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Tommy Skarlis, the 2004 professional Walleye Trail Angler of the Year, notes that modified jigs helped him attain those honors. By customizing his favorite Lindy Fuzz-E-Grubs at the Optima/GULP! Pro-Am in Winneconne, Wisconsin, he was able to get more strikes and better hookups, which led him to a key win.

Here’s how you can adapt your own jigs:

[1] ADD SCENT. Remove the soft-plastic body and marabou feathers from a Lindy Fuzz-E-Grub, leaving only the jighead on a bare hook. Cut a ¼-inch-thick cross section from a Berkley Gulp! scented plastic grub and hook it snugly against the jig-head. Thread the Fuzz-E-Grub body and feathers back on the hook. To add even more scent, douse the dry marabou tail with Berkley’s liquid Power Bait walleye attractant.

[2] ADD COLOR. Use a permanent marker to add lifelike detail. Skarlis adds a red streak along the jig body to mimic the appearance of a bleeding baitfish. You can also add colors to match the forage base. Skarlis, for example, colors his jig purple where the forage is sheepshead or bluegill, green for sunfish, orange and yellow for perch, and black or brown for bullhead or eelpout.

[3] BEND THE HOOK. To make the most of your extra bites, use a pair of pliers to ease the hook point away from the jig body by about 5 degrees. Next, bend the hook to the right or left by about 5 degrees. Widening the gap and offsetting the angle makes it easier to get solid hookups, Skarlis says.

Now, go catch more walleyes.