Them Toothy Critters II
Jigging for walleye is the easiest, simpilest (not too mention cheapest) way to catch Indiana walleye. You can use almost any light to medium outfit in your rod box. Most commonly used set up is a crappie fishing outfit. For those who would like to purchase a specific set up for jigging walleye, everyone has an opinion. So let me just make a few suggetions based on how "I" fish for walleye using a jig set.
First of all, when most anglers on Indiana lakes say they were jigging for walleye, they refer to a method also know as dragging or long lining. Using the wind, or a trolling motor, and monitoring your speed, you pull jigs across the bottom. These jigs are normally tipped with three inches of a crawler. Speed is determend by the behavior of the fish, but normally .5 to .8 mph is usually the speed you want to be moving.
I prefer a midium action rod. A good 7 foot spinning rod like the St. Croix Triumph is great and affordable at about $85 each. For spining reels, you need a line capacity of about 200 yards and something light with a good drag system. For the most part I "dead stick" my rods. I set my rod in rod holders instead of holding the rods. Granite, I will miss a few fish, but I will deploy three rods, and with others in the boat, my rods are secure when I net a fish or are busy dealing with other duties in the boat.
Two things that will be diferent with every angler that fishes, is jig wieght, and line size. I use 6# high visable Sufix Elite mono on all my jigging rods. The line is inexpensive, holds up good to the rigors of fishing and is strong enough to handle the fish and pull snagged hooks free most times. I use 1/8 ounce jigs all season. It is the only wieght i use in Indiana waters. These jigs will work well from three to about 13 foot of water when using monofilament line. In depths over 13 foot, i will add small sinker up about 3 to 5 foot above the jig.
I see fisherman casting a mile behind the boat while dragging jigs. A rule of thumb is only let out enough line to get your jig to the bottom. I will cast behind the boat while moving .5 mph. Allow the jig to settle and touch bottom. Watching my rod tips, if its not on the bottom, I will let out line untill it touches. If its hitting bottom, I will reel up line until it just taps ever so lightly. If you drag too hard on the bottom, it will allow you to catch a snag more easily. If you have more than a 50 to 60 degrees of slant from your rod to the water, you will snag easly as well. Remeber changes in speed will change the depth your jig is tracking.
Please follow along in the coming weeks as I discuss jig selection and more details on dragging jigs. I will be discussing locations, speed and water clarity. Also, how to narrow your search and home in on the target spots. I will also be posting new videos as the season progresses. All this so you can better catch them toothy critters!