Kim “Chief” Papineau
Once in awhile a fluke works.åÊ That’s what happened when I fished the PWT tournament on the Detroit River about 10 years ago.åÊ I was vertical jigging the early spring cold water, and noticed a jigging Rapala in my box.åÊ Since I had caught hundreds of walleyes under the ice, I thought, Why not?åÊ åÊåÊ
It worked (good enough for second place), and since then, I have perfected and tried to teach others the success of this pattern.åÊ Not many have tried it, and this may already be a forgotten tactic.åÊ
The key is to use 10-pound Fire Line.åÊ Feeling the bite is important, but with the no-stretch properties of the line, snags are remote.åÊ When the lure touches bottom, a quick lift of the rod tip keeps it out of the rocks.åÊ It works so good, that I won’t tie on a jig in a river; I go to a jigging Rapala right away.
The best areas are current breaks or current seams along eddies.åÊ I like humps, which I refer to a whoop-dee-doos.åÊ I fish right behind them.åÊ The lure action, with the direct Fire Line connection, means I only SHAKE the rod tip and the lure.åÊ I move the rod tip left to right, not up and down.åÊ This is the same motion I use under the ice and in rivers at ice-out, all the way through summer and fall. It’s a 12-month fishing method.åÊ I have usually added a 2-inch minnow to the middle hook for scent, and this season will see how they like Gulp!
This works well with 10-pound Fire Line tied directly to the lure.åÊ Longer rods, in 6 to 7 feet work best.åÊ The rods need a stiff backbone for setting the hook, but a light tip for shaking the lure.åÊåÊåÊ