Want to catch more walleye? Try this simple jigging tactic

Over the past couple of years, some friends of mine have pioneered one of the most innovative presentations for catching walleye through the ice: jigging a large, loud, lipless Rapala Rattlin’ Rap or Koppers Livetarget Golden Shiner. You can’t believe how aggressively walleye will chase one of these lures and crush it.

That’s just half of the presentation, though. We never rip these baits without first drilling a deadstick hole immediately adjacent to the one we’re jigging. A simple, light, lead-head jig and lively minnow combination are all you need to pull off the ruse.

How light should the jig be? It depends on the size of your minnow, but it should be light enough so that when you hook it—just under the skin alongside the dorsal fin, with the hook point facing the head—the minnow can still struggle to swim away and get pulled back under the hole by the weight of the jig when it wears itself out.

Now when you attract walleye by aggressively jigging the crankbait—and catch the belligerent ones—the more cautious fish will veer from the chase as soon as they spot the deadsticked presentation and suck in the struggling minnow. What makes this even more exciting is that you’ll often go through an hour-long stretch when every walleye whacks the daylights out of the lipless crankbait, and things suddenly change. For no apparent reason, the next half-dozen fish will inhale the deadsticked jig and minnow. The only thing that matters is you need both lines in the water for this synergistic tactic to work.