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Many of us recall heading to the dock or shoreline with a can of worms to catch just about anything. Worms really do seem to catch everything, including wildly indecisive walleye. Still, it can be hard to keep incessant pecks from perch and bluegill from tearing the worm to shreds before a walleye ever lays eyes on it. This can make using a jig and worm an afterthought, if not downright annoying, especially while targeting forage-laced midday weed beds. Yet, with the right presentation and cadence, you’ll be catching nothing but walleye and giant walleye at that, as we’re about to learn.

Pressured walleye or ones who find themselves gorging on a June bug hatch may seem active but are good at practicing restraint. In this video, Hang Loose Outdoors guide and tournament angler Colt Anderson encountered one such school and went right to one of his go-to presentations, a jig and worm, with immediate success.

Regarding rigging, Anderson starts with a 1/8oz short shank jig head and, in this case, a Northland Tungsten jig head. He slides the night crawler up the shank of the jig and locks it in place using the jig’s bait keeper. He then lets the worm’s tail end hang out a little while trimming a half-inch to an inch of the tail to shorten the presentation slightly and provide an added scent.

Anderson fishes this presentation by swimming it above the fish while working the rod with a constant quiver to give the worm a subtle but irresistible action. He adds that when coupling this tactic with forward-facing sonar, it’s best to send the bait past and bring it through the fish rather than landing right on top of them, especially in clear water.

Once you get a bite with a jig and worm, giving the fish time to eat the bait is KEY to more hook ups. This ensures you don’t return to the boat with only a nub of a crawler. Anderson advises giving the fish a few seconds while letting the rod gently load before setting the hook, much like fishing a lindy rigged crawler. One powerful aid in both his retrieve and making sure he gets a good hook set is his rod. Anderson strategically uses a JTX Mag Med-Light 7’9″ spinning rod to cast this light presentation. The rod is also light in power, making detecting bites easy and allowing fish to catch up to the hook before feeling resistance and abandoning their commitment.

Next time you encounter a fussy summer school, consider this modern approach for fishing a jig and a crawler for walleye.

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