The ultimate reaction bite — and one of the most enjoyable ways to catch a walleye — is snappin’ a hard-bodied jigging bait and letting it crash back down into bottom. Here’s some of our favorites, and more importantly, what makes each one unique:
The OG of hard-bodied jigging baits! Can be pitched, dragged, or vertically fished. Here’s what Al “you-might-have-heard-of-him” Lindner has to say about his all-time favorite walleye bait:
> “When everybody else is whining about how bad the bite is…I put a Jigging Rap on and catch 30 or 40 walleyes in the middle of the afternoon.”
Doesn’t matter if it’s the middle of the summer, sunny, or glass calm, it straight up catches ’em!
Darts and glides like other jigging baits, but what makes it different is how it rolls over on the drop — like baitfish do — with a bit of slack. Some prefer it’s nose-forward design (with no front hook) for pitching and casting to walleyes. Gotta say they absolutely nailed the colors!
Can get it in high-vis, optically-brightened UV colors for those of you feeshin’ stained water. ‘Nuff said! IMO it fishes a bit lighter and more “glidey” (slightly less erratic) than some of the competition, makin’ it shine in colder water, or up shallow in snaggier stuff.
Made to compliment the Jigging Rap, not replace it. It has wider wings that grab a little extra water to lift and glide more. They also track a little straighter, whereas the Jigging Rap darts off in different directions a touch easier.
Great on pressured fish and big smart ones! The realistic patterns allow you to slow the bait way down when there’s a fish staring at it, without scaring ’em off.
River rats: It’s 80% heavier than a similar length Jigging Rap, making it THE option for heavy current or ultra-deep water.
Love the colors, internal rattle, no-hook front (for snaggy areas and so it doesn’t get hung up on the bottom of the ice) and has a reeeeally nice gliding action that covers a ton of real estate. Can now get the Tilly in a big 1-oz (3.5″) size if you wanna go donkey huntin’!
These next couple are sorta in a category of their own…but because of the way you fish ’em, felt they needed to be included in this list. Get your creative juices flowin’:
Takes some practice, but you can work it like a puppet: Make it dart off and swing in a pendulum or figure-8 motion. Mix and match different plastic tails (or minnows) on the back to change the look/action.
Here’s a vid playing ’round with a 1/8-oz Water Puppet paired with the tail off a YUM Genie worm. Could sit and tinker with different combos all day long in the tank. Also gotta love that they’re made in the USA.
Bonus: Storage Hack
Boxes like the Clam Deluxe Spoon Box or the Plano Spoon Boxes are 3″ to 3.25″ tall and will hold Jigging Raps up to the #7 size. Haven’t tried the 7080-20 Plano Spoon Box yet, but it’s 5.25″ tall, so we’d guess the #9 Jigging Raps would fit too: