Best Walleye Ice Fishing Lures Review

Walleye Lure

Brand

Price Range

Rating

Rapala

$

Strike King

$

South Bend

$

Fish Head

$$

Yum F2

$

Whether you're releasing all of your catches, or keeping a few for the table, walleye are a beautiful species that are a lot of fun to fish. They are relatively common and put up a good fight, making them a favorite target of many anglers.

Regarding the cooking aspect, when it comes to table fare, few fish have as good of a reputation as the walleye. Flaky, tasty, and succulent, walleye meat is a top choice for anglers all across Canada and the northern United States.

As we mentioned, walleye are not only great eating, but they’re also a lot of fun to catch! To hook these prized fish, you need know-how, patience, and the right tackle. While many walleye anglers use live baits, the species is often caught on artificial lures as well. If you want to fill your live well with fat, appetizing walleye, there are a few lures that you should have in your tackle box.

Understanding the Walleye

Before we dive into the best walleye lures, it’s worth taking the time to review walleye behavior and characteristics. Whether you just purchased your first fishing rod or have a lifetime of walleye fishing experience, understanding the walleye will help you put more flaky meat on the table.

The outstanding characteristic of a walleye is the large, sensitive eye. They are built to see well in low-light settings, including twilight, nighttime, cloudy days, and murky waters. This means that most walleye are caught early in the morning and late in the evening. It also means that cloudy days can be very productive, while sunny days will generally require deeper fishing to reaching areas where the light is low. Windy days can also be productive, as the chop will keep the sunlight from penetrating into the depths.

Walleye also have an excellent sense of smell. This makes them suckers for live bait or scented lures. Any of the lures we mention below can be enhanced with live bait minnow or a scented spray.

Now that we’re refreshed on their biology, let’s look at the best walleye lures for your tackle box...

  • Crank
  • L. Crank
  • Spoon
  • Jig
  • Plastic
lake erie walleye lures

Pros

  • Cheap
  • Additional scented attractant
  • Many different color schemes
  • Great component for jigheads
  • Excellent for vertical jigging

Cons

  • Less versatile
  • Scent can wear off over time
  • While a great addition to jigheads, it makes it a little more difficult to set the hook

General Consensus

Plastic bait is never a bad choice especially if it comes with a scented attractant, which the Yum F2 walleye grub bait does have. There are a variety of color schemes available, but we usually find a simple pumpkin color, white, black, or a two-tone black and green works best.

Plastic baits can be cast alone when weighted, or they can be added to a jighead for an optimal setup for vertical jigging in heavy cover. Even further, use a spin jighead with a plastic worm and the lure essentially become irresistible to walleye.

We would recommend a plastic worm when trolling, vertical jigging, or alone with short casts. They are an excellent addition to jigheads, which makes them an essential bait to keep in your tackle box. So while their applicability is slightly more limited, they are very effective in certain situations.

The Best Walleye Ice Fishing Lures: What You Need for Your Tackle Box

Crankbaits

Arguably the best walleye ice fishing lures, the crankbait can be used to fish in deep areas where other baits can’t reach. These hard-bodies lures come in numerous shapes and sizes, but they generally have a rounded body, two treble hooks, and a bill, which pushes the lure down, forcing it to dive. The larger the bill, the deeper your crankbait will dive, so if it’s sunny, you may want to select the largest bill possible. These lures are also used extensively by anglers trolling for walleye, as the bill keeps them suspended at a consistent depth.

Small Jigs with Feathered Tail

Large walleye will often go for surprisingly small lures, including light jigs with a fuzzy, feathered tail. These lures can be cast and retrieved, but they are also useful for vertical jigging. In a deep lake on a hot day, drop a few brightly-colored jigs with a piece of worm, leech, or even manufactured bait. If a walleye is in the area, he’ll have a hard time resisting a strike.

Spinnerbaits

While spinnerbaits are more common for bass and northern pike, they should not be overlooked when it comes to walleye. Fishing a spinnerbait over weeds and shady structure could entice a walleye to come out of hiding. These are probably more effective in shallower waters, as they won’t reach walleye hiding in deep lakes and reservoirs. While bass anglers often want the largest spinnerbait possible, walleye will regularly strike smaller lures. And remember, spinnerbaits are excellent for walleye when tipped with a worm.

Soft Plastic with Twister Tail

Soft plastics are probably the most versatile of all lure types. Made to mimic everything from worms to crayfish, a soft plastic can be used in nearly any setting, including walleye lakes. A soft plastic worm with a twister tail will drive a walleye crazy, and when you tip it with a worm or minnow, you have a combination that few walleye can resist.

Lipless Crankbait

Lipless lures are different from traditional crankbaits in two important categories. First, without the bill to push them down, they swim much shallower, often staying about six inches to a foot below the surface. Second, they dance a lot tighter, closely simulating how a small fish will swim in cold water. This make them effective choices for early spring and late fall walleye fishing in low-light scenarios.

Spoon Lures

Another top choice for vertical jigging, the spoon lure can be used to entice walleyes that are sitting tight in deep pools and underwater valleys. There are spoons that will flutter, spin, and dance, creating small flashes of light off their metal bodies. This action is meant to resemble an injured or dying baitfish, which triggers a walleye’s feeding instinct.

Stickbaits

Stickbaits have a lot in common with crankbaits. You could even argue that a stickbait is just another type of crankbait. Brushing that aside, stickbaits are very effective for attracting shallow-water walleyes. When trolling an area too shallow for traditional crankbaits, a stickbait can be one of the best walleye lures possible. The rattle attracts attention, while the vibrations and swim pattern make it look like an injured fish, driving a sharp-eyed walleye crazy.

With these baits, you’ll not only have a great time fishing, you’ll be the household hero when you’re frying up pounds of walleye!

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: