Pitching Jigs – Walleyes

When it comes to fishing walleyes scattered along the outer edges of weeds, rocks, timber or riprap, pitching jigs is my number one presentation. It’s a top option from the post-spawn through late summer—anytime the fish are holding just inside this gnarly cover.

Total Solutions Technique

Position your boat just outside the cover you want to fish. Use an underhand flipping motion to pitch the jig eight to 10 feet into the cover; if you’re fishing riprap, cast it almost to the shoreline. Click the bail shut and watch your line as the jig falls until it contacts bottom or comes to rest on a leaf, limb, rock or other object.

Reel down until your rodtip is at the 9 o’clock position, then raise it so the jig pops off the cover or structure and swims at a downward angle until it settles on something else or a fish grabs it. When the jig stops swimming, test to see if it’s a fish by gingerly raising the rodtip and tightening the line. Don’t put too much pressure on when you test, just a little or the fish will spit the jig. The bend of a fast-action rodtip will tell you whether or not you have a walleye. A fish will move the tip a little bit, while a snag just feels like dead weight.

If it feels like a fish, set the hook. Otherwise repeat the process until the jig is on bottom almost directly below the rodtip. When you get to this point it’s tempting to reel in, but there may be walleyes following the jig. I always bounce it off bottom a few times on a somewhat tight line, just in case.

Total Solutions Equipment

The rod has to be sensitive, with a fast tip, for this to work. You have to be able to test for the fish without the fish feeling you. I like a medium-light action, 6½- or 7-foot graphite spinning rod like Berkley® Lightning® Spinning Rod. Match it with a sturdy but lightweight spinning reel, like the Abu Garcia REVO SX, spooled with 6/2 Flame Green FireLine. The setup should balance out so at the end of the day you don’t feel like you’ve been in arm-wrestling contest.

For pitching, I like a 1/16-ounce jig head (weedless for fishing weeds, otherwise with just a plain hook) tipped with a 6-inch, natural color Gulp! Extruded Nightcrawler. The 3- and 4-inch Power Minnow Grubs are good choices, too. Experiment with color to match water clarity and light penetration.

Berkley® Lightning® Spinning Rod

Abu Garcia® REVO SX Series

Berkley® FireLine®

Berkley® 6 inch GULP!® Nightcrawler

Berkley® 3″ Power® Minnow Grub