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How to Fish a Jig and Minnow for Spring Walleyes

Walleyes and shiners minnows collide in the shallows during spring for their annual spawning run and few baits can match the effectiveness of a jig and minnow during this timeframe. Mille Lacs Lake guide Tony Roach shows us an effective method for hooking minnows on short-shanked jig heads and how to fish this presentation along drop-offs adjacent to spawning grounds.


Tony explains the importance of deep-hooking his minnows so that the hook point comes out behind the head. This does a few key things: 1) firmly secures the minnow to the jig, 2) keeps the minnow straight so that it tracks true when fished with a lift and fall retrieve, and 3) brings the hook further back in the body of the minnow for better hookup ratios.

Roach emphasizes the importance of a braided line and a sensitive rod for bottom and bite detection. Lastly, he demonstrates how to fish the jig with a pop and fall cadence and the nuances of setting the hook when you get a take.