Best Walleye Lures

Walleye Lure

Brand

Price Range

Rating

Crankbait

Rapala

$

Lipless Crank

Strike King

$

Spoon

South Bend

$

Jig

Fish Head

$$

Plastic Bait

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

Rapala Shad 7 Crankbait

$

Pros

  • Casting or trolling
  • Various shad color schemes mimic prey fish
  • Maintains steady depth
  • Good action

Cons

  • While it performs well in cover, the unprotected treble hooks make it a little more susceptible to snags
  • May need to have a few different types on hand depending on conditions

General Consensus

Similar to when you're fishing for bass, starting with a crankbait is never a bad idea, as you can cover a large range in a short amount of time. Even if you aren't successful with many strikes, narrowing your focus for areas to cast can play a pivotal role.

The Rapala Shad 07 Crankbait is excellent because the appearance is similar to prey fish commonly found in walleye habitats. You can get many different types of color schemes, some with subtle variations, and others that are much different like chartreuse (better for cloudy days or murky water).

Rapala is a reliable brand for walleye lures and their crankbaits are well-liked by many anglers. They provide good action while easily maintaining a steady depth, making it a nice lure to work with.

Overall, we would recommend this crankbait when casting or trolling, in and around cover, and anytime you want to cover a large area to gain a sense of where the walleye are residing.

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

Crankbaits

Arguable the best walleye lure, 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: