TJ Hester has the Upper Columbia Walleye Fisheries Dialed in and has some very focused tactics for targeting them during the prime of winter months.
Winter is prime time for targeting walleye, and vertical jigging for walleye can be a deadly seasonal tactic. In this video posted by Fishing Addicts Northwest, Hester focuses on slowing down with a vertical jigging presentations, touching the bottom, and creating a short range of movement that stays within the strike zone.
Controlling your presentation from above the water’s surface can be a bit of a challenge. A slight drift or some current is ideal, as it creates a subtle angle to the jigging that is more diagonal than vertical, covering more water. Varying the cadence between twitching your presentations creates a more natural representation of a baitfish.
Here’s a helpful video:
With the bite happening on the drop, Hester explains that during the beginning of lifting the rod to create your jigging action, a slight pull to feel the pressure of a fish biting will increase the likelihood of connecting with a strike. Then following through with the lift, rather than a hard hookset, will keep the fish buttoned up.
When you do hook a fish, Hester explains that, “When you’re reeling in these fish, it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon,” reminding to lift slowly, and reel up slack as you drop your rod.
You can book a trip for walleye with Hester’s Sportfishing through the website hesterssportfishing.com. To see more videos from Fishing Addicts Northwest, check out their Facebook page and YouTube account.