When you bust out the plastics for walleye, you need to take up a completely different mindset. As Al Lindner explains in the video, you can’t rely on the slow-and-steady presentation that you’ve grown accustomed to dragging livebait on a lightweight jig head.
When you have “real” bait on the back of your jig, there’s less harm in fishing slowly and letting the fish inspect the lure for a period of time. When you jump into the world of fishing plastics for walleye, the game changes. You need to fish the bait quickly and aggressively, never giving the fish more than a moment to analyze your bait.
It’s got a million names – snap jigging, rip jigging, pop jigging – the theory remains the same: fishing quickly and triggering reaction strikes from aggressive walleyes that are looking to feed. Often times, this strategy will net you some of the biggest fish in the entire lake.
Here’s Al Lindner’s two cents on the topic:
“I haven’t used livebait on a jig in 10+ years. I can out-fish livebait most of the time, not all the time. One of the mistakes I see all the time when I have people in the boat, when they put plastics on the back of the jig, the way they fish it is the same way they fish when they have a minnow, a piece of a crawler or a leech. They fish the lightest jig they can get away with and fish it really slowly. That’s fine as long as you have bait on there, but they fish plastics the same way and they don’t catch the same amount of fish.
“When you fish with plastics, you’ll use a little bit heavier bait and you fish it much more aggressively. You snap the rod. You need to snap that bait off the bottom. That’s the best advice I can give you after watching a lot of people try this a lot of times with several different baits. The mistake that they make is fishing it the same way you would with livebait. You need to fish the bait aggressively – you gotta snap it, snap it, snap it!”