Are you thinking of stocking up your tackle box and going after some walleye this season? There are thousands of lures on the market, and they come in every shape, size, and color imaginable.
For experienced and professional anglers, setting up their tackle box is a serious task, but for beginners, it can seem daunting. Picking the right lures can make all the difference on the lake, so here is a list of some the best baits for catching walleye.
Walleye are a favorite freshwater game fish found throughout the northern half of the United States and Canada, where the fish is called pickerel. Walleye get their name from their outward pointing eyeballs, which help them see and hunt in low light and turbid waters. While they can grow to 31 inches in length and 20 pounds, most specimens caught in the US range from 12 to 20 inches. Walleye is the official fish of the Territory of Saskatchewan and the states of Minnesota, South Dakota, and Vermont. The International Game Fish Association lists the biggest walleye caught to have come from Tennessee and weighed in at a whopping 25 pounds!
Walleye feed at night, at dusk, and at dawn. They have excellent eyesight and are also known to feed more in choppy, murky waters where they can capitalize on their competitive advantage.
Best Walleye Lures 2018
snake and more
|Out of stock|
yellow perch, pike,
1. Sougayilang Spoon Lures – Eye Catching Simplicity
The Sougayilang spoon lure set is eye-catching, with a variety of colors in the package for a variety of fishing conditions. While not very lifelike, these lures do stand out when compared to other spoons which often only come in metallic gold or silver. The design of these spoons is versatile, working equally well if trolled or cast and retrieved, or if jigged vertically for deep fishing or winter ice fishing.
A good value considering you get a set of five attractive spoon lures, these spoons from Sougayilang might make a great addition to your tackle box.
These are large, with each lure measures 3 inches in length, weighs 0.74 ounces, and is pre-rigged with a treble hook. This set includes a selection of vibrant colors: white, silver, orange, neon green/yellow, and neon yellow/orange lures.
- Five colors for different conditions
- Large size – perfect for bigger fish
- Versatile – can be trolled, cast, or jigged vertically
- Good for ice fishing
- Not lifelike
- Lacks details of other lures like 3D eyeballs
- Detailed etching and metallic colors only on one side of the lure
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2. Supertrip 5-inch Swimbait
This super lifelike swimbait features eight segments for realistic swimming action. It is available in seven different styles and colors so that you can match the hatch in your fishing hole of choice. Colors are life-like, and the lures feature 3D eyes for extra realism. They are pre-rigged with two treble hooks and are ready to catch some walleye!
- Extremely realistic colors and designs
- Realistic swimming motion
- Colors to match the hatch and local baitfish
- Effective at various speeds and in multiple conditions
- Good size for walleye
- Must move quickly to make accurate swim motion
- Sinks rapidly
- Plastic construction
- Only two choices of shape
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3. Rose Kuli Multi-Jointed Swimbait – Lowest Price
The Rose Kuli swimbait lures are incredibly lifelike. Available in ten different shapes and colors, each lure is designed to target a specific type of prey. Specifically mentioned are trout, pike, walleye, and bass, but reviewers have reported success with many other fresh and saltwater fish.
The segmented bodies of the Rose Kuli swimbaits are joined with sturdy, durable fabric to ensure years of service and are strong enough to reel in some big fish. They move through the water silently, but feature a weight that helps your cast and may draw some attention at the outset of your cast.
What stands out about these lures is how lifelike they are: with 3D, holographic eyes and photorealistic colorings, these baits look like real fish. A few of the designs feature plastic lips for diving and swimming action while others do not. All come pre-rigged with two number 6 treble hooks.
- Articulated swimbait for a realistic motion in the water
- Very lifelike colors and shape
- Durable materials
- Variety of shapes mimicking a variety of fish
- The right size for walleye fishing
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Out of stock
4. Aomeiter Squid Swimbait – Vibrant Colors Catch Attention
These vivid metallic squid-shaped swimbaits might draw the attention of a hungry walleye. With large, realistic, and holographic eyes and long skirts, these lures come in a variety of colors. The six-pack includes bright red, blue/green, red/silver, yellow/green, and yellow/silver. These bright colors are perfect for low-light conditions or murky waters with a “walleye chop.” They measure nine inches total (five inches without the skirt) and are pre-rigged with two treble hooks. These lures are suitable for use in both salt and freshwater fishing applications.
