A couple days ago, while fishing a couple backwoods creeks, I spied some color in a few red maple leaves — a sign that fall will be coming soon. And the arrival of fall means the river walleyes will be gathering up in the deeper, slower pools. That got me to thinking of how important it is to have the correct angle of presentation when fishing a jig, which is of course the classic river walleye lure.
This fall, when you're vertically-jigging your favorite walleye hole with less than the desired success try this: Use your trolling motor to stall the boat's downriver drift. Your jig will be swept up with the current, lifting it up off the bottom. Doing this targets 'eyes that aren't belly to the bottom. Follow up by paying out some line to drop the jig back to the bottom. The shallower line angle makes it easier for an 'eye to inhale the jig.
Larger walleyes often hold in shallower water, such as flats located downriver of those classic "jigging" holes. Another "angle" trick is to start at the downAriver end of such a flat, using the trolling motor to pull the boat slowly upriver, with just enough thrust to make headway. Trail a leadhead jig behind the boat, using just enough weight to tick bottom with a cast's length of line out.
Walleyes will also position along the edges of steep-breaking banks. Hold the boat 30-or-so feet from shore. Make a pitch to the bank at a slight downriver angle. As the boat drifts downriver, hop/swim the jig down the break, allowing it to hover a moment right under the boat for fish holding there.