Jigging Walleyes on the MN Fishing Opener
May 8th, 2022 by Keith Worrall
Modified May 8th, 2022 at 12:10 PM
If you follow Lake of the Woods, you have probably heard the go to presentation for the upcoming MN Fishing Opener on Saturday, May 14th will be jigging! The majority of the walleyes being caught in the first part of the season is on a jig and minnow. There are a number of nuances when it comes to jigs and minnows and each angler has their favorites. It is good to have a number of tools in your jigging tool belt when it comes to jigging. Some Nuances to consider.
Color. Lake of the Woods is stained water. Consequently, there are some go to colors that work quite consistently. Gold is one color that absolutely shines. As many long time LOW anglers will tell you, use any color on LOW as long as it’s gold. In some cases, the gold is combined with other colors. Sometimes straight gold is the ticket.
Other strong colors are pink, orange, chartreuse and glow. Glow is an interesting choice in colors as it really shows up nicely in stained water. The other caveat is the different colors of glow that are available now. Glow red, glow pink, etc. Glow is also a nice complimentary color that is added to other colors.
A local company located up at Lake of the Woods, Tom’s Tackle, specializes in tackle for this body of water and has really created some effective color schemes specifically designed for stained water. Some of the creations are multi colored jigs on a gold base which is always a good starting point.
Shape and noise. Some jigs have different shapes. Most are round but there are other shapes that can be attractive to walleyes. In current, thinner molded jigs can cut the current allowing a different action and allow a lighter jig to be used.
Some jigs have extra noise attractants on them. In some cases it’s a rattle, in other cases a propeller or spinner. It is amazing how, in some cases, a little bit of noise can make such a difference.
Some jigs have a prism effect which causes the light to reflect differently off of the jig. How much of a difference does this make to the walleyes? Nobody really knows, but those jigs have produced a lot of big walleyes.
Hooking the minnow. Most anglers who jig simply hook the minnow through the lips. This technique is effective unless the walleyes are short biting. Many of the charters on LOW have their customers hook the frozen shiners through the mid body. Basically, place the hook of the jig through the mouth and out of the gill of the shiner, push it all the way up to the lead head and then hook the minnow through the mid section. In the stained water, the walleyes are less finicky about the presentation and this allows for a better percentage of successful hooksets.
Another effective nuance to effective jigging is if you are missing fish when they bite, add a stinger hook. A stinger hook is a short piece of line connected to a small treble hook that can be inserted near the tail of the minnow. As long as the stinger doesn’t take away action of the presentation which could cause you to get fewer bites, the hook up ratio will be much better. In the stained waters of Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River, this normally isn’t an issue.
Jigging can be an easy way to fish, certainly effective and relaxing. At the same time, there are ways to get this technique to be more productive. Thinking about the nuances and understanding how to use them can up the ante on your walleye jigging performance.