With just three VMC® jigs, fishing legend Al Lindner can catch about all the walleyes he wants to. And you can too. The following are his tips for fishing Neon Moon Eye, Bucktail and Sleek Jigs.
“You need to have a variety of jigs like this,” says Lindner, co-founder of In-Fisherman and host of the influential Angling Edge and Fishing Edge TV shows. “They all have a time and a place. And they’ll make you a better walleye fisherman, no question about it.”
Lindner prefers pairing his VMC jigs with soft-plastic boot-tail or split-tail minnows, but will use live bait if the fish get too finicky to tempt with artificials. Live-bait or plastic, Lindner says, the best jig-and-minnow combinations for walleyes will measure about four inches, including the jig head.
“Stick with that size and you’ll catch all the walleyes you need, all year long, anywhere you go, including some really, really big ones,” he says.
VMC is a Rapala Respected Brand.
Neon Moon Eye Jig
In clear to lightly stained water, when walleyes aren’t being too finicky, VMC’s Neon Moon Eye is Lindner’s go-to jig.
“Day in, day out, for neutral to active fish, the Moon Eye Jig is all you need,” he says. “Anybody that jig fishes, once they start throwing this, it’s going to be one of those ‘Wow!’ moments, like it was for me.”
An improved take on a traditional Aspirin-shaped jig-head, the VMC Neon Moon Eye Jig falls faster than a ball jig. And it’s pill-shape design delivers more bites.
“When you snap-jig it, it rolls baits off to the side to trigger fish to bite,” Lindner says.
Moon Eye Jigs come armed with premium high-carbon steel VMC hooks and feature 3-D holographic eyes for realism and the illusion of a wider profile. “I am 100 percent convinced that the eye makes a difference,” Lindner says.
The bait keepers on Neon Moon Eye Jigs work equally well to lock on both live and soft-plastic minnows. For Lindner, boot-tail and split-tail soft-plastic minnows produce walleyes most consistently. “From my experience, the boot-tail and the split-tail are going to produce all the fish you’re going to need,” he says.
Early in the season, target points, new weed growth and inside turns. Each creates ambush spots for walleyes to feed on baitfish.
Neon Moon Eye Jigs are available in five sizes (1/32nd, 1/16th, 1/8th, 1/4th and 3/8th oz.) and 23 color patterns – “colors that walleyes really have been known to like to eat,” Lindner says. Fish them on clear, 6- to 8-pound-test Sufix Advance Monofilament line.
“No question about it, Sufix Advance Mono helps you catch and land more fish,” Lindner says. “I’ve seen more and more of our guides here in Minnesota using mono.”
New in 2018, Sufix Advance Mono is a durable, low-stretch, abrasion-resistant line that’s not stiff and unmanageable. Additional features include enhanced castability, reduced line memory, unrivaled knot strength and 50 percent lower stretch and UV absorption than standard monofilament. It’s available in two colors, clear and low-vis green, and nine strengths: 4-, 6-, 8-, 10-, 12-, 14-, 17-, 20- and 25-pound test.
Sufix is a Rapala Respected Brand.
When walleyes get finicky and won’t bite a Neon Moon Eye Jig dressed with a soft-plastic minnow, Lindner recommends slowing down and rigging a VMC Bucktail Jig with live bait.
“When you’ve got to fish really slow and need to use live bait, you go with the Bucktail Jig,” he says. “You can tip it with a minnow, put a leech on the back of it or put a piece of nightcrawler on it.”
“It’s the best, most-versatile jig that’s on the market today,” Lindner continues. “It has a place in every walleye fisherman’s tackle box.”
Bucktail hair maintains its shape in water, presenting gamefish a larger target to attack. Tinsel fibers complement the Bucktail Jigs’ skirts to enhance visual appeal.
A pear-shaped head gives the Bucktail Jig added control and balance for a variety of jigging techniques. It’s armed with a premium high-carbon steel, chemically sharpened needlepoint VMC hook.
When fishing a Bucktail Jig dressed with live bait, Linder recommends targeting deeper structure. He’s caught fish on 3/8 oz. Bucktail Jigs in as deep as 32 feet, but in shallower water, he typically ties on 1/8 to 1/4 oz. Bucktail Jigs.
Bucktail Jigs come two per pack in three sizes: 1/8 ounce (1/0 hook), 1/4 ounce (2/0 hook) and 3/8 ounce (2/0 hook). They are available in eight color patterns: Black, Chartreuse White, Fathead, Green Fire UV, Orange Fire UV, Firetiger, Pink Fire UV and White. “They’ve got all the right colors for walleyes,” Lindner says.
Lindner will tie on a VMC Sleek Jig when he’s fishing “incredibly snaggy” rocks and needs to swim his bait over the bottom to prevent getting hung up. In these situations, he dresses the jig with a boot-tail soft-plastic.
“I prefer to stick with artificials, but lot of guys are using it for live bait,” he says. “A lot of good fishermen that I know that fish a lot of minnows are using the Sleek Jig, because of the hook.”
The hook on a Sleek Jig features a Techset™ technical locking curve, which maximizes hooksets and pins fish in place. Thanks to that design innovation, an aggressive hookset is not required to hook and land big walleyes – all you need to do is reel down and pull.
“It’s got that magic hook design,” Lindner says. “The bend, the design and the quality of the hook are all top notch.”
Forged from premium high-carbon steel, the Sleek Jig’s 1X-strong VMC hook features an extra-long shank and a needle-sharp point. “It grabs and sticks everything,” Lindner says. “It catches everything.”
A weight-forward teardrop design gives the Sleek Jig stability and balance. 3D holographic eyes add realism. Available color patterns include UV Bright finishes that reflect light energy, boosting the lure’s visibility.
Sleek Jigs are available in four sizes. They come in single-color four-packs, assorted-color 10-packs, assorted-Glow-color 10-packs and assorted-UV-color 10-packs.