Walleye fans across Lindy Land are anxiously awaiting the extended fishing opportunities afforded by the Memorial Day weekend ahead. To help maximize your catch, Lindy’s Jon Thelen offers this timely take on putting ’eyes in the boat.

“The recent cold weather across the Midwest has stalled the postspawn migration from the spawning grounds to deeper water offshore,” said Thelen, a veteran guide and host of Lindy’s popular Fish Ed television and online programming. “So this weekend we’re still going to see a lot of walleyes up shallow.”

Lindy rigs and Thill slip-bobber setups are effective presentations for spring walleyes, but Thelen also advises pitching a jig.

“Pitching a Lindy Jig tipped with a soft plastic body is a great way to target walleyes feeding along windswept shorelines in six to seven feet of water,” he said.

Thelen favors an 1/8-ounce head, which allows the jig to fall more slowly to bottom than heavier weights. “This gives the walleyes time to see and react to the jig before it hits bottom,” he explained.

Hungry ’eyes are tempted by a variety of soft plastics, including Lindy’s Fuzz-E-Grub and Watsit Grub bodies, fished solo or in conjunction with a minnow. Thelen gears up with a medium-action jigging rod spooled with no-stretch superline, which helps him detect bites.

With his boat positioned a cast-length from the target area, Thelen fires the jig into shallow water and lets it settle on bottom. “Raise the rodtip, allowing the jig to pendulum downward as your lifting the rod,” he said. “That keeps the line relatively tight, so you can feel or see bites. This is critical, because most strikes come as the jig is falling.” 

Thelen notes that similar tactics hold water on rock piles and reefs near shore. “These first structures off shore can be great places to catch the bigger female walleyes before they make the move out to deep water in the next week or two,” he said.

“Another strategy that should produce big catches this weekend is dragging jigs,” he added. “Either a Lindy Jig or Lindy Live Bait Jig, tipped with a fathead or shiner minnow, works great dragged ½ to ¾ mph along gravel or sandy bottoms on the edge of rocky structure.”

Keep these tactics in mind as you head out this weekend and you could enjoy your most memorable Memorial Weekend ever.