One of my favorite presentations from prespawn through early summer is casting jigs to walleyes relating to shoreline cover and structure. Find a hot location and figure out the right jig presentation, and you can enjoy some fantastic fishing.
Total Solutions Technique
Start by scanning a good lake map for key fish-attracting areas. I look for main-lake points and secondary points, as well as feeder creeks. These inflows, especially near weeds, can be dynamite. Long casts are key to avoid spooking fish, so position your boat a healthy cast-length from shore. Then, cast to the bank and let your jig fall to bottom.
Naturally, the idea is work the bait down the break all the way back to the boat. But don’t just crank it in at a steady pace. Experiment with different speeds and movements until you find out what trips the walleyes’ triggers. Try dragging the jig, popping it off bottom, swimming just off bottom, and mixing these moves together until you establish a pattern for the conditions at hand. As you follow the break deeper, let the jig flutter down it. Once you catch a few fish from a particular depth or location on the breakline, don’t waste time fishing water closer to or farther from the shoreline—focus on the hot zone.
Total Solutions Equipment
One of the keys to success in this technique is going as light as possible with all your tackle. I favor jigs from 3/32- to ¼-ounce at the heaviest (with a 1/0 or 2/0 hook), tipped with a 3-inch Berkley GULP! Minnow or Berkley GULP! Shaky Worm. Subdued natural colors (such as Black Shad) are hot in clear water; in low-light or low-vis conditions, switch to baits with some chartreuse.
I like a 6-foot, 6-inch graphite spinning rod for shoreline jig casting; light-power and medium-action is ideal. Match it with a light, sturdy, high-performance spinning reel spooled with a light, yet strong fishing line like 4/1 Berkley FireLine in Flame Green or Crystal FireLine—depending on water conditions. In stained or cloudy water, the high-vis Flame green makes it easy to watch for line twitches and sags that can betray a strike. If the water is exceptionally clear, I use 6-pound Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon or Trilene Sensation Solar (when I need better line visibility).
Berkley® FireLine Crystal™
Berkley® Trilene® Sensation® – Solar
Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon
Berkley GULP! Minnow
Berkley GULP! Shaky Worm