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The Basics of Jig Fishing
 By Ross Grothe 

 Jigs will work for walleye in all seasons wherever you fish.  If you
keep the following basic ideas regarding jigs in mind next time you’re
on walleye water, you’ll be on the right track to success.
 In most situations you should be able to get by with four jig sizes,
usually fewer than that.  On most lakes, rivers, and reservoirs, you
should almost always be able to get by with a selection of 1/16, 1/8,
1/4, and 3/8 ounce jigs.  True, in some rivers you will need heavier
jigs and below a slip bobber a lighter one might work best, but day in
and day out, on most waters, these four sizes will be completely
adequate.  I use more 1/8-ounce size than any other, and lately I have
been using more of the 1/16-ounce size.
 Use plastic bodies to slow the fall of the jig, to add bulk and
visibility in stained and dirty water,  and to add color.  I like to use
a plastic body of one color with a jighead of another color. That
provides contrast and also increases the chance of showing the fish the
color they want.  Pink/ white and orange/ chartreuse are favorite color
 Keep in mind that the walleye's vision will be impaired in the darker
environment.  Fluorescent colors will often be more productive in this
condition.  In the spring and summer I like to use plastic bodied jigs
like the Lipstick jig.  The reason that I prefer this type of jig is
that it adds bulk, making it easier for the fish to see.  Sometimes it
works well to use a larger than ordinary jig in dirty water, especially
if snags aren’t a problem.  The larger jig is more visible, and also
makes more noise as it moves across the bottom.  The combination of
those two factors can mean a few more fish from time to time.
 Sometimes an action-tail jig will trigger more fish, especially when
they are active.  An action tail jig can be worked faster than a typical
jig.  This allows you to put the bait in front of more fish, and when
they’re going, that might mean a few more biters.  The action tail also
gives off more vibration, which helps more fish to find the bait.
 Increase the hook gap to catch more fish.  I like to bend the hook out
a little so it will catch easier in the fish’s mouth.  Just bend the
point of the hook up a little bit for more sure hooking results.
 When you are increasing the hook gap of the jig, check the sharpness of
the hook. If the tip of the hook is bent, try to straighten it, or
replace the jig.  Sharp hooks will definitely increase hooking
 Line size will affect the jigs’ productivity.  A jig will sink faster
on a small diameter line than on a larger diameter line because of water
resistance.  If you want to fish a light jig in deep water, light line
will be necessary.
 However, a light jig in shallow water might be better on heavier than
ordinary line.  I use six-pound test Sensor line with 1/8 ounce jigs
most of the time, but if deep water is to be fished I might go to
four-pound test Easy Cast.
 Remember, you can catch walleyes and everything else on jigs if you
consider the basic things we have discussed.  Best of all, you don’t
have to have a big tackle box and you can leave all the other lures
behind.  Best of luck to you and I hope you catch a big one!

Walleyes Inc. website is maintained by Randy Tyler Fishing the In-Fisherman Professional Walleye Circuit, Masters Walleye Circuit and the Team Walleye Circuit. All rights reserved.Copyright 1999/2000
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