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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
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
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.
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
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.
SHORT SHANK JIGS
|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.
Northland has now taken the “add on” concept to new levels with a few
|“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
Shot Rattle Rings
great new products for 2001.
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.
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
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).
Fire Light Glow Sticks
|One more “add on” that you really need to check out is Northland’s
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.
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
Put the right jigging presentation together and jig fishing really doesn
’t get any more simple ... Simply fun that is!
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