Stinger Hooks Nab Short-Striking Walleyes

Stinger Hooks Nab Short-Striking Walleyes

Winter river fishing means cold water, often fussy walleyes, and short strikes. Time and again, your jig and minnow comes back to the boat with the minnow's tail skin peeled like a grape. Gummy 'eye. The fish don't eat it; only grasp and hold the minnow lightly by the tail. When you set the hook, that momentary hint of resistance was the minnow popping back through walleye lips.

In tough conditions, 9 out of 10 gummy 'eyes might be converted to lip-hooks by adding a stinger to the jig. In most cases, that's a small #8 or #10 treble attached via a short section of monofilament or braided wire. Used to be, you had to tie your own, connecting the end opposite the hook to either the bend in the jig hook or to the eye of the jig. The main challenge was tying it short enough to be just forward of the minnow's tail, in perfect position to nab a short striker.

Today, most companies catering to walleye anglers offer some form of quick add-on stinger for tough conditions. Many feature a fast snap clip that clicks into an additional eye on the jighead. Some looped connectors still slip over the hook bend or eye, requiring you to pull the mono tight to form the knot. In

some cases, a neoprene stop or crimpable sleeve seals the deal.

Lindy-Little Joe rubber coats their connectors; slip 'em over the hook point, and the rubber grips the hook shaft. (Available in Stinger Snell treble and slip-over Stinger Hook single-hook versions, plus Fast Snap treble Stinger Snells.) Northland Tackle also offers rubber-coated snelled Slip-On Stinger Hooks, plus snelled fast-snap treble and single Sting'r Hook versions.

Either let the stinger flop free, which does not restrict minnow action, letting it flow up and down with each jigging motion -- which is perhaps most prone to snagging. Or insert one tine of a treble into the minnow's tail, just ahead of the tail fin, to reduce snags and perhaps enhance hooking. This likely restricts minnow action a bit, however. Blue Fox's Stinging Hook Clip attaches firmly to the minnow's tail. P/K Tackle's FireLine stinger features a reversed barb on one hook tine to grip the minnow but pop out easier on the hookset, allegedly improving hooking.

A few jigs feature stingers permanently attached to the jighead. Most, however, incorporate removable stingers for times when you don't need 'em (aggressive fish), or when snags are too prevalent to permit stinger use (weeds, wood, or snaggy rocks). In most jigging conditions throughout the year, you probably won't need a stinger hook. But for gummy 'eyes in cold water, stingers reach out and stick lips, converting bumps and hesitations into 'eyes on the line.

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

Recommended for You


Spring is Prime Time for River Walleyes

Dan Johnson - February 22, 2018

Across the Walleye Belt, early spring is prime time to tap some of the year's best bites.


Sensational New Softbaits for Bass

Steve Quinn - April 22, 2019

Steve Quinn talks new softbaits for bass from Berkley.


Buzzbaits for Bass

Dan Johnson - February 02, 2015

To help you get a handle on it all, we offer the following rundown of top choices on the...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Mustad's Inkvader Octopus Live Jig

From big fish to small, just about any saltwater game fish out there will love the new Mustad Inkvader Octopus Live Jig that Mustad's Russ Whisler shows to OSG's Lynn Burkhead.

Tactical Changes for Smallmouths

Doug Stange deploys an one unique in-line spinnerbiat option for smallmouths.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories


Catfish Pole Rigs

Richard Peterson with In-Fisherman - April 28, 2016

Pole lines illustrate the paradox of catfishing. At a time when excellent rods, reels, and...


Walleye Length To Weight Conversion Chart

Dr. Rob Neumann - January 03, 2017

Several methods are available to estimate the weight of a fish. Some use length as well as...


Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart

Dr. Rob Neumann - January 22, 2017

Check out this Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart, a simple and accurate...

See More Stories

More Walleye


The Lowdown on Walleye Hardbaits

Steve Ryan - May 28, 2019

The range of walleye hardbaits encompasses multiple categories and a dizzying number of lures.


Patterns That Find Late Summer Walleye

Cory Schmidt

You have to admire the optimism of statements like, "There's no such thing as a bad time to go


Bottom Presentations for Winter Walleye

Cory Schmidt - January 26, 2018

These techniques will help put more walleye in the boat when tough situations are presented.

See More Walleye

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.