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.

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

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

13 Fishing Pathfinder Weedless Walking Bait

13 Fishing Pathfinder Weedless Walking Bait

Fresh off catching the biggest bass in ICAST Cup history, 13 Fishing pro Jessie Mizell shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead the new Big Squirm soft plastic worm and the company's unique Pathfinder topwater walking bait that is totally weedless in design.

Room Full of New Gear from L.L. Bean

Room Full of New Gear from L.L. Bean

L.L. Bean's Jeff Miller shares a room-full of new gear for 2020 with Game & Fish Editorial Director Adam Heggenstaller at ICAST 2019 in Orlando.

13 Fishing Inception SZ

13 Fishing Inception SZ

Florida angling pro Jessie Mizell knows that the saltwater found in Sunshine State coastal fisheries can wreak havoc on even the best fishing gear. But with 13 Fishing's new feature laden Inception SZ saltwater baitcasting reel, tackling inshore and light tackle saltwater game fish just got a whole lot easier!

New Spinning Reel for Finesse Fishermen

New Spinning Reel for Finesse Fishermen

As Pure Fishing's Andrew Upshaw explains, reel making giant Abu Garcia has done it again at ICAST 2019 with a new spinning reel geared towards finesse fishermen.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles


Spring is prime time for pike. The Prespawn and Postspawn periods offer excellent odds at catching Pike & Muskie

How To Catch Pike In Spring

Dan Johnson - April 26, 2016

Spring is prime time for pike. The Prespawn and Postspawn periods offer excellent odds at...

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

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...

Check out this Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart, a simple and accurate explanation from the In-Fisherman biologists. Bass

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...

To guide your carp quest, we've lined up the best carp baits that are easy-to-fish natural baits and commercial options. Carp

10 Best Carp Baits Available Today

Dan Johnson

To guide your carp quest, we've lined up the best carp baits that are easy-to-fish natural...

See More Trending Articles

More Walleye

A spinner-crawler rig on a bottom bouncer has proven deadly for walleye to those who have perfected the tactic. Walleye

Spinner-Crawler Rigs on Bottom Bouncers for Walleyes

Michael Veine - August 05, 2019

A spinner-crawler rig on a bottom bouncer has proven deadly for walleye to those who have...

Fish cannot, we soon find, be bought or bribed. Walleye

Fishing for Walleyes

Doug Stange - June 10, 2020

Fish cannot, we soon find, be bought or bribed.

Overcoming the challenges of finding and icing big-water walleyes starts with changing your mindset. Walleye

Big Water Walleyes

Dan Johnson - February 20, 2020

Overcoming the challenges of finding and icing big-water walleyes starts with changing your...

Triggering big fish is all about putting something down there that moves like animals walleyes eat. Walleye

Walleye Lures: A Shade Beyond Convention

Cory Schmidt - September 18, 2019

Triggering big fish is all about putting something down there that moves like animals walleyes...

See More Walleye

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

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

Get Digital Access.

All In-Fisherman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now