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River Kayak Fishing | Walleye Tactics using Jerkbaits

Kayak fishing enthusiast, McKeon Roberts, showcases a unique and productive technique for trolling jerkbaits for walleyes. While a jigs and plastics can excel for walleyes, jerkbaits excel when targeting walleyes stacked along a current seam. Set against the backdrop of tributary river into a lake, areas like these are magnets for walleyes.

TACKLE SETUP (retail links)

Rather than choosing any old crankbait or minnow plug, Roberts selects a suspending jerkbait, which effectively maintains its position in the water column when paused. The suspending nature of the Rapala Shadow Rap Shad Deep hangs the bait in the walleye’s face after an erratic jerk, proving too much to resist in the baitfish-laden current.

Roberts targets his efforts along a drop-off with a weed edge adjacent to the current. Areas of depth and current speed change leading to flats are ideal fish consolidation points. Regarding boat control, Roberts’ pedal drive kayak makes it easy to achieve precision trolling passes when pedaling up and down the defined edges. When he hooks up, he pedals as needed to maintain his position in the current so he can quickly resume a productive trolling pass.

Roberts explains his preference for braided lines on spinning reels with this technique. A quality spinning setup proves ideal for flatline trolling, allowing for quick lure deployment and optimized fish fighting with the trebled lures. The chosen rod, a 7’3” medium light St. Croix Avid, is the ideal action by offering a soft tip for working the lure and bite detection but with sufficient backbone for boating walleyes in the current. Check out our article for more kayak fishing tips.

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