Aomeiter also sells an underwater LED fishing light which they recommend combining with the squid swimbait.
- Big for big fish
- Lifelike eyeballs
- Variety of vivid, bright colors come in the set
- Lifelike swimming action
- Good for trolling
- Unlike local baitfish for walleye, but eye-catching enough to draw attention regardless
- May be better suited for ocean fishing
- Plastic construction
- A bit large for most walleye
- Set of five are all the same shape
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5. KMBEST Mixed Lot of Fishing Lures – Many Options in One Box
If you are looking to top up a waning tackle box, or if you are a beginner looking to stock up, you might want to take a look at KMBEST’s mixed lot of lures. This set includes 131 pieces and a tackle box too! Included are six hard baits, 68 soft silicone lures, plus many other useful accessories like hooks, jig heads, and swivels.
- Large assortment of fishing needs in one set
- Good choice if you are starting out
- Could make a great gift for aspiring anglers
- Comes with box
- Great value for a large number of items
- Contains a small variety of hard lures
- You may have to purchase additional colors and shapes of plugs that are more specific to your location
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6. Smartbaits Color Changing Lure – Editor’s Choice
Smartbaits use an interesting technique to get the fish’s attention: their lures change color! Activated by the temperature of the water, these lures shift hues as they pass through thermoclines in the water both while being cast out and retrieved. As the lure is retrieved, the lure’s color resets and it is ready for the next cast. *green The patented color changing technology activates at temperatures between 65 and 87 degrees and works equally well in both fresh and saltwater. Consequently, Smartbaits holds one significant advantage over their single color competition: it is like casting two lures out at once.
The company manufactures both plastic bait and hard bait plugs with their color changing technology included. The Jerk Bait for bass is a 4-inch long, 1/2-ounce plug with a plastic lip that allows it to run at a depth of five feet. The lure is specifically designed to target walleye, pike, and bass from any area of the country and is pre-rigged with double treble hooks.
- Great size for walleye fishing
- Unique color-changing technology
- High quality
- Few choices of hard baits
- Jerk Bait for Bass only comes in one color and design
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7. Yongzhi Lazer-Etched Sinking Jigs – Simple and Beautiful
While these jigs from Yongzhi are simple, they are also striking and beautiful. With an asymmetric design that causes fluttering the water and realistic eyeballs, what hungry walleye could resist them? *green Most noteworthy for walleye, these jigs sink and are perfect for fishing around structures and ledges to find the strike zone.
This set of five jigs come in a variety of metallic, shiny colors including red, blue, yellow, black, and rainbow. The colors are laser etched to catch the light and reflect it in various ways. Rigged with a single number four circle hook, these lures measure 2.75 inches in length (not including the hook). They are also rigged with a feather skirt to improve the fluttering motion, making it move like a baitfish through the water.
- Simple yet effective design
- Set of five offers great value
- Variety of colors in the set
- Shiny, metallic colors and realistic eyes set it apart from other simple jigs
- High-quality metal construction
- Great size for catching walleye
- Set only contains one shape of the jig
- Lacks swimming action, requires more angler input and jigging technique
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There are many theories and techniques used by anglers when it comes to selecting the right lure.
Most professional anglers agree that the best tactic to picking your bait is to “match the hatch,” meaning simply to use bait that matches the natural food source of the fish you are hunting. Many plugs and crankbaits are designed to simulate specific fish species in their shapes and colors, so you are sure to discover one that matches the baitfish in your lake.
Size and Color
Also, keep in mind that the size and color of the bait affect its performance as well. Many anglers prefer to save garish and bright colors for dreary days where they need to draw extra attention to the bait. Others will tell you that vivid colors are best used in bright sunlight so that they do not stand out more than natural baitfish. Whatever the right answer is, you might want to have a selection of both neon, hot colors and darker, muted colors in your tackle box.
Walleye have great vision, and since this is a primary advantage for them over their prey, they use their keen eyesight to hunt more at dawn and dusk or in cloudy, turbid water. Anglers refer to choppy, windy conditions as a “walleye chop” since the water gets churned up and the walleye are more likely to be feeding.
While the best bait for walleye varies from location to location, walleye are known to feed on other fish almost exclusively. At night, they move onto bars and shoals to feed, usually on yellow perch or ciscoes, but also on leeches, crawfish, and minnows.
Furthermore, there are countless designs, shapes, and color of lure on the market and picking the right one is a little bit of art and a little bit of science. The primary families of lures are described below. Any of these can be used successfully for walleye fishing, but knowing the differences between their designs will help you pick the most effective lure and might improve your chances out on the water.
Spoons were initially just as the name suggests: spoon-shaped lures. The concave shape of a spoon allows it to make a wobbling motion as it moves through the water, and the reflective surface draws attention like a shiny bait fish. Nowadays, spoons come in a range of shapes and sizes, each one creating a different movement and effect in the water.
Jigs get their name from the up-and-down motion anglers use to retrieve them. They are basically simple crankbaits; they fall somewhere half way between simple spoons and complex plugs. The up-and-down motion used with jigs makes them less likely to get fouled in weeds, rocks, or timbers on the bottom.
Spinners were created to allow fishing in weedy or grassy areas without fouling (or losing) your lure. They come equipped with skirts or propellers that spin around the hooks. Of course, the spinning also draws the attention of fish. Some are designed to bounce along the surface of the water, while some are alternatively intended to skip along the bottom. For walleye, you will want to weight your spinner rig so that it bounces along the bottom.
A plug, also known as a crankbait, is a hard bait that is designed to look like a baitfish. Plugs range in complexity from thin bullet-shaped stick baits to complex swimbaits that seem just like real fish, with segmented bodies that make an authentic swimming motion as the angler retrieves it from the water. Plugs can be designed to float or sink at different rates for different depths. Many are equipped with a lip on the front that acts as a diving plane. As the angler reels the plug in, the lip forces the plug down to the desired depth.
Plastic bait is designed to give the angler a reusable, authentic looking food source for fish. These gooey pieces of silicone are usually multi-colored and mimic everything from worms to crawfish. While some a pre-rigged with hooks and leaders, they usually come unrigged and ready to be added to the lure of your choice.
Our amazon pics for plastic bait:
YONGZHI Fishing Lures – $12.99.
Yamamoto Senko Bait – $6.49.
YONGZHI Fishing Lures Artificial Paddle – .
Flies are designed to bounce on the water like insects. Most fly fishing is done with light tackle and special leaders and line. The flies themselves come in all shapes and sizes, many mimicking insects, crabs, crawfish, and more. The action is provided by the fisherman to make them bounce on the water. While some flies sink, most are very simple and lightweight.
What to use for walleye
Many anglers use jigs for catching walleye. Jigs allow for more control over the lure’s movement in the water, which is important to hone in on the way walleye feed. Walleye tend to be sluggish during the winter and more aggressive during the summer. Jigs, when used with proper technique, allow the fisherman to control the movement accordingly: slow retrievals and slow taps during winter months and intense, quick retrievals during summer months.
Anglers fishing for walleye will find their best luck often comes from fishing from a boat. Boats give the fishermen access to larger lakes and the freedom to easily move around on the lake and find the best spot. However, those without a boat can find success fishing from shore during the transition from winter to spring. Walleyes at this time tend to congregate in shallower waters, trying to find refuge from fast spring currents that occur as snow melts and rivers swell. Fishing from shore, concentrating on shallow waters where the current is slack, can be a great way to bag walleye in the early spring.
For those fishing from a vessel, boat handling technique is an essential part of zeroing in on walleye. Trolling is a standard technique for covering a lot of ground to find where they are feeding. There are a variety of options from basic flatlining (casting crankbaits or spinners off the back of the boat) to using downriggers and planers to get the lures at just the right depths.
Regardless of the technique you use, keep in mind that walleye are schooling fish. Once you’ve found one, there are likely more in the area. Rock humps, structures, cribs, and other bottom contours are great places to start the hunt. In large lakes, walleye also can be found schooling while following other schools of baitfish.
In conclusion, picking the right lure for walleye is part science and part art. Start by studying up on the baitfish present in your lake and go from there. Are there any crankbaits that match the hatch well? Also, consider picking out some inexpensive jigs and spoons to play with on the water. Examine the season and remember that in spring, you may have better luck catching walleye from shore instead of from a boat. Consider the weather and what color lure will work well in sunny or overcast conditions. Your tackle box doesn’t need to have every lure, but a variety of lures will serve you well.