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Fishing for Walleye in the Weeds - Tips and Techniques

Weed Walleye – one of my favorites! Today I’d like to share some tips, techniques, and baits to use so that you can have a successful day catching walleye in the weeds.

Baits

Although natural bait works well for walleye, it’s tough to fish it in the weeds: it usually ends up coming off your hook. Artificial baits are the preferred. My number 1 bait to use in the weeds is by far, the buck tail jig.

bucktail jig
A Bucktail Jig
Other choices are jigs tipped with twister tails or plastic shads, and crank baits. Spinner baits will also work, but are not as effective as other fishing lures.

I may rig up many rods with different artificial baits, but I always end up using a buck tail jig the most. Buck tail jigs produce both quality and quantity when jigging them correctly – as the expression goes… don’t leave home without them!

Weather Conditions

Weed edges often produce plenty of fish. The best time to concentrate on weed edges are in early mornings, evenings, cloudy days, rainy days, and windy days. During these times, the walleye will be very active and seeking food in this high percentage spot.

Keep in mind that any time there is wind, walleye will become active. The waves cut down on light exposure, stir up plankton, which stirs up the bait fish, and then turns on the walleye. Wind and water create what is referred to as the “walleye chop”.

During those calm, bright sunny days, the walleye will bury themselves in the weeds. During these periods, you will want to stay away from the edge and fish right in the weeds.

You may still catch some walleyes on the weed edge, but they would generally be smaller - you will find more fish, and bigger fish, right in the weeds during those days.

Techniques

If you have an electric motor, use it to slowly follow the contours of a weed edge. During this time, the best method is to just toss your jig (again, I prefer a buck tail jig) out about 6 to 8 yards away… this is critical… do not make long casts.

You want to keep your jig close so you can control it better and not get hung up in the weeds. Now you simply jig it back to the boat. Should you feel a weed, snap your jig back with a hard twitch of your rod, and it should rip out of the weeds and remain weed free. However, if you do end up catching weeds on your jig, then remove them and re-cast. It is important that your jig is completely weed free, or Mr. Walleye will be reluctant to bite.

Jig Head Weight (this is critical)

When fishing jigs in the weeds, one tip to keep in mind is to go with a heavy jig head. If you use a light jig head (i.e. 1/8 or ¼ ounce), it will not penetrate the weeds. Rather it will get hung up on the weed tops, or if you’re lucky, it may find its’ way to about half way down the weeds.

The walleye however, will be lurking closer to the bottom (in the shade), so you want to ensure your jig is falling through the weeds and getting to the bottom. Use 3/8 oz to ½ oz jig head at a minimum, and go heavier depending on the thickness of the weeds you are fishing… this is key.

(As a side note, the new series of lures we will be releasing later this year are absolutely dynamite for Walleye, as well as other game fish)

Until next time, good fishing!
Ivo




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