Gearing Up for the Detroit River: Jigs and Plastics

All my 3/4 and 1 oz jigs have been poured, powder painted and cured.  There are still some colors that are unique to my arsenal, so there are times when I will still break out the roundballs, even during tourneys.  Just think that three or four years ago the round-headed jig was still the most commonly used shape on the river when it came to dropping lead down on the walleye.   Walleye anglers across the Midwest, who flocked to the Detroit River each spring begged mold companies to make a wedge-shaped, current cutting jig to no avail.  They lost tens of thousands in potential sales, and I am glad they didn’t because local anglers with enough gumption do what they always do, adapt and overcome.

Wal-e-Gat-r Jigs

Captain Paul Doute of Angler’s Quest Charters and Tackle, is one of those guys who saw the need and filled the wants of walleye anglers who flock to the Detroit River each spring.  The Wal-e-Gat-r Jigs from Angler’s Quest, have the perfect shape for slicing through currents that can rip down the river up to ten plus miles per hour.  Plus, he has so many colors available that you can match them up to your favorite plastics. In addition to last year’s lineup, there are new colors for this year.

Boy Girl Ice


Mahi Mahi

Flash Top

And then some colors I would dub the Outhouse Collection which should be perfect for the often muddy or stained waters in the river.

Skid Mark


Golden Turd

There will be more coming out before the end of the season so stay tuned or make sure you look at your local bait shops for more product.  You can find the Wal-e-Gat-r Jigs at Jeff’s Bait and Tackle down by Sterling, Bottom Line Tackle near the Metro Park and The Bait and Tackle Box out on Jefferson by Elizabeth Park.  Up on Lake St. Clair, at their two locations,  you can stop in and see my buds at Sportsmen’s Direct.  If these locations are far from home, both Sportsmen’s Direct and Lure Lipstick have websites in which you can order them!

Lure Lipstick Split Tail Minnows and Wyandotte Worms

Plastics versus live bait, and the answer would be yes please!  This year I have gone with a product that really smells, Lure Lipstick.  They have the split tail minnows in all the best color combinations and have gotten together with Wyandotte Worm and infused that product as well. All the baits have already been infused with the special blend of oils and pheromones contained in Lure Lipstick products. With the spray Enhancer, I can also rejuvenate some of my older plastics and get them back in the water too.  The minnows work great early in the spring, but if its later in April or if I just want some extra action, I can switch up and go with the Wyandotte Worm.  If that presentation needs to get bulked up, then I will add a live minnow for some extra enticement.

Angler’s Quest Stinger Block

When the fish are on prowl for food, they try to inhale the whole presentation.  When the water is murky or you bump a fish and tick it off, then it is more of a reactionary bite.  That is when you really need to use a Sting’r Hook, really its just best to always use one.  It goes back to the old scout adage about being prepared.  I predominately use 2 and 3 inch slip-on Sting’r hooks from Northland, and mostly the 3 inch ones.  Now here is a tip that Captain Ken Clark from Fishmas Charters recently shared with me, and it makes total sense with my ice fishing background.  If you think your stinger is long enough, go longer and here is why and I will explain the ice fishing correlation.  When fish are in their moderate or neutral feeding mode, they will suck in the back side of bait by flaring their gills and often that treble hook is the first thing in its mouth. Now if you have ever sight fished or used a camera while ice fishing, you know it’s true story for all species. It depends on the hook length and the type of the plastic…etc.  Lastly, and this is only to some degree, the stinger will help lock down a live minnow on your hook while you rip it up while jigging.  To keep them separate and ease of use, I keep the hooks in their own foam blocks, also a product from Angler’s Quest.   For all these years, it’s the only product I have come across that actually addresses how to store stingers without getting a tangled mess.

And on that note, it ends the first installment on fishing the Detroit River in the spring.  A lot of this information can be applied to the Saginaw River and similar rivers across the Midwest that have a spring walleye run.  Simply adjust the size of your jig to match up with current and boat control!

Copyright, 2018


About Mason

Born off the Detroit River, raised in Ida and on Lake Erie. Anything fishing holds my interest from Walleye, Pike and Muskie to a 10 year run on the Ice Fishing Circuits around the MidWest.
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