The basics of jig fishing

Jigs will work for walleye in all seasons wherever you fish. If you keep the following basic ideas regarding jigs in mind, you’ll be on the right track to success next time you’re on walleye water.
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-oz 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-oz size than any other, and lately I have been using more of the 1/16-oz size.
Use plastic bodies to slow the fall of the jig, to add bulk and visibility in stained and dirty water, and to add colour. I like to use a plastic body of one colour with a jighead of another. That provides contrast–and also increases the chance of showing the fish the colour they want.
Pink/white and orange/chartreuse are favourite colour combinations.
Keep in mind the walleye’s vision will be impaired in the darker environment so fluorescent colours often will be more productive in this condition. In the spring and summer, I like to use plastic bodied jigs like the Lipstick jig.
The reason 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 one, which 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 is bent, try to straighten it, or replace the jig. Sharp hooks definitely will increase hooking percentages.
Line size also will affect the jigs’ productivity. A jig will sink faster on a small diameter line than on a larger diameter one because of water resistance. If you want to fish a light jig in deep water, light line will be necessary.
But a light jig in shallow water might be better on heavier than ordinary line. I use six-pound test Sensor line with 1/8-oz 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!

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