Swim-Style Walleyes


Mary had the touch last night. With water temperatures around 65°F, walleyes were sliding into depths of 6 feet on the rocky shoreline we chose to fish. (We have to choose those shorelines very well. Mary doesn't get out of work until 5 pm, so we're limited to lakes within 20 miles if we want to get much fishing in before dark.)


Sometimes it's a 5-inch Kalin's Grub. Other times it's a 4-inch Berkley Power Worm. Could be a 5-inch soft swimbait from Castaic, Berkley, YUM, Density Tackle, Lunker City, B'Fish'N Tackle, or any number of products from a wide range of companies. These are all very different looking baits. Some have paddle tails, others have auger tails. Forked tails, finesse tails — doesn't matter. If it's plastic and 4 to 6 inches long, you should try pitching it for walleyes on an appropriately-sized jig. Mary was using a Kalin's grub on a 3/32-ounce Gopher Tackle Mushroom Head last night (also her favorite swimming combo for smallmouths — and she caught several specimens from that category last night, too). Walleyes were eating it up. (I kept trying to power jig, Tony, but the water temperature had dropped 3 degrees from 68°F a few days ago and they wanted things on the swim. Period.)

Swimming is so easy nobody will believe it works. Takes hours, sometimes, to get visitors on my boat to stop "jigging." We use 7-foot, medium-light rods from G. Loomis and St. Croix, and Pflueger Patriarch or Shimano Symetre reels spooled with 5- to 8-pound Maxima Ultragreen mono, depending on how heavy the jig is (we often go up to 1/4 ounce or even heavier in wind or deeper water). Lately I've been using a lot of Northland Impulse Paddle Tail Minnows on 1/8-ounce Slurp Rig Jigs. Cast, let the bait drop to bottom (or count it down and engage just before it hits), point the rod tip down, and slowly reel it back to the boat. If you're dragging on bottom the presentation is too slow. If it's not touching bottom at all, slow down. That's it.


Last night we boated a couple pike, about 21 bass, quite a few walleyes, and we were either bitten off or simply broke off twice. Without jigging. Without bait. With three hours to fish. Several guys at the landing said they got blanked.

We never see anybody doing this, even on the most populated lakes in the area. All y'all can go on believing it's not that simple. We honestly don't mind.

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

Recommended for You

News

Navionics adds SonarChart Shading to its Platinum+ and HotMaps Platinum cartography

In-Fisherman - April 29, 2019

Navionics adds SonarChart Shading and HotMaps Platinum.

Bass

10 Best Bass Fishing States In America

Matt Straw - November 01, 2017

Which of the ten is the best? You decide.

Recipes

Blackened Fish Recipe

Tommy Thompson

Blackened fish ready to serve with a side of okra and cucumber-red onion salad. This recipe is...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Softbaits for Smallmouths

Doug Stange uses softbaits from Berkley to entice finicky smallmouth bass.

Largemouth Bass: Tricks of Our Trade

The In-Fisherman staff reveals insider swimming jig tips and tricks for big bass.

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!

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Other Fish

Best Carp Baits Today

Dan Johnson - June 29, 2018

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

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...

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...

See More Stories

More Walleye

Walleye

Best Locations for Giant Walleyes

Steve Ryan - March 19, 2019

Here's some of the best locations for your shot at a giant walleye.

Walleye

Pitching Baits to Shallow Walleyes

Matt Straw - March 09, 2018

When fish move shallow, pitching a variety of baits will often take more fish.

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.

See More Walleye

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

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

×