Lake Erie Spring Walleye Jigging!
In this Fishin' Talk blog we will spend a minute giving you some insight on the basics to jig the Lake Erie Reefs in the spring! Captain Mike Schmitt will provide some insight on his setup below. Captain Denny Sharrone shares some quick tips in the video. Make sure to gear up and get ready! It will be here before you know it!
Will Smith may have said it best and it's about time to Get Jiggy With It! The Lake Erie reef's are located in Oak Harbor, Ohio and the walleye bite typically starts heating up the last week of March every year. The exact spawning event and best bite windows fluctuate slightly each year based on the water temperature and other factors. If we have a cold spring, it will often be the first or second week of April before the bite gets really good. April - mid May can provide some fast and furious action! There are multiple launches in the area with Fenwick Marina and Wild Wings Marina being the most popular as they are within a short run of the reefs. Meinke Marina is a few miles west but puts you on the Maumee Bay jig bite. You can stock up on the essential items from our online store or stop in and see the local bait shops. Happy Hooker is right next to Fenwick Marina. Bite Me Bait and Tackle is right next to Wild Wings. Butch and Dennys is close to Meinke Marina. Below is what we use when jigging on Lake Erie. We get asked this question a lot, so hopefully it helps answer some future questions from our customers
Our Normal Jigging Setup:
Rod: 6' - 6' 6'' MF when jigging over the side. 6' 6'' - 7' MF when casting.
Reel: Size 2000 - 2500 Reel
Line: 10# Power Pro High Vis Yellow to Seaguar Red 15# Fluro leader.
Lures: 5/8-1oz Venom High Dollar Jigs tipped with Gulp Alive. If the jig bite is off or the water is stirred up, we will use Captain Jay's Blade Baits. We occasionally cast/jig Split Tail Minnows and WNC Rip N Glides to mix things up.
Click HERE to see our Jigging Gear Product Page
We prefer the 6' rod when jigging over the side of the boat and 6' 6" - 7' rod when casting. We use a leader to help reduce stinger hook fouling. If hair jigging, we typically tie direct to the jig. If blade bait fishing, we tie on a #2 Pro-Lock Duolock Snap and clip on the blade bait. We use the Venom High Dollar Hair Jigs. Sizes vary from 5/8 up to 1oz depending on current and wind. Stinger hooks are a must. We use Captain Jay's Blade Baits when blade bait fishing. We also occasionally cast or jig split tail minnows on jig heads and WNC Rip N Glides just to mix it up! We drift with a target speed of .5 mph. Any faster, we use a drift control device to slow down. Cast and hop back to the boat on flat calm days or use your trolling motor to create drift. Vary your jig cadence and pay attention to what you are doing when you get bit, so you can reproduce the same jigging cadence. Some days sharp snaps work best, other days it's a slower raise and pause. Try different retrieves and figure out what works, which can vary throughout the day. If you are doing something different and it's working, tell your buddies so they don't get mad at you Make sure you check the weather, wind and wave forecast before making the drive. The jigging season comes with some harsh weather conditions and water clarity challenges. You can get away with a stiffer South or West wind but North or East, nothing over 10mph is very fun. If you go out and brave the wind/waves, make sure you have a couple drift bags! Click HERE to see our online resource for checking conditions.
Captain Denny Sharrone with 22 Sport Fishing Charters!