walleyes have been hitting jigs well, but extremely
lightly all season. For inexperienced or poorly equipped
fisherman, it may be difficult to even tell that a walleye
has taken your jig.
reason this year, you seldom feel that tell-tale
"thump" when you get a hit. Often you just feel
a little resistance, a slight weight, or see your line
moving. A friend of mine described it as feeling like you
"hooked a wet leaf". It may also feel similar to
hooking yet another weed. Other times, you may simply no
longer feel the weight of your jig when a walleye grabs
it. So watch your rod tip and line closely and maintain
In order to
have this kind of feel, you need a sensitive graphite rod.
I prefer a 7-foot, St.Croix Premier, medium-light action.
Also, use light line in no heavier than 6-pound test and
the lightest jig possible. Ninety percent of the time, I
use 1/32nd or 1/16th-ounce jigs.
When you do
detect a subtle walleye hit, usually you'll miss the fish
if you set the hood immediately. Upon a hit, first drop
your rod tip to give the fish slack and time to fully take
the bait. Some days it may be necessary to open the bail
on your reel for the same reason. After retrieving the
slack, set the hook hard in an upward, sweeping motion and
"cross their eyeballs".
an overly simplistic explanation and only time on
the water will develop that feel and timing needed to
consistently catch walleyes while jigging. However, once
you develop that touch, old marble-eyes doesn't stand a