Top Walleye Lures (So Far)

Top Walleye Lures (So Far)

These have been my top producers for walleyes so far this winter. Least aggressive on the left, everyday options in the middle, most aggressive on the right.

When walleyes oggle things but won't bite, I often opt for a small minnow anchored with a jig head and left to dangle in their face on a deadstick. On the left, top-to-bottom: The JB Lures Weevil Tungsten, the JB Lures Gem-N-Eye, and a Lindy Legendary Fishing Tackle Fat Boy. Each has its place. The Weevil is dense and heavy for its size. It drops quick and anchors the smallest minnows to the point that they can wiggle, but they can't run. The Gem-N-Eye is a lot like another favorite of mine, the Custom Jigs & Spins Demon. These oversized teardrops flutter and flash as minnows struggle. I generally skin-hook minnows along the dorsal with these units. And the Fat Boy is for  creating a larger horizontal profile with a larger, lip-hooked shiner or rainbow. The minnow struggling face-to-face with the jig is sometimes the answer for finicky biters.

In the middle, top-to-bottom: The Northland Tackle Forage Minnow, the PK Lures Flutterfish, and the PK Lures PK Spoon. Most of the time, most walleyes are neutral. As such, I tend to catch most of my walleyes, every winter, with smaller spoons tipped with the head of a fathead or rainbow. The 1/16-ounce PK Spoon has been my go-to bait for a couple years now.



When I'm not catching fish with the PK, it's generally with one of the other two. Hard to beat the Forage Minnow for consistent results in hard-fished waters, like the smaller lakes around here. And my first response to finicky biters generally isn't from the category on the left. It's the Flutterfish, which turns on its side when you dump it, so it flutters down soft and slow, which is less threatening to a cautious fish.

When everybody around me is hooking up as soon as they drop a lure down there, I've been going to the category on the right. Top to bottom: The Rapala Jigging Rap, the Mack's Lure Sonic Baitfish, and the Salmo Zipper. These are small horizontal lures that tend to balance with the same tackle I'm using to fish lures in the other categories (which, in this case, is a new Wright & McGill medium-action Tony Roach Signature Series rod and their new round reel spooled with 6-pound Seaguar AbrazX Fluorocarbon). So, instead of going to a heavier spoon, I often opt for one of these.

Jigging Raps are steady producers, every winter. I find I'm using smaller versions more often than in the past, but it's still a formidable design with it's patented circle-drop descent (when presented on the right weight and diameter line, that is). Mack's Sonic Baitfish is a pleasant surprise this winter — a horizontal spoon that drops like a rock, vibrates uniquely on the rise, and wobbles back down on a semi-slack line. Seems to call active fish from about as far away as the Zipper, which is picking up right where it left off last year. The swift drop and seductive hum the Zipper produces when lifted has been the best calling card I've found when bait is just slowing things down. If walleyes are showing two feet off bottom and  coming right up to the lure and stabbing it, the Zipper rocks.

Those have been my best baits so far this winter. It's always a little different, year to year. Thanks to artist-photographer Al Noraker for sending me the sunrise photo from last week. The pleasure was all mine, Al!


Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Select Lure Options for Giant Pike

Select Lure Options for Giant Pike

And handful of lure options produce big pike early in the season.

Mustad

Mustad's New Tungsten Weights

Long known as one of the world's premiere hook makers, Mustad's Reid McKinstry shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead that the company is now one of the leaders in making tungsten terminal tackle products for anglers.

Berkley

Berkley's Frittside Crankbaits

World Fishing Network show host Chad LaChance had a chance to visit with legendary crankbait master David Fritts about his new Frittside crankbaits from Berkley. LaChance, host of the Fishful Thinker on WFN, also got a few cranking tips from Fritts, the former Classic and Forrest Wood Cup champion.

Tactical Changes for Smallmouths

Tactical Changes for Smallmouths

Doug Stange deploys an one unique in-line spinnerbiat option for smallmouths.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Several methods are available to estimate the weight of a fish. Some use length as well as girth measurements. Biology

Walleye Length To Weight Conversion Chart

Dr. Rob Neumann - January 03, 2017

Several methods are available to estimate the weight of a fish. Some use length as well as...

Now more than ever, understanding each category's strong suits is critical to choosing a powerplant that best fits your personal needs and preferences. Boats & Motors

2- Vs. 4-Cycle Outboard Motors

Dan Johnson - April 16, 2018

Now more than ever, understanding each category's strong suits is critical to choosing a...

Catfish are simple creatures that can be caught using the best catfish rigs. Catching them is simply a matter of putting a good bait in the right in front of them. Catfish

8 Best Catfish Rigs - When, Where and How to Use Them

In-Fisherman

Catfish are simple creatures that can be caught using the best catfish rigs. Catching