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Using Artificial Tails to Catch Cold-River Walleyes

Posted by 
April 23, 2014
Published in News & Tips > Fishing > Walleye
2413   Comment
Keith Kavajecz holds catch
 Keith Kavajecz, walleye fishing.

There’s been a huge shift the past few of years when it comes to cold-water river walleye fishing. It was once considered that the “jig and minnow” was the only bait to use on rivers like this. Walleyes and Saugers are not necessarily real active in these colder water environments, but they do tend to be concentrated in good numbers in relatively defined areas. The subtle attraction of the jig and live minnow fished right in front of their noses has historically proven to be both effective and efficient for catching fish. 

These days, however, river rats are beginning to set aside their minnow buckets in favor of artificial tails. You might think it’s because they’re tired of frosty fingers from dipping in the bait bucket, or fed up with one too many spilled minnow pails leaving the boat’s floor as slick as a hockey rink. The real reason plastic tails are getting so much attention amongst these winter walleye warriors is because they catch fish!

Truth be known, savvy walleye anglers on the Mississippi have been using artificial tails for walleyes longer than most, and there are definitely some tails that have proven themselves over the years. The best baits are normally a little bigger than what’s typically used for walleyes, with an action-type tail. A popular favorite on this pool of the Mississippi is a 4-inch “ringed-body worm,” and so for this outing one of the baits we armed ourselves with was Berkley’s version, the 4-inch PowerBait Ribworm. This type of tail is ideal for the pitching technique used for “cold river” walleyes as it sinks slowly, and the tail moves seductively in the current with very little effort. The “ribs” on the worm’s body also help it to displace more water as it moves along, adding to its action and helping fish to locate the bait.


Rib Worm for Walleye Fishing
Rib worm for walleye fishing.







Note: If you have questions or comments on this or other articles of mine you may have read, contact me through the website  

by Keith Kavajecz

Tagged under Read 2413 times Last modified on September 29, 2017
Keith Kavajecz

Home: Kaukauna, Wisconsin
(wife) Lynn, (sons) Tom, Bill & Mike, (grand kids) Alex, Savanah, Jayden, Preston
Hunting & Fishing
: Tracker / Nitro 290 Sport

Angling Stuff

Favorite Technique: Vertical jigging
Fishing Strength:
Reading my Lowrance electronics
Favorite Lake:
Fort Peck, Montana
Favorite Species Fished
Likes to Fish:
Reservoirs, hunt for the fish with electronics and once found, they typically bite!

Career Highlights

Fishing 50 years and 21 years as full time pro
Awarded - National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame Legendary Angler
2011 FLW Championship Qualifier
3 Time AIM Championship Qualifier
1991-2008 18-Time In-Fisherman PWT Championship Qualifier (1 of 2 PWT angers to qualify for 18 of 19 Championships)
2003 In-Fisherman PWT Top Gun Award Winner
2002 In-Fisherman PWT Champion
2002 In-Fisherman PWT Top Gun Award Winner
1998 North American Walleye Anglers - Angler Of the Year

Latest from Keith Kavajecz


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