Winter walleye fishing can be fast and furious, if you choose the right technique. Too many anglers carry over their summer mentality in presentation for walleyes through the ice. The key, downsize every aspect of the jigging presentation. Go Finesse!
Total Solutions Technique
Finesse fishing through the ice will always increase your odds of getting bit. You’ll want to use small diameter line and super small spoons, 1/32 to 1/16 ounce, with a single hook tipped with your 2.5 inch Gulp! Minnow. You’ll want to use a subtle up and down jigging motion. This will get the most attention from finicky walleyes under the ice. You can also use small spoons with treble hooks, but tip this with the head chunk of a Gulp! Minnow. This type of spoon is generally for a more aggressive up and down jigging motion. Do the two side-by-side to cover both spectrums until you get bit. This will help you figure out the walleye’s mood faster, meaning you are going to maximize your time on the ice.
Total Solutions Equipment
Let’s start with the line. FireLine is the ultimate tool for finesse fishing. It has a super thin diameter and maximum sensitivity. For clear water, use Crystal FireLine and in stained water, smoke fits the bill. Use either 2/6 or 1/4 pound test Fireline and use a 10-12 inch leader of Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon that’s the same pound test as your Fireline.
For the jigging rods & reels, I really like the Berkley® Lightning Rod® Spinning Ice Rods in the Medium Light action( model LRIS28ML-R) and Medium action (model LRIS28M-R). Teamed with an ultra-light reel like the Berkley LR100 spinning reel, this is a light weight and deadly combo for ice fishing with finesse.
As mentioned above, GULP! Minnows are wonderful baits to use. Their built-in scent attractors and life-like actions make them ideal for tipping jigs. The small 2.5 inch models in natural colors like Black Shad, Emerald Shiner and Smelt are by far my favorite for finesse situations like this.
Berkley® Lightning Rod® Ice Fishing Combo
Berkley® FireLine Crystal™
Berkley® GULP!® 2.5 Minnow
Berkley® Trilene® 100% Fluorocarbon