By Dan Johnson

Minnesota’s side of mighty Lake of the Woods has been serving up solid walleye opportunities all summer long.

The great fishing continues, but today the big lake also offers a valuable jigging lesson courtesy of Lindy pro staffer Nick Painovich of Zippel Bay Resort.

An old hand at successfully corralling big-water walleyes, Painovich reliably connects charter clients with fish using a variety of methods.

Jigging is one of several productive patterns right now, and Painovich says adding a flashy attractor jig to a spread of standard leadheads can really boost the catch rate.

“Were getting good numbers of walleyes by jigging the deep edges of reefs, all the way from right out in front of Zippel Bay to farther out on the main lake,” he begins.

“A 3/8-ounce Lindy Jig in shades of gold or two-tone orange-and-chartreuse, tipped with a leech or frozen shiner, has been working great,” he continues. “But I’ve also been experimenting with fishing attractor jigs while the rest of the folks in the boat are using regular jigs.”

Depending on water conditions and the mood of the fish, attractors can run the gamut from flashy, rattling jigging spoons like the Lindy Rattl’n Flyer Spoon to flutter spoons and unique shaft-mounted options like the 360 Jig, but Painovich has enjoyed the best success lately with jigs tricked out with small spinner blades.

For vertical jigging, jigs with blades permanently mounted on the rear of the body resist tangling quite well. But for casting and swimming along bottom—thus attracting walleyes from a wider area—a Watsit Spin or Lindy Jig tipped with a Lindy Jig Spinner are fine options.

Painovich notes that adding a small stinger hook tipped with a leech raises the bar in attraction, and often triggers strikes on the decoy jig.

Whatever type of spin-jig configuration you select, Painovich cautions against over-working it.

“Not too aggressive,” he cautions. “When vertical jigging, I give it two or three lifts of a foot or so, hold it still, then repeat. On mud, pause it a few inches off bottom; but you can raise it higher on rocky bottoms because the fish are more apt to come up for it.”