May 18, 2012
By Matt Straw
It's like peeking out of a fox hole. Is the Walleye Opener Carnival gone, yet? Whew. Why deal with that crush of humanity unless you have to?
Tony Roach, of course, has to. "Some areas were just nuts, but it wasn't that bad, here," he said. "Not that bad" for Roach translates to "run for you life" for me. I'm not a big fan of crowds when fishing. Things always quiet down dramatically a few days later.
We were working on an assignment for the August issue of In-Fisherman last night, taking pictures to match editorial describing Roach's unique power jigging walleyes approach. And, after guiding all day, Roach was gracious enough to invite us to share the evening bite on his boat. You won't meet a nicer guy, so I won't undermine subscribers and lay out the entire practice here. In fact, this is just a teaser — a blatantly subversive trick intended to increase newsstand sales. Not working? Take a peek at this girl.
I had my hat handed to me last night. I decided I'd just swim my 3-inch, Northland Impulse Paddle Minnow near bottom on a 1/8-ounce Northland Slurp jig. I popped a nice 7 pounder and had another horse up to the boat but lost it. Roach, meanwhile, was hooking about ten to my one, using the power-jigging technique he developed. He had fish on constantly.
Mary, meanwhile, tricked the biggest fish of the evening. She was power jigging, too (after a few quick pointers from Roach). Swimming 3, Power Jigging 21. It was a three-touchdown blowout.
I was impressed. I've accompanied Roach on power-jigging missions in the past, but never decided to try beating it side-by-side with other plastic-oriented techniques. What an eye opener. Power jigging is extremely effective, and vaguely reminiscent of tactics developed quite a few years ago by walleye guide Dick Gryzwyinski — the famous "Gryz." Roach might disagree because there are principle differences. Gryz backtrolls when applying his widely acclaimed snap-jigging technique. Roach pitches and casts, sometimes to specific fish he spots with sonar. Gryz traditionally used monofilament. Roach claims the technique is about half as effective — especially for beginners — without braided line. Gryz used feather jigs. Roach uses plastics.
Just an observation. Maybe I'm all wet. Certainly looked that way last night. And I'm giving myself away. If you want to learn more about power jigging from this source, pick up the August issue.