Use Some Weed Witchery for Catching Walleyes

Poppee flipped a little cast with a jig-n minnow into the weeds about 35 years ago. It snagged up, it popped free, he set the hook and, after a brief battle, a nice, fat walleye was swimming in the livewell!

 

You would think that two semi-professional anglers like us would make another cast into those weeds and pull another walleye out, but that didn’t happen. We didn’t want to snag up. Plus, that fish was most definitely a fluke!

 

A fluke it was not

 

Ten years later, we learned about the finer points of fishing the weeds for walleyes on Little Arbor Vitae Lake in northern Wisconsin. Northern Wisconsin is good weed/walleye country and we’ve caught a bunch of nice ones up there. Since then, we fish weeds and walleyes whenever we can. We’ve caught walleyes in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin as well as Lake of the Woods in Canada. We have caught them in three feet of weedy water and as deep as 20 feet at the weed edge.

 

Weeds are home to all species of fish, from tiny minnows to the mighty muskie. In some bodies of water, weeds are the only place they’ll be. In others, they will only occupy the weeds at different times of year. When it’s hot, those walleyes will bury themselves in the weed edge. In low-light conditions, and dusk and dawn, they patrol the perimeter.

Jigs and confidence

 

How do you fish those weeds to get the most success? You’ll need a jig and some confidence. The jig must be heavy enough to cast, yet light enough to not get snagged up. We have found the right weight to be 3/32 ounce, most of the time. It’s a hard size to find! However, if you are fishing shallow, you could lighten to 1/16 ounce. If it’s windy or you’re on a deep weed edge, you can up-size to 1/8 or 3/16 ounce.

 

Position your boat parallel to the weed edge and make a cast right into the weeds.

 

I repeat, make a cast right into the weeds!

 

You’ll want your offering to be right in the weeds so that your jig hangs up. Sometimes it will work free on it’s own. Other times, you quick snap your rod and the jig pops free… that’s when the walleyes strike! If your jig is too heavy, you will snag the weeds. More often than not, you will pull a big stalk back to the boat. That catches nothing!

 

It’s the pop that gets the hit

 

The best technique is to jiggle the tip or try the snap. Walleyes and every other fish around will go on alert when your jig hits the water, when the weeds move and when the jig pops free. Whether they are feeding or not, they will hit the jig when it pops free. It’s just too hard to resist. Their instinct takes over and they pounce!

 

Besides the jig weight, what you tip the jig with is important. Popular choices are minnows, half or whole crawlers, leeches and plastics like AuthentX Moxi’s, Ringworms, Paddletails and Ribb-Finn’s. To me, plastic is the key!

 

Speaking of jigs, the only ones we use are made by B-Fish-N Tackle. Their H20 jig comes in nine sizes, a myriad of colors, has a wire keeper that holds plastic and crawlers tight to the head and, best of all, they are stamped with each weight right on the jig. And, yes, they have the hard-to-find 3/32-ounce size!