To catch walleye, you need a variety of baits for different techniques. This guide covers various types of walleye lures, including jigs, live bait, and artificial lures.
Jigs: Jigs are essential for many walleye techniques. They come in various styles and weights, allowing you to fish at different depths. Popular jigs include the B-Fish-N H2O Precision Jig, Berkley Fusion19 Snap Jig, and VMC Hammer Head Jig.
Live Bait: Minnows, leeches, and nightcrawlers are excellent live bait options for walleye. Minnows work well in spring, while leeches are effective from late spring to early fall. Nightcrawlers are great for summer trolling.
Artificial Lures: Artificial baits are durable and designed to attract walleye. Minnow and soft jerkbaits are effective, especially in spring. Swimbaits with paddle tails work for various conditions. Worm-style soft baits, grubs, and Ned rigs are versatile choices.
Jigging Spoons: Jigging spoons are effective in cooler water conditions and can be vertically jigged or cast and retrieved. Examples include Hopkins Smoothie and Northland Buck-Shot Rattle Spoon.
Gliding Jigs: Gliding jigs, like Rapala Jigging Rap, are powerful for casting and snap-jigging. They cast far and sink quickly, covering water efficiently.
Blade Baits: Blade baits create vibrations that attract walleye. They work well in spring and fall, and a subtle jigging approach can be effective with smaller versions.
Crankbaits: Diving crankbaits are versatile and can be trolled or cast. Shallow divers are suitable for spring and night fishing, while deeper divers work in summer and fall. Examples include Rapala Shad Rap and Berkley Flicker Shad.
Lipless Crankbaits: Lipless crankbaits are known for their vibrations and rattles, making them great for covering water quickly. Yo-yoing and steady retrieves both work well.
Jerkbaits: Jerkbaits with erratic movements and suspending action are effective in various situations. They’re especially useful on windy and overcast days. Examples include Berkley Stunna and Rapala Husky Jerk.
Trolling Spoons: Trolling spoons with flashy action work for walleye feeding on baitfish. You can use them with planer boards, downriggers, and dipsy divers. Michigan Stingers and Mooselook Wobbler are good choices.
Color Selection: Carry a mix of natural and hot-colored baits. Baitfish patterns like perch, smelt, and alewife are reliable. Metallic finishes in gold and silver are essential. Other popular colors include green, purple, orange, chartreuse, white/pearl, and glow patterns. Custom-painted baits can also be effective.
This guide provides a comprehensive overview of the best walleye lures for different situations and seasons.