When you can locate fish either suspended or off the bottom, one of the most fun ways to entice a strike is vertical jigging for walleye. The tactic pulls fish congregated on rock piles, near structure, or suspended in open water. If you can find them, but suspect they’re finicky. Try a vertical jigging option.
Vertical Jigging For Walleye Breakdown
Presentation: Power vertical jigging for walleye
Equipment: Medium action spinning rod paired with a 6-12 lb test
Location: Reefs, Shoals, Sharp Breaks, Extended Points, Rocky Extensions, Transitions, Mud Flats, Rock Humps
Time: All year long! *Especially effective in summer months.
Some anglers may look at a jigging rap and wonder how a hunk of lead with hooks can be an effective way to target walleye. But trust us, these things are walleye candy. The darting action you can impart on these baits with the right techniques is similar to a ‘walking the dog’ topwater bait, but underwater. A jiggingrap’s action will help fish hone in on the bait and react to it.
Fishing a jigging rap style bait can be an effective way to pick up individual fish or groups of fish after marking them on your graph. If you’re fishing without sonar, you can apply these same techniques to your favorite walleye hangouts.
Vertical Jigging For Walleye Tips
Before fishing, use your electronics or past experience to put your boat in an area that is holding fish. Once there, start pitching out your bait directly to bottom on a slackline. Once the bait is on bottom, reel up and start jigging with an aggressive pop of your wrist. I typically will give two or three quick ‘pops’ and then bait fall back to bottom.
As the bait is fluttering back down to bottom it’ll entice a bite. Most of the bites I encounter are actually when the bait hits or is sitting on bottom. Walleye are known to ‘pin down’ prey when feeding near the bottom, so often times you won’t feel much. When you go to pop the jig next, the fish will just be there.
For locations to throw this rig, I’m looking for any area where walleye congregate to apply this method. Remember this technique is best used for concentrated wads of fish. Whether on a rocky extension that leads out to a mudflat, reefs, humps, or saddles, or breaklines near the main lake basin. This technique excels when you know where the fish are. Other techniques like casting, rigging, and trolling are more effective for finding fish. Vertical jigging for walleye is suited for when you know where they are, and you want to put a pounding on them.
As water temps start to rise throughout the country, don’t forget about that jigging rap style bait when vertical jigging for walleye. If fished correctly, it’ll produce for you all season long. Tight lines!
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