While many boat anglers are still taking advantage of this warmer than normal winter, many are daydreaming of the Spring Jig Bite on Lake Erie. Each spring fishermen from all over the world flock to the greatest walleye fishery in this country. As walleyes full of eggs prepare to spawn you cannot find a better time to troll up a trophy, or load your freezer with eager males waiting to spawn. Armed with hair jigs and blade baits, spring anglers can take advantage of this fast and furious fishing when the weather permits. Wind and inclement spring weather can create some challenges each spring with water clarity. But, when you hit the bite just right it is just the most incredible walleye fishing you can have without trolling, and it NEVER GETS OLD for some reason.
Water temps in Lake Erie’s Western Basin still remain at 34 degrees. All the while Lake Erie’s big female walleyes are putting on the weight and eggs for this spring’s spawn. Fishermen are waiting for that warm heavy March wind. This will stir up the lake’s bottom, darken up the water, and create one big solar warming effect with those first warm spring dates. Once the water temps approach the 40 degree mark, the first female releases its eggs, and it is game on! And this year with the lack of any ice cover, along with the unseasonably warmer temps in each week, the jig bite might get going a few weeks earlier in 2020.
So when to go?
If you talk to any serious spring walleye fisherman, APRIL is always the peak month for jigging. However, it would not be surprising to see this years faster jig fishing start towards mid March and start to peak towards early April. Most of that will be very dependent on the weather these next few weeks.
Both Michigan and Ohio have raised their daily limits this season to 6.
What to use?
Rods and reels do not not need to be anything too fancy. Your normal medium action spinning combo in 6′ – 7′ is more than sufficient. Most fishermen will spool these up with braided line and a fluorocarbon leader to the jig.
For jigs, this is pretty standard across the board. Color seems to be be the only thing anglers will change up on. Hair Jigs with a stinger hook in 5/8oz – 1oz are the most common. You just need to use enough weight to pound the bottom and call in the fish.
Blade baits create a very unique sound and vibration that can be deadly if you want to be more active on the rod. There are a variety of options, but Capt. Jay’s Blade Baits has in our opinion one of the best for sound and color to suit the fishing conditions.