Saturday, January 28th, 2023
Saturday, January 28th, 2023

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Spin into midsummer with this productive jig

By Steve Carney

Contributing Writer

 

As we head into the warm period of midsummer, I have made some changes to my presentations. Walleyes, crappies and bass need to be coaxed into biting because they have numerous food choices and the lakes are loaded with young-of-the-year minnows. 

 

July means pitching and trolling active baits such as spinners and bottom bouncers – or, my favorite, a jig with a spinner attached. 

 

Here’s a strategy I use for spinner jigs.

Do it in style

There are a few styles out there that all perform about the same way. One style features a silver blade under the jig and another features a silver propeller along the shaft of the jig itself. 

 

These two styles are my go-to jigs.  

Presentation education

Because most game fish during this part of the season are using cabbage and milfoil areas as food sources, a regular jig can be difficult to work over and along these areas. 

 

I recently had an 8- and a 10-year old and their father in my boat, and they were getting frustrated by weeds. 

 

I switched everyone to the bladed jig so they could better work over the top of the weed growth. 

 

The blades on both styles of jigs tend to elevate the jig, and the turning blade keeps the jig mostly afloat – it doesn’t sink as fast. By retrieving the jig slowly, there is no need to lift and drop it like you would with a standard jig.

 

A slow and steady retrieve works wonders. We caught a variety of species, including walleyes, bass, and pike, and with virtually no hang-ups. 

 

I can’t think of a better way for kids to catch fish than with this presentation of bladed jigs.

Think small jigs

Stick with the lightest-bladed jig you can find. This means the 1⁄16-ounce size is my favorite when working depths of 4 to 8 feet. I rarely use the next size up – the 1⁄8-ounce size – because it sinks a bit faster. 

 

Tip the bladed jigs with either a small crappie minnow or a plastic tail. The minnow doesn’t seem to perform any better than the plastic. It’s really all about the turning blade and the vibration, which trigger strikes. 

 

The strikes are often violent, whether you pop a crappie or a walleye. 

 

All bladed jigs feature a large hook, which comes in handy when the toothy critters decide to bite.

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