Best Walleye Lures

Best Walleye LuresWalleyes oftentimes are the most frequently targeted species of fish in the bodies of water where they're found. Why? Because they are known as a challenging fish to locate and catch, and their meat--white and flaky--is among the best of freshwater fish. To learn about the best lures for catching walleyes, read on.

Minnow Baits

Floating minnow baits that are about 5 inches long are especially effective when trolled at night. Anglers should let out lots of line--100 feet or so--and troll the lures over weed beds, the shallow side of drop-offs and rock piles. Troll the lure at a steady speed but give it a twitch every now and then to impart some erratic action on the lure. That small movement, which mimics a wounded minnow, could result in a hit from a walleye that otherwise is not much interested in biting.


Jigs are one of the standard walleye lures and are most often tipped with a plastic grub or piece of live bait like a leech, nightcrawler or minnow. As a rule, anglers should use a jig that is no heavier than is necessary for them to maintain contact with the bottom. The most common jig size is 1/4 oz., though anglers in shallow water should move down to a 1/8-oz. jig, and those fishing deep water should opt for a 1/2-oz. jig. Jigs are effective most anywhere--from deep to shallow, vegetated to clean bottoms--and should be bounced or dragged along the bottom.


Anytime fishermen are not sure exactly where walleyes are located, crankbaits are a good lure option. Crankbaits are minnow-shaped lures that feature a hard-plastic bill and two to three treble hooks. They are painted a wide variety of colors, but most effective are those that imitate natural walleye forage like perch. Tie on a crankbait that dives slightly deeper than the water in which you are fishing. When you begin trolling, the crankbait will dig into the bottom and behave in an erratic manner, which can trigger a bite from a walleye. Anglers should troll along the edges of likely walleye haunts like weeds, drop-offs, humps and reefs. Casting crankbaits also can be effective, especially when anglers locate walleyes that are actively feeding in a specific area, like the top of a rock pile.

Lindy Rigs

Lindy Rigs are one of the pre-eminent walleye baits. They consist, in order, of a walking sinker (1/4-oz. to 1/2-oz.), swivel, leader and hook (#6 is the most common). The size of leader depends on how far off the bottom the walleyes are; the farther off the bottom they are, the longer the leader should be. Best bait bets for the rig are leeches, nightcrawlers and minnows. Anglers should troll Lindy Rigs slowly along likely walleye-holding areas like weedlines and the edges of drop-offs.

Article Written By Larry Anderson

Larry Anderson has been a freelance writer since 2000. He has covered a wide variety of topics, from golf and baseball to hunting and fishing. His work has appeared in numerous print and online publications, including "Fargo Forum" newspaper. Anderson holds a Bachelor of Arts in print journalism from Concordia College.

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