I love to catch fish. Any fish. I will use the many techniques available to me through my years of experience to catch fish wherever I go. However, there is one technique that I hold most dear: Jigging. It’s the best hands-on fishing experience there is!
There is nothing like feeling a fish strike, feeling that initial weight, and then the fight: The wonder of what’s below, its size, its species. Jigging, I feel, is the best presentation method for this experience. However, it is a technique that requires a little attention to detail…
Whether snap-jigging a Kalin’s jerk minnow or slowly gliding a crawler through current, the size of the jig is very, very important. The key to successful jigging is having the bait fall at the proper rate to make a fish bite. While snap jigging, I may want to adjust the fall rate depending on the mood of the fish. A faster fall and snap for aggressive fish, while a lighter jig and fall rate for more lethargic fish.
Jigging in current is a little different. In current, you want to have the jig GLIDE through the water. Cast at a 45-degree angle to the current, and use a jig just heavy enough to periodically touch the bottom as it glides naturally into the mouth of a hungry walleye. Too heavy of a jig, it will fall too fast and most likely snag into rocks and submerged timber. If you use too light of a jig, it will just be swept down current too fast without coming in contact with the bottom where most fish are holding. A jig that’s too light also makes it difficult to control the bait and feel the bite.
Experiment with different size jigs in various conditions. When you get the combination right and start feeling the bite, the fight, and the happiness of caught fish; you will see why I love to jig more than anything else!