Fishing Methods

Early Season Walleye Jigging


Now that winter has come to an end and most lakes have gone through ice-out, I’m sure most of us want to get out on the lake and go after some early season Walleye. In as much as I love bass and trout, in my mind, walleye is the best tasting of freshwater fish!

Walleye fishing methods differ throughout North America, but if you’re like me, when I’m on a lake, I prefer vertical jigging. When jigging, I tend to use a white or red 1/4 oz round jig head and thread a 4-inch twister tail on it. This year I am also going to try to use a glowing or luminescent jig head and will let you know how that works in another post down the line.

My buddy Mike F. with a beautiful walleye caught on a 1/4 oz jig with a twister tail

Early in the season I usually find “Walter” in about 5 to 10 feet of water. Walleyes are anxious to warm up and feed after a winter little to feed on. Look for some shelves or rock piles just off the shallows. Walleye will tend to congregate in these areas. Drop your jig and let it hit bottom then reel to raise the jig just off the bottom so my line is tight. From there it’s 2 or 3 snap lifts and then back to the bottom. The walleye will usually hit it on the way down.

As far as what equipment to use. I use a 6 1/2 foot medium to light rod. Most manufacturers such as St. Croix, Bass Pro, Shimano, and Fenwick all have a series of walleye rods to choose from. I prefer a spinning reel when jigging. The reel needs to be small and light and needs to have a sensitive drag. I think Shimano and Abu Garcia make great ones. I use 8 to 10lb fluorocarbon line and prefer the Mister Twister jig heads and twister tails.

Enjoy your early season Walleye fishing and stay safe through this crazy coronavirus times!