Let Your Hair Down

It's been a long winter, and I'm ready to let my hair down.

I'll be doing just that the next few weeks as my walleye fishing schedule leads me to a variety of rivers and lakes around the Midwest. Any day this time of year is a good hair day.

Hair jigs are magic for walleyes. That includes anything that resembles hair, from craft fur and bucktail to a poodle dyed chartreuse (yes, I have heard of someone who actually did that). It's one of my favorites ways to catch walleyes because I get to decide how the jig looks and how it acts underwater. And, there's nothing better than the distinct thump you feel when a walleye sucks in a jig.

There are a number of reasons why hair jigs work whether you bounce them vertically, pitch them, drag them or swim them. Obviously, they are shaped like many of the baitfish that walleyes eat, but that can be said about a number of lures. What separates hair jigs is the thin tail that undulates so seductively in the water and the fact they hold air and create bubbles as they move through the water.

Hair jigs also absorb and hold scent and that can be a huge advantage in the murky, cold-water situations that come with spring. Berkley (has developed some top-shelf attractants that have served me well, including PowerBait Walleye scent and Gulp! Alive! sprays ranging from minnow to shad, nightcrawler and crawfish, depending on the time of the year.

Sometimes, I tip my jigs with big fatheads or shiners when that's what the walleyes seem to want, but just as often they will respond aggressively to a plain hair jig when it's centered to hang horizontally in the water and presented with action that looks natural to the fish. One other advantage I find with hair jigs is that the buoyancy created by craft fur or bucktail allows me to fish a slightly heavier jig in current situations and still make it look good to the walleyes.

There's also something to be said for catching fish on something you created. I make a fair share of my own jigs using Do-It Corporation molds and components, but I also rely heavily on the quality products made by Hutch Tackle.

Let your hair down. Things just might get pretty hairy in the boat!

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