Verticle Jigging Flats Through the Ice for Walleyes

Vertically jigging spoons is my go-to technique for ice fishing walleyes on large flats. I keep two rods rigged at all times—one with a 1/8-ounce jigging spoon and another with a 1/16-ouncer for a backup. If walleyes come in to look at the larger spoon but won’t hit, I can quickly drop the smaller one into the strike zone.

Total Solutions Technique

Instead of searching for fish across an entire flat, I key on subtle depth changes of six to eight inches—always fishing the bottom of the break. When there’s little or no snow, I also look for overhead cover: namely, pressure ridges that collect snow blowing across the ice, creating a little more shade than the surrounding icepack. Baitfish often follow these “shade lines,” attracting hungry walleyes in the process. Another tip when snow is scarce—to reduce fish-spooking shadows, always put your portable on a patch of snow, never on glare ice.

Don’t tie directly to the spoon; a small barrel swivel 8 inches above it will reduce line twists, which can be a big factor when you want to deadstick in front of a sluggish walleye. Attach the spoon to the line with a small round-nosed snap for best action. Drop the spoon six inches off bottom and jig aggressively with snaps and twitches until a fish appears on your sonar, then adjust as necessary, according to how the fish reacts.

Total Solutions Equipment

Berkley’s Lighting Rod Spinning Ice Rod LRIS28MLS is perfect for this tactic. The 28-inch, medium-light graphite rod has just the right action and backbone. Team it up with a Mitchell Avocet spinning reel, spooled with 4/1 to 6/2 FireLine Crystal Micro Ice line. Finally, tip the jigging spoon with a 2-inch Berkley 2 Inch Power Minnow. The split tail twitches so seductively, even finicky ‘eyes find it hard to resist.

Berkley® Lightning Rod® Spinning Ice Rod

Berkley® FireLine Crystal™

Mitchell Avocet  Spinning Reel

Berkley® 2″ Power® Minnow


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