svg-arrow-next svg-arrow-prev
Shop By Brand

AuthentX River Fishing!!! Walleye, Sauger & More

Posted by Walt Matan, Chief Product Designer for Custom Jigs and Spins on Apr 26th 2024

AuthentX River Fishing!!! Walleye, Sauger & More

If you are looking to catch walleye, sauger and white bass right now, you need to become a river fisherman. Rivers offer some of the best fishing for these species even while the lakes have closed seasons. Become “one with the river” and get in on the action!

Learning to love plastics

BFishN Tackle AuthentX plastic is specifically designed for river walleye fishing. Our line-up includes the Pulse-R in 2.45” and 3.25”, The Moxi in 3” and 4”, the 4.25” Ribb-Finn, the 4” Ringworm, the 3.25” Paddletail, and the 5” K-Grub. All these style and size combinations account for 194 different choices, so you better get a bigger tackle box!!!

If you are thinking of trying plastic for the first time, a Ringworm is a top choice. Ringworms catch numbers and size, they don't discriminate! Walleye and sauger that nip or mouth your jig and minnow will attack a Ringworm. This is no baloney! It's exactly what happened to me when I made the switch.

Wisconsin Guide, Jesse Quale loves them Ringworms on the Wisconsin River!

Wisconsin Guide, Jesse Quale loves them Ringworms on the Wisconsin River!

Picking the right jig for river fishing

I believe it was around 1990 when I was fishing the Mississippi River around Rock Island, IL the water level was high and muddy. I was using a 1/8th ounce jig and minnow. I kept getting nipped, so I added a stinger hook. I caught one here and there but nothing like the guys next to me. They were pounding them.

I could see that they were using some sort of bright colored plastic worms, so I dug through my box and found an old pack of Ringworms that I used for bass, which back then was called jig worm fishing.

I slid one on my jig and pitched it shallow. After a few dozen casts of nothing, I watched those guys hooking more sauger one after another, right under the boat. I tried vertical jigging, but my jig was too light, just drifted up in the strong current.

Finally I yelled over, "what weight jigs are you using?" "⅜ oz", a guy yelled back. I thought that there was no way a 3/8 jig was going to catch a walleye in three to five foot depths, but I tried it anyway.

So I put a 3/8 ounce jig on and began jigging under the boat. I immediately snagged bottom just as I thought. I was yanking and pulling trying to get the jig, when the snag pulled back. After a brief battle I netted a good size tree branch along with a fat 19" walleye.

Once I figured out how to bump bottom without snagging, it was game on. That was almost 25 years ago and I've been using plastic on walleye and sauger effectively ever since!

Ringworms have been around longer than that, being that they were originally designed for largemouth bass. Walleye fishing back in the day was jig/minnow in Spring and Fall and jig/crawler in Summer.

A Ringworm is basically an elongated twister tail with a ribbed body. The rings and tail give the Ringworm added motion and sound which attracts fish. Once walleye arrive, it's the size and color that gets them to eat.

Pink h20 jig

“The hot Pink H20 jig is tops in stained river water (check out the oversized wire “keeper” that holds plastic tight to the jig head!”

Jig weight choice

First there are nine different weights (1/16, 3/32, 1/8, 3/16, ¼, 5/16, 3/8, ½, 5/8). For example, the difference between a 3/8th ounce jig and a 3/16th ounce will make a huge change in presentation and bottom contact.

These weights are stamped on the underside of the jig for easy size identification, which makes selection simple. The jig head is streamlined and cuts through the current easily. It has a keeper barb that holds plastic tight to the head. This allows you to catch several fish off the some piece of plastic. One trick is to add a dab of Super Glue to the jig head where the plastic meets and glue it on.

If the area you are fishing is too snaggy, then you need a snagless jig. B Fish N Tackles Draggin' Jig has an arrow head shaped that cuts current. It has a fiber weed guard to ward off snags and that same keeper barb to hold the plastic tight. It's a shore fisherman's dream jig!

More about spring fishing plastics

Let’s take a look at some more of BFishN Tackle’s plastic line-up. Since Ringworms are so effective, why not take all of their features and supersize them! So they beefed up the body with oversize rings and added a longer, thinner thumper vibration tail and the Moxi was born. Available in a 3” and 4” size which becomes much longer when the tail is in action – this is a big walleye bait!

“A big 30 incher slammed this Moxi!”

“A big 30 incher slammed this Moxi!”

The Pulse-R utilizes that same proprietary oversize, beefy ringed body as the Moxi, but with the addition of an ultra-thin oversize swimming tail. The Pulse-R is by far the most sought-after of the AuthentX plastic line-up and for good reason...IT FLAT OUT CATCHES FISH!

Next up is the AuthentX Ribb-Finn, this gem utilizes the same body, but with a long thin forked minnow tail. If you want to try something different for trophy walleye, put a Ribb-Finn on a Chatterbait or an underspin style jig.

AuthentX also has terrific Paddletail plastic that features a sleek, solid body with a smaller high vibration paddle tail. Add a Paddletail to a ¼ ounce jig and snap it like you would fish a hair jig, vertical jig it or fire off a long cast upstream and twitch it back.

Walleyes love Paddletails

 “Walt with an eater on the Paddletail”

“Walt with an eater on the Paddletail”

Finally, one of the all time great walleye plastic designs is a regular twister style grub. The AuthentX 5” K-Grub has an OVERSIZED twister tail for great tail thumping action and some awesome colors that you won’t find anywhere else!

Well there you have it...six unique styles of plastic and a myriad of exciting colors makes BFishN Tackle AuthentX plastic your go-to bait for river walleye! Let’s take a look at how to fish them.

You can use a pencil weight tied to a three-way swivel with a two foot leader, a #1 hook and add a plastic tail. River fishermen work this upstream and downstream in heavy current. Pencil weights of 3/8 oz. To 4 oz. Are used with a lift/fall motion. Guys will troll this rig with a bow mount electric of their kicker motor running between .8 and 1.2 mph.

Dubuque rigging is popular, too. You can put a heavier jig on bottom tied to a three-way with a lighter jig trailing behind. I’ll use different colors and styles of plastic to mix things up and see what they might like to eat. The beauty of a double rig is that you can mix live bait and plastic on your jig hooks. You might try a Moxi on the bottom jig and a mud minnow on the trailer.

Lately, I’ve had great success with a jig on bottom and a dropshot hook about a foot higher up on the line. I’ll use a #1 VMC Spinshot hook since it has swivels above and below the hook, so it always rides right. I like using a Paddletail or Ribb-Finn on the dropper in bright colors like white, chartreuse and pink/white.

A big white bass hit the Paddletail dropshot rig!

A big white bass hit the Paddletail dropshot rig!

Obviously, jigs have been around a very long time, but only recently have river anglers realized that they have a lot more flexibility than just being a minnow carrying device. Add some AuthentX plastic to your jig and make the river your best friend!

May all your walleyes be too large to keep!

 “May all your walleyes be too large to keep!

If you enjoyed this article, you may also like: