Rip Jigging for Walleyes

Rip jigging is a great way to fish postspawn walleyes in emerging weedbeds during early summer. The technique really shines early and late in the day, and during overcast or windy weather. You can cover water in search of active fish that other anglers miss. About the only time it’s not a top option is after a major cold front blows through, or on a clear-water lake on a bright, sunny day.

Total Solutions Technique

Use your trolling motor to ease along, parallel to the outside edge of the weed flat. Ideally, you’re looking for beds of pondweed or “cabbage” in five to 12 feet of water. Cast up onto the flat as you move slowly along, paying special attention to points, cups and other irregularities on the weedline. When possible, position the boat so you’re casting downwind, to maximize casting distance.

Let the jig fall to bottom. Point your rod toward the jig and take up the slack. Next, snap the rodtip two to four feet upward or to the side, so the jig “rips” off the bottom. In windy conditions, I rip to the side; otherwise I favor upward rod snaps. Either way, the motion is similar to a hookset. Quickly reel up slack and drop the rodtip, following the jig back to bottom. Most strikes come on the fall. Sometimes you can see the line move when a walleye hits, but often the fish is just there when you make the next rip.

Total Solutions Equipment

My favorite rod for this presentation is a 6-foot, medium-action Berkley Lightning spining rod. I match the rod with an Abu Garcia REVO SX spinning reel, spooled with 10/2 Spiderwire Stealth. Tracer Yellow is my favorite line color, because it helps me watch for subtle hits. My go-to rippin’ jig is Berkley’s 3-inch Pre-Rigged Swim Shad in either Perch or Silver Shad. The 3-inch PowerBait Minnow—in Black Shad, Chartreuse Shad or Perch—works well, too. Both of these baits come pre-rigged, ready to fish. Another one of my favorite ripping setups is a 3-inch, Pearl White or Pumpkinseed Gulp! Shaky Shad, threaded on a ¼- to 3/8-ounce jighead.

Berkley® Lightning® Spinning Rod

Abu Garcia® REVO SX Series

Berkley® 3″ Pre-Rigged® Swim Shad

Berkley® 3 inch PowerBait® Minnow

Berkley® 3″ Gulp! Shaky Shad


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