As water temps continue to warm midsummer, fish start to push out a little deeper and become more aggressive. Switching from those earlier-season finesse tactics to more reaction-style presentations can help you hook into a lot more walleye. Glide baits (jigging raps) can work really well this time of year for chasing walleye just about anywhere across the US, like NWT Pro Max Wilson shows us while on Fork Peck in this clip. Fishing these baits can be nuanced and getting the details right can be very important. Wilson explains a few important tips regarding how he rigs them to catch more walleye.
Max Wilson’s Top Tips for Rigging Glide Baits for Walleye
1. Replace the Treble Hook
On a stock glide bait, the hooks aren’t always the best quality, so Wilson will start by replacing the treble and upsizing to a #6 from the #8 that usually comes on it. Often times, Wilson will use an quad treble to add and extra hook EWG extra wide gap – Gamagatsu makes a nice finesse one.
2 – Check the Back & Front Hooks
Make sure the back and front hooks of the glide bait are bent at the right angle. If they’re pointed in or out too far, you’ll miss a lot more hook sets.
3 – Tie Direct
When you use a snap, you lose a lot of the action and this bait is all about getting a reaction out of the fish. Tying direct is going to give you a lot more action without muting the cadence.
4. Use a Heavier Fluoro Leader
Fishing a glide bait is all about action and the heavier your line is, the more action you’ll get out of your bait. If you go too light, you’ll have more shock absorption which will mute the cadence and you won’t get as much dancing out of the bait.
Choosing Your Setup
When it comes to choosing the right setup for glide baits, a light, well-balanced setup can be important for reducing fatigue when fishing this aggressive presentation for hours on end. For the main line, Wilson like to use a 15lb braid in blue. On especially clear water, this color can help it blend in a bit more over the other hi-vis color options. Choosing a lightweight medium extra-fast rod will not only help you make more aggressive snaps with the bait but will also give you more control with less effort. Wilson like the Black Reign 6’9″ Spinning Rod from JT Outdoors for this paired with a lightweight, faster gear ratio reel such as the Piscifun Carbon X Spinning Reel.
Cadence – It’s All in the Wrist
The biggest thing to keep in mind when walleye fishing with glide baits is that it’s all in the wrist action. You should also be sure to set your drag tight enough, you don’t want to hear it ripping line on the snap. Short aggressive pops with the wrist are all you need, you don’t need to make large sweeps involving your whole arm, elbow and shoulder. Keeping the rod close to your body can also help you be more prepared to effectively set the hook once a fish hits and reel down to keep it pinned. When you have a 1-oz bait flailing in a fish’s face, it creates a lot of torc that can easily rips holes in their mouth, so you will lose a lot of fish if you’re not doing everything just right.
There are a lot of great glide baits out there. Be sure to check them out if your looking to catch more aggressive walleye come mid and even into late summer.