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Fishing Snags with Veg-E-Jigs and Floats
By Sam Anderson

Spring and early summer you can find walleyes in shallow water. Some 
fish could be in 2 feet of water and others in 20 feet of water on the 
same body of water at the same time of year. All in all I have found 
many walleyes that are aggressive in shallow water and I'll fish it more 
times than deep water.
In Minnesota, my home state, the movement of walleyes toward shallower 
water is always constant. In early spring the walleyes are attracted to 
the aquatic life that is starting in the warm shallows. As zoo plankton 
attracts small fish and minnows the walleye is attracted to these areas 
to feed. In summer or early fall, during the period when days are warm 
but nights are cool, bait fish begin breaking the surface in schools 
just offshore, particularly during calm periods. These subtle clue means 
walleyes are biting like crazy.
By the time late summer turns into fall and the water temperature starts 
to drop off; the fish start to migrate to shore. In big shallow lakes 
like Mille Lacs; for example, walleyes traditionally begin leaving the 
flats and their deeper environs by this time. By mid-September they're 
prowling in less than 10 feet of water much of the time.
Most fishermen would fish the obvious structural elements. The key to 
catching fish here consistently, however, is effectively identifying 
spots that gather and hold most fish.
Usually when you find one up shallow, there are more nearby. They come 
out to feed, and that's the only reason they are up on the bank cruising 
around. These schools of big fish don't come up shallow every day, but 
if you find them, you can catch a really nice stringer.
Most of my cold-water success has come on river rock or chunk rock banks 
out towards the main river channel. Because they are on these rock 
banks, I believe they are primarily looking for crawdads. Female 
walleyes like to eat crawdads now as their eggs start developing for the 
coming spawn.

Lindy's New Vege Jig
Lindy No Snagg 
Veg E Jig
Probably my favorite presentation 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. By dipping your 
bait into various spots in the flooded timber you will find that many walleyes are present and willing to bite
Lindy Little Joe Timber Rock Jig
Lindy Timb'r Rock Jig
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.
Thill Center Slider Float
Thill Center slider float
By attaching a Thill Float to your No-Snagg approach you can get your offering into even shallower water. This slip bobber has made a dramatic transformation from "short and fat to long and thin". Therefore, the 
Thill Float is very effective when there is a slight chop on the water. It will allow you to drift the entire structure from one location; but the wave action also provides some vertical movement to your bait.
The Thill Float is part of your live bait delivery system and you will need to make adjustments if you want your bait to be presented to the fish in a "natural manner." To use your Thill Float properly you will first have to determine depth. You might use your sonar to determine depth, or attach a weight to your line and lower it into the water until your line shows slack, but I prefer to use the old method (revised). I first put on a Stealth Soft Stop, like the ones Lindy makes for live bait rigs. I attach this plastic snubber ahead of my Thill Float on the 
line, then I attach an additional plastic snubber to the line after the slip bobber. Then as my weight and hook combination, I attach a Veg-E-Jig or a or a Timb'r Rock jig. If the float lays on it's side then I readjust the (float) bobber so that it rides off the particular structure from 1 ft. to 6 inches. If I am using Thill Float for walleyes I like to attach a 1/16 or 1/32 ounce jig to the business end of the 
line instead of a plain hook. I like the color that a jig head adds plus I need to add very little extra weight to pull the line down to the preset depth when using a jig head. If you use this slip float 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.
When the walleye inhales your bait and your float slides slowly underwater, remember to following tips: Take all the slack out of your line without putting pressure on the fish. When you're ready to feel the fish reel as quickly as possible putting pressure on the fish. At the same time "set the hook", lift the rod tip towards the sky and this will penetrate the bony roof of the walleyes mouth.
Slip bobbers may be one of the most simple yet efficient and effective ways to present bait that there is. They can be fished at any depth, with a variety of bait, and on most equipment.With a cane pole or a modern graphite rod, I for one am glad to see techniques to make fishing simple and enjoyable again. The slip (bobber) is one of these techniques that will improve your success, give it a try.
For more information on this shallow water approach to fishing this spring and summer drop me a line at www.samanderson.com.

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