Gord Pyzer's all-time top 5 jig tactics for walleye
5. Keep it simple
Right now, the hottest walleye presentation—bar none—is swimming a 3/8- to 1/2-ounce jig dressed with a four- or five-inch saltwater, soft-plastic swim bait, such as the Berkley Inshore Swim Bait, Power Pogy or large Mister Twister Sassy Shad. While it works well on hard-bottomed, main-lake walleye structure, the jig-and-swim-bait combination works even better—indeed, excels-in and around weeds, especially in midsummer when everyone is lamenting the scarcity of walleye.
Find a deep weedline, the edge of a grassy point or scattered weed clumps with open lanes between the clusters, then back off so that when you cast your jig it lands just inside the ragged edge of vegetation or down one of the corridors. A five-inch boot tail teams up nicely with a 1/2-ounce darter head, while a four-inch swim bait perfectly complements a 3/8-ounce, ball-shaped jig.
The way to retrieve such combinations is simple. After you feel the jig touch bottom, keep your rod tip pointed up and reel in line at a moderate clip so that your jig is swimming a foot or so off the bottom (above). Just be sure to pause momentarily every once in a while so the lure hesitates and tumbles slightly. That’s usually the trigger for a following walleye to hammer it.
You need a stiff rod and the right line to properly perform this manoeuvre. The ideal combination is a seven-foot-long, medium-heavy-action spinning rod and reel spooled with 15-pound FireLine and a three- to nine-foot-long, 15-pound fluorocarbon leader. The small-diameter, low-stretch, highly sensitive line is important because it not only aids in getting a good hookset, but it also slices, dices and cuts through the weeds.
Tip: Don’t worry if you snag a weed while retrieving a swim bait. Just keep your rod tip pointed skyward as you tighten up on the line and snap the lure smartly. And as a bonus, a walleye will often pounce on the lure when it pops free.