Hello fellow Walleye fanatics, across our big sky state many of our local lakes and rivers are very near or have already reached what we refer to as the magic post spawn number. The big 50 degree mark is like an annual light switch that turns the walleye on and moves them to shallow waters to hunt forage along the shorelines. By no means is 50 degree water bikini temperature, but it’s warm enough to get the walleye feeding aggressively. Picture yourself as a walleye that has had to handle the rigors of spawning in cold water for the past few weeks with little to no food. Walleye are about as hungry as I am after fishing hard all day and envisioning a delicious cheeseburger on the way home. Walleye have one thing on their minds…FOOD!!!
As walleye shallow up they become very active hunting forage rather than waiting for it to swim by. This is the time of year to cover ground and find the active fish rather than waiting out the bite. Walleye are ready strikers this time of year and act more like a smallmouth bass or rainbow trout. We have a saying this time of year and it’s “Pitch til’ you Puke” meaning keep those jigs flying and rods swinging!
1.) Always use the lightest jig possible for the application (ie. wind, water depth, current, boat speed.) We recommend 1/8 -1/4 ounce for most of Montana’s lakes and rivers.
2.) Always let your jig fall on a slack line (fish always strike on the fall, they won’t feel you and will suck the jig in.)
3.) Braided line gives you incredible feel for jigging applications. We recommend 4-6lb Berkley Fireline with a fluorocarbon leader for pitching.
4.) Pitch (cast) your jig into shore and gently work it back to the boat “ticking” it slowly across the bottom. Walleye can be very subtle biters so set the hook at any feel of resistance…better to be safe than sorry.
We like to pitch the Kit’s Tackle “Glass Minnows” this time of year due to their realistic representation of natural forage and their incredible undulating action. If you want to beef up the presentation even more try tipping a Berkley Gulp minnow on the “Glass Minnow” for added scent and visual attraction.
From beginner to expert, nothing is more exciting than jig fishing…it is between you and the fish! It is the most rewarding type of fishing and you will be hooked.
CHEERS TO “Jiggin’ the Dream”,
For more great fishing tip’s, blog’s, and great fishing tackle and equipment check out Kit’s Tackle’s website