Jigging For WalleyesBy Tony Kobriger - September 1, 2012
On the Winnebago system, where I live, I have found great success jigging over rock piles. When targeting these rocky areas, stay as close to the deepest mud-to-rock transition lines that you can possibly find. These areas usually hold the most walleye and perch at this time of year. Once you locate a rock pile with a considerable number of fish, hit a waypoint and troll around it a few times. Use #7 shad raps in the natural colors while trolling to help find the active fish in the area. By fall, this crankbait will mimic small sheepshead, shiners, and shad very well.
After trolling around a spot, set the anchor and try some jigging. In addition to a traditional jig and plastic presentation, this fall try a new product that may seem too good to be true. Uncle Josh's MEAT products are made of pork fat and are reasonably-priced, less messy than live bait and are incredibly effective. The MEAT Crawler looks like a crawler but stays on the hook much better when cast. A MEAT Minnow rigged on a standard jig head is also a very effective alternative to using live bait. The MEAT Minnow is very flexible and contains the scent of real minnows with unbelievably lifelike action.
Another product to try while jigging for walleye this fall is the Echotail hybrid blade bait made by Vibrations Tackle. The Echotail combines the traditional blade bait with the opportunity to experiment with lots of tail options on the market. The 3-inch Kalin's grub tail works the best on the ½-ounce blade as it offers great action combined with a solid vibration. Uncle Josh MEAT products also work great as a tail option on the Echotail. The fish hold onto the bait longer, allowing you to detect bites more easily. At this time of year, you are targeting aggressive, hungry fish. Using pork products with a lure with high vibration will help make it easy for the fish to find you. Casting the Echotail is an effective and fun way to catch these aggressive walleye holding on rock piles.
Lastly, jigging rock piles may require you to bounce from spot to spot since every rock pile will not likely hold as many walleye as you'd like to catch. You may need a strong set of arms to continue pulling up the anchor or, better yet, bring out a friend to help share the workload.
While the fall provides a number of various outdoor opportunities, spend some time on the water jigging for walleye. Using these techniques, you won't be disappointed!