Tips – Success Jigging Walleye in the Detroit River
Catching walleye in the Detroit River can be a challenge for some newcomers to the game. I have seen some fishermen go fishing someone with a little knowledge and experience and catch fish immediately. They then try it on their own, sometimes with little success. The game appears (and it is) quite simple and straight forward. The few little important details need to followed precisely.
Boat control must top the list. Most river jiggers prefer boats with low profiles and low wind resistance that are finely controlled with electric trolling motors. This allows the fisherman to resist the wind and current at exactly the level required so that when you are jigging, your fishing line remains vertical and you can easily maintain contact with the bottom. If you lose contact with bottom, chances are good that your line is drifting away from you. Reel in and start fresh. YOU ARE OUT OF THE GAME IF YOU ARE NOT VERTICAL JIGGING!
Jig selection is a topic that will create debate. I will present my view. You are going to hear many of the best jiggers out there telling you that you must use a small jig. (3/8 ounce) I am going to tell you that I have caught more fish than those fisherman on occasions using a 1 ounce jig. Many new fishermen I provide either 3/4 or 1 ounce jigs and they catch fish. If a person is unable to maintain bottom contact and know for sure where his jig is, he is lost and out of the game. A heavier jig may get dropped quicker by the fish but if you need that heavier jig to get you hits, go with it. Don’t be intimidated into fishing something that doesn’t work for you.
Another topic for discussion will be bait. Some guys carry live minnows all the time. They catch fish. I haven’t used live minnows for several years now. I catch a lot of nice fish. Do what you do best! I prefer rubber worms or rubber minnows. Use realistic looking worms that fall to the bottom quickly. Colors vary with conditions but in ideal conditions I would start with a natural color (brown for worms, black/white for minnows)
Use stinger hooks. Again, many of the good fishermen out there won’t do this. Seems to be an ego thing?? I guarantee those stingers are going to get you some fish you would have otherwise missed.
USE BRAIDED LINE. It doesn’t stretch and provides maximum feel. Don’t even bother going without it.
I think most guys prefer short stiff fishing rods (med heavy) and quality reels. You need the best drag system you can get. (fast retrieve is a plus)
Fish the cleanest water you can find that holds fish.
Jigging methods vary from something akin to snagging to short delicate movement. I prefer to WALK THE BOTTOM jigging up and down slowly only about 6 inches and setting the hook immediately at any indication of a hit. Bring the fish up quickly. Putting on the TV show and playing with them, will lose fish. Set fast, and reel fast!
That’s about all you need to know. Follow everything I have said to the letter and I promise you – you will catch fish!!!!!!
Filed under: Fishing Tips
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