Fireball Jig are handy to have in your tackle box
Their design positions the hook up off the bottom at all times, in  perfect placement to get maximum hook-ups when a walleye bites. The Lip Stick Jig has a long shank hook, making it a great choice for vertical techniques, and
the Standup Fireball Jig short shank and forward tie-eye make it an ideal jig for pitching into weed edges and woody cover.Having both long-shanked and short-shanked jigs is important, because each have their own special characteristics when it comes to walleye fishing.

Long shank jigs are best suited to vertical presentations. When you’re fishing a jig directly below the boat, and a fish bites, a long-shank hook will increase your odds of hooking that fish because of the “cam-action” imparted on hook-set. Walleye anglers, savvy to the vertical jigging game, are quick to set
the hook as soon as they feel ANYTHING resembling a bite.The longer shanked jig gives fishermen more hook to contact the fish’s mouth where a short shank hook might be pulled away from the walleye more easily. This is also true when Jig Trolling, because you still keep the jig fairly vertical ... at about a 45º angle from the rod tip.


Northland Fireball Jig with Stinger Hook
Northland Fire-Ball. Jig
On the other hand, horizontal tactics, like pitching jigs to shallow cover, means you’re pulling the jig as you retrieve it, and since shallow walleyes are typically aggressive, a compact, short-shank, wide
gaped jig like the Fire-Ball., is more apt to be sucked in and make contact.

Jigs are almost never fished without some sort of “dressing”, be it livebait, plastic, or a combination of the two.In years past, it was thought that livebait like minnows, leeches and crawlers were the only way to adorn a jig to get a walleye to bite. However, with technology being what it is today, “new-age” plastics imbedded with taste and scent enhancers, are tempting more and more
walleyes every season.  Not all plastic baits are going to work the same. A plastic body made to attract bass will not be the best choice if you’re after ole’ marble eyes.
The key to getting the most from plastics, is to use those especially formulated for walleyes. Berkley Power Baits offer a line of walleye formulated plastics that not only mimic the real thing in smell and taste (to a walleye anyway), but are made very soft and flexible, so their action closely imitates that of live bait.

Berkley Power Jig worm

Berkley Power Jig worm

Berkley Power Minnow

Berkley Power Minnow

For several seasons we have talked about the triggering capabilities of
Berkley's Power Jig worm on the back of a jig. The new Power Minnows are another great jig dressing that are a “must have” addition to your walleye tackle box this season.
“Add on” attractors are quickly gaining popularity among walleye anglers looking to enhance their jig fishing presentations. These would include such items as Northland Tackle’s well known Buck Shot Rattle Rings. The addition of sound to a jig can be especially helpful in deep, or
off-colored water
Nothland Buck Shot Rattle Rings
Buck Shot Rattle Rings
Northland has now taken the “add on” concept to new levels with a few
great new products for 2001. 
Northland Buck Shot Rattle Spin
Buckshot Rattle Spin
The Buckshot Rattle Spin combines a rattle
chamber with a spinner blade, to add not only sound, but also flash and vibration to a jig. Like the Buck-Shot Rattle Ring, the Rattle Spins
slide over the jig’s collar and sits below the hook
Northland Thumper Spin

Thumper Spin

Thumper Tail Spin
Northland also offers spinner only “add ons” with the Thumper Spin and Thumper Tail Spin..
While any of these new attractors are deadly additions to any jigging tactic, you’ll definitely see a big increase in success if you incorporate them in your jig-trolling presentations.
Nothland Fire Stick on a hook
Northland Fire Light Glow Sticks
One more “add on” that you really need to check out is Northland’s new
Fire Light Glow Sticks. In dark water, down deep, or at night, these
little beauties could mean all the difference between a walleye seeing
your bait, or you going home empty handed. Glow Sticks are specially formulated with the chemical Kailume, and literally glow “like a stick of fire” for up to eight hours, attracting fish and triggering bites.
One more attractor many jig fishermen over look when choosing a jig is color. If you spend time fishing for walleyes, you quickly learn that there are days that color plays a big role in success.The trick is to shorten the “learning curve” that takes place when experimenting to find the most productive color for the situation. Multi-colored jigs are a big advantage. By using jigs that offer two or even three colors on one lure, it’s easier to hit upon the color that the fish are going to bite best. Some of our favorites are FireTiger (Green, Chartreuse and Orange), Parrot (Blue, Chartreuse and Orange), and Glow Watermelon (Green, Glow and Orange).
Same rule of thumb goes when choosing tails. Two-tone grubs, like Berkley’s Tournament Strength Power Grubs in Green/Chartreuse, Green Orange and Yellow/Orange, are great tools for zeroing in on color preference when walleye fishing.
Don’t hit the water this season thinking “a jig is a jig, is a jig”. There’s more to a jig than meets the eye ... and more to a jig that consistently catches ‘eyes.

Put the right jigging presentation together and jig fishing really doesn
’t get any more simple ... Simply fun that is!

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