Hack To Hook More Walleyes

Hack To Hook More Walleyes

Northland Fishing Tackle’s Sting’R hooks can significantly up hooking percentages with short-biting and neutral-to-negative, tentative walleyes

BEMIDJI, Minn. (May 21, 2024) – Long a secret of old timers and tournament pros, adding a Northland Sting’R Hook (see models below) to jig and minnow combos—or hair and flashtail jigs—can greatly up your hooking percentages with short-biting or neutral to negative bait-swiping walleyes.

“Cold water and anytime walleyes are short-biting, I’ll add a Sting’R,” offers Dick “Griz” Gryzwinski, the legendary guide and National Fishing Hall of Fame enshrined 82-year-old walleye guide. “Right now, after the spawn is a good time; the fish are swiping at our minnow tails and spit that jig out pretty fast.”

Griz continues: “It works for me on the river winter through the beginning of June, and lakes, too—and anytime walleyes are short-biting due to the weather or just being difficult.”

But the devil’s in the details. A lot of anglers are familiar with Northland Sting’R hooks yet have been taught to use them incorrectly when jigging.

Northland Fire-Ball Jig with Sting’R Hook and Fathead Minnow.

“All you gotta do is let the Sting’R dangle below the minnow. You don’t hook it into the minnow like some people want to do. It’s better if that minnow’s kicking and looks natural—on a Fire-Ball® or whatever jig you use—the minnow hooked into the mouth and out the top of the head so it doesn’t spin. That free-dangling Sting’R will catch the walleye when they swipe the tail, suck in water, and try to spit it out. I’ve caught thousands of walleyes on that stinger, which gets stuck when they try to spit out the bait.”

Northern Minnesota fishing guide, Brian “Bro” Brosdahl, also adopted the free-dangling program years ago. “Walleyes inhale the bait and can expel it quickly. A Sting’R is small, sharp and most of the time gets them in the mouth, even if they spit the jig it’s attached to.”

Sting’R advocate and famous walleye guide Dick “Griz” Gryzwinski

A lifetime of time on the water chasing walleyes, best to listen to Griz and Bro, especially when vertical jigging. The exceptions are pitching around weedy bottoms where you can catch debris on the fall in your cadence if the hook isn’t attached just under the dorsal fin or barely through the meat just above the tail on the top of the minnow.

Standard-fare for most of Griz’ jigging—whether in 4 feet of water or 30—is a 3/8th ounce Northland Fire-Ball with a clip-on Sting-R’ and a small to medium fathead—and he says, “color don’t matter.”

Guess that means that us common-folk should completely disregard that all of his rods are rigged with Watermelon- or Sunrise-colored lead, his own jig rigged on a custom built Thorne Bros 2011 Frankies Marine Staff gift rod and right-handed Pflueger President or a collection of old Fenwicks and Pfluegers for clients, his own jig paint almost chipped down to pure lead because he knows the Mississippi river bottom like his living room floor and just doesn’t get snagged. You could bet the farm on the fact that the walleye wizard gets out a file the end of the day to sharpen that long-lasting walleye weapon…

Guide and trusted fishing personality Brian “Bro” Brosdahl has been “stinging” walleyes for decades.

Add ‘Em To Hair and Tinsel—Even Eye-Candy

Another application for Northland Sting’R hooks is for supplemental hooking power when fishing the Northland Buck-a-Roo Jig, Deep-Vee Bucktail Jig, Deep-Vee Flashtail Jig, and soft plastics like the 3” and 4” Eye-Candy Minnow on whatever jighead you prefer.

About Northland Sting’R Hooks

Most anglers don’t know it, but Northland offers several different Sting’R hooks, each one the right tool for the job. Like sockets, they might look similar, but come in different types and sizes.

Sting’R Hook

Available in two different sizes—2” and 3” 12 lb. leader to #10 razor sharp treble hook in bronze or red—the plain Jane Sting’R features a “fast-snap” connector for attaching to the molded-in “trailer-hitch” in all sizes of Northland Fire-Ball jig. 3” is pretty standard so the hook extends out just past the tail of a small- to medium fathead, rainbow, or other minnow – ‘crawler chunk or leech.

Sting’R Hook Braid

Also available in 2” and 3”, the Northland Sting’R Hook Braid features pike-bite-off deterring heavy braid and a #10 razor sharp treble hook in bronze or red—featuring a “fast-snap” connector for attaching to molded-in “trailer-hitch” of a Fire-Ball jig – or eyelet of any jig, for that matter.

Slip-On Sting’R Hook

Designed to work with any jig on the market, the Slip-On Sting’R hook comes in two sizes: 2 1/8” and 2 5/8” with a bronze or red, #10 sticky-sharp treble hook and rubber-coated “loop end” that easily slips over the hook barb of any jig or hook – and is the best bet for hair and flashtail jigs, whether dangled naked or impaled into a piece of meat or soft plastic.

Snelled Sting’R Hook

Constructed with a durable 12 lb. leader, deadly single #4 hook, and “fast-snap” connector, the Snelled Sting’R easily clips to any jig, spinner or spoon. Lightly skin-hook into the top of a minnow or other live bait, or allow to trail freely. Ideal for tough-bite conditions.


There’s not much more to say. If you want to catch more short-biting walleyes and up your hooking percentages, Northland Sting’R Hooks are a simple and inexpensive add-on.

Our only suggestion: buy ‘em in bulk – because like barrel swivels and crankbait snaps, they’re easy to misplace and you want to ensure you’ve got some in your box when you need them most, those days when walleyes really tick us off, short-biting and defying our best attempts to set the hook without something so simple as insurance.



ABOUT Northland® Fishing Tackle

In 1975, a young Northwoods fishing guide named John Peterson started pouring jigs and tying tackle for his clients in a small remote cabin in northern Minnesota. The lures were innovative, made with high quality components, and most importantly, were catching fish when no other baits were working! Word spread like wildfire, the phone started ringing… and the Northland Fishing Tackle® brand was in hot demand! For 40 years now, John and the Northland® team have been designing, testing and perfecting an exclusive line of products that catch fish like no other brand on the market today. Manufactured in the heart of Minnesota’s finest fishing waters, Northland® is one of the country’s leading producers of premium quality jigs, live bait rigs, spinnerbaits and spoons for crappies, bluegills, perch, walleyes, bass, trout, northern pike and muskies.

ABOUT Bagley Bait Company

The personality of any company comes from its founder. Jim Bagley was an inventive, fun-loving, passionate fisherman who became one the most respected legends in the fishing tackle industry. In late 2010, Jarmo Rapala and a group of investors bought Bagley Bait Company. As an admirer of Jim Bagley for his attention to quality and of his product ingenuity and innovation, Jarmo initiated significant changes in operations, enhanced production processes and quality control. Now in 2020, Northland® Fishing Tackle, along with Jarmo as its Chief Lure Designer, maintain the legacy of creating premium balsa crankbaits and topwater lures, as well as jigs and spoons for both freshwater and saltwater anglers.