You know I do a lot of shallow water fishing for walleyes and one of my favorite presentations is rip jigging a jig with a soft bait on the back of it. I almost never use live bait.
I’ve been doing this for a lot a years and I like to use the two style of soft baits. Majority of the time I like to use a Big Bites four inch Boot tail. I always hook the plastic onto a VMC moon eye head jig and that’s key. The flat sides of the moon eye jig are much better than a round head jig when you’re snapping it. The flat sides allow the bait to roll, instead of the straight retrieve of the round headed jig.
The second soft plastic I will use is the standard 4.5 inch split tail or fluke style plastic. You are able to fish this plastic a little bit faster than the boot tail because there is less water resistance. When I get up to shallower water a lot of times I’ll go to this style of bait and catch more fish than I will in a boot because it moves and darts quicker. These are the two styles of soft plastics I use for rip jigging to catch fish day in and day out.
When I’m talking about ripping or snap jigging most of the fishing I’m doing is from 4 to 15 feet of water with 4 to 10 feet being the magic zone for this method of fishing.
While snap jigging I’m using St. Croix legend elite ride 6 foot 8 inch in a medium power and I pair it with a Daiwa size 20. It’s an amazing combination it feels like a feather in your hand when your rip jigging all day long.
When snap jigging you want to make a long cast and rip the bait back fast. A lot of time your are casting into wind so I run a barrel swivel about 15 inches about my bait to eliminate line twists.
When spooling up my rods I have three set ups for different conditions. 20% of the time I run a braided line and I use that when I am snap jigging through super thick cover such as weed beds. 60% of the time I am using Suffix flourocarbon for the invisibility. I like to use this in sparse weeds. The other 20% of the time I will run Suffix mono. I like to use this when I am fishing really shallow water with little to no cover anywhere from 2-8 feet. The mono has more forgiveness that the other two lines and slows the bait down just a hare because of the stretch.
One more tip this presentation loses its effectiveness when you get to about 15 feet. What I mean is when you start getting deeper you can’t make that bait jump horizontally and the deeper down you go your are forced to fish your bait more vertical. The key is to stay shallower than 15 feet and trying to fishing in the sweet spot between 4-10 to maximize the effectiveness of rip jigging.
I guarantee you that if you get the system fine-tuned you’re gonna catch way more walleyes than you ever imagined.