Walleye fishing is a popular and enjoyable activity for anglers across the world. One of the most effective techniques for catching walleye is using jigs.
Walleye jigs are specially designed lures that mimic the natural movements of prey fish, which walleye typically feed on. They are available in various shapes, sizes, and colors, and each has its unique features that make it effective in certain fishing conditions.
Whether you are a seasoned angler or a beginner, understanding the different types of jigs, how to choose the right one, and how to use them can significantly increase your chances of a successful catch.
In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about walleye jigs, including the different types, factors to consider when choosing them, tips for using them, and the best ones to use in different water conditions.
Types of Walleye Jigs
Walleye jigs come in various shapes, sizes, and styles, and each has its unique characteristics that make it effective in certain fishing conditions. Here are some of the most popular types of walleye jigs:
Roundhead Walleye Jigs
Roundhead jigs are the most common type of walleye jig. They have a round head and a single hook and are available in various sizes and weights. They are versatile and can be used in a wide range of fishing conditions.
Standup Walleye Jigs
Standup jigs have a flat-bottomed head and a vertical line tie that causes them to stand upright on the bottom. They are effective in rocky areas and can also be used in weeds.
Weedless Walleye Jigs
Weedless jigs are designed to be fished in weedy areas without getting caught up in the vegetation. They have a hook that is recessed in the jig’s body, making it difficult for weeds to snag it.
Swimbait Walleye Jigs
Swimbait jigs are similar to roundhead jigs but have a longer shank and a wider gap hook. They are used with soft plastic swimbaits and are effective when fishing in deeper water.
Bucktail Walleye Jigs
Bucktail jigs are made with a hair or feather skirt and are effective in clear water. They mimic the movements of baitfish and are best used with a slow retrieve.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Walleye Jig
Choosing the right walleye jig is essential for a successful fishing trip. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a walleye jig:
- Water Depth The depth of the water you’re fishing in is an important consideration when choosing a jig. Roundhead jigs are effective in shallow water, while standup jigs work best in deeper water. Swimbait jigs and blade baits are ideal for fishing in depths of 20 feet or more.
- Water Clarity The clarity of the water also plays a crucial role in jig selection. In clear water, use jigs with natural colors and avoid using ones with bright colors that might spook the fish. In murky water, use jigs with bright colors that stand out and attract the fish.
- Time of Day and Season The time of day and season can also affect the effectiveness of the jig. During early mornings and late afternoons, use jigs with brighter colors to increase visibility. In the winter, when the water is colder, use smaller jigs with slower retrieves.
- Structure of the Lake The structure of the lake, such as rocks, weeds, and drop-offs, can influence jig selection. Use weedless jigs when fishing in weedy areas to avoid getting snagged, and use standup jigs when fishing in rocky areas to prevent snagging.
Consider these factors when selecting a walleye jig, and you’ll be well on your way to hooking into some big ones.
Tips for Using Walleye Jigs
Using walleye jigs can be a highly effective way to catch fish, but it’s important to use them correctly. Here are some tips for using walleye jigs:
- Cast and Retrieve Technique One of the most common ways to use a jig is with the cast and retrieve technique. Cast the jig out and let it sink to the bottom, then retrieve it with short, quick jerks to make the jig bounce off the bottom. Vary the speed and depth of your retrieve until you find what works best.
- Jigging Technique Jigging is a popular technique for catching walleye with jigs. Let the jig sink to the bottom and then use a sharp upward motion of the rod tip to lift the jig off the bottom, then let it sink back down. Repeat this motion, varying the speed and intensity of the jigging until you get a bite.
- Drift Technique Drifting is an excellent technique for covering a large area of water quickly. Simply drift with the wind or current, casting the jig out periodically and allowing it to sink to the bottom.
- Vertical Jigging Technique Vertical jigging is an effective technique for fishing in deep water. Position your boat over the desired spot and drop the jig straight down, letting it fall to the bottom. Then, use an upward motion of the rod tip to lift the jig off the bottom and repeat the motion until you get a bite.
By using these techniques, you’ll be able to catch walleye with jigs more effectively. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different techniques until you find what works best for you.
Best Walleye Jigs to Use
Selecting the right jig can make all the difference in your walleye fishing success. Here are some recommendations for the best walleye jigs to use:
- Northland Fishing Tackle Fire-Ball Jig: The Fire-Ball Jig is a versatile and effective jig that is designed to imitate the movements of baitfish. It has a short-shank hook that allows you to thread on a live minnow or soft plastic bait. It’s available in various colors and sizes and is ideal for fishing in shallow to mid-depth water.
- Rapala Jigging Rap: The Jigging Rap is a popular jigging lure that features a balanced design and a center treble hook. It mimics the movement of a dying baitfish and is effective in both shallow and deep water. It’s available in various sizes and colors.
- VMC Neon Moon Eye Jig: The Neon Moon Eye Jig is a versatile jig that features a unique 3D holographic eye and a super sharp hook. It’s available in various sizes and colors and is ideal for fishing in clear water.
- B-Fish-N Tackle H2O Precision Jigs: The H2O Precision Jig is a high-quality jig that features a custom-designed head and a super sharp hook. It’s ideal for fishing in weeds and can be used with live bait or soft plastics. It’s available in various sizes and colors.
- Keitech Tungsten Super Round Jig Head: The Super Round Jig Head is a weedless jig that features a tungsten head and a screw-lock bait keeper. It’s available in various sizes and is ideal for fishing in weedy areas.
These are just a few of the best walleye jigs to use. When selecting a jig, consider the water conditions and factors outlined in section III, and choose a jig that best fits your needs. Remember to experiment with different jigs and techniques until you find what works best for you.
Fishing for walleye with jigs can be a thriling and rewarding experience, but it takes knowledge and skill to be successful. By understanding the different types of walleye jigs, the factors to consider when choosing them, and the tips for using them effectively, you’ll significantly increase your chances of catching more fish.
Remember to select a jig that best fits your needs based on the water conditions and factors outlined in this article. Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment with different jigs and techniques until you find what works best for you. With the right knowledge, skills, and equipment, you’ll be well on your way to reeling in the big ones and enjoying epic fishing adventures.
For 25 years Green Bay Trophy Fishing has guided and provided helpful information to anglers in and around Door County. We are some of the most experienced fishing guides in Green Bay and pride ourselves on being experts on everything related to fishing in the area.