Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Jig Fishing Part II

Jig Fishing Part II

Jig Size Line Size
1/16oz 4 lb
1/8 to 1/4 oz 6-8 lb
3/8 oz – larger 8-10 lb

–> Be flexible, however. Certain conditions such as thick cover require the use of heavier line. In other situations, you’ll find best results by going ultra-light, especially when fish are stubborn or spooky.

–> When tipping jigs, watch for differences in appetite between the larger game species and panfish. More often than not, panfish go for presentations which emphasize the jig, with only a tidbit of bait. On the other hand, larger fish like the “meat”: less jig, more bait. That might translate into a small piece of nightcrawler barely covering the tip of the hook for bluegills and crappies, but six inches of whole nightcrawler dwarfing the jig for bass and walleyes.

–> Strikes and obstructions frequently ruffle a jig’s tail. When this happens, the jig pulls clumsily through the water. Make sure your jig is “balanced” by arranging an equal amount of tail material on each side of the hook.

–> Snagging is costly in terms of fishing time and tackle. That’s why jigging over rocks demands special attention. The next time you or your jigging partner hollers “SNA–AA-AA-G” too darn often, remember this: Keep your jig active and moving over rocks. A jig that is lazily dragged along the bottom inevitably tumbles into a crevice.

–> Jigs are made to order for walleye fishing in rivers. Cast jigs into active water below dams, rock piles and other obstructions. Sand and gravel bars at the mouths of feeder streams are also good jigging bets. Some river specialists cast upstream and retrieve at cross angles to the current, letting the water carry the jig downstream during the retrieve. This “wind-in” covers lots of water while the jig simulates natural food being washed downstream.

–> Others cast downstream and slowly retrieve the jig back against the current. When current is strong enough, it’s possible to work the jig in one spot without retrieving line. This approach enables you to hound a hot spot. Your bait stays in the water more with less casting.

–> River walleye hug the borders between fast turbulent water and the more quiet eddies. Use heavy jigs to reach bottom in swift current. Corner night-feeding walleyes in 4 to 8 feet of water on rock reefs, sand bars, or in channels and you’ve got a ripe situation for 1/8oz. jig-and-minnows. Cast this jig-minnow combo and let it settle to the bottom. Follow up with a steady retrieve, holding the bait above the bottom. Experiment with retrieve speeds and jig color. Sometimes the darker colors like black or green pay off at night.

–> Jigs can be tremendous on schooling fish. One method is to cast individual 1/8 and 1/4oz. jigs into the school. For larger fish, toss a single 1/4, 3/8, or 1/2oz. jig beyond the school. Let it sink and then swim it back with little action, just underneath the main school where the larger fish feed on crippled bait fish.

The best jigging mechanics won’t do any good if you aren’t fishing where the fish are. Study the map of lake or river section you are targeting to find likely spots using what you know about walleye movements in the calendar period. Along the way , stop at more than one bait shop for the latest word on where the bigger schools are located and for an idea of what presentations others are using. Ask questions at the ramp. Once on the water, move from spot to spot using your electronics to find forage fish and likely walleyes before you start to fish.

These tips are sure to make you a better walleye angler. Jigging is one of the key fundamental presentations to master.

No comments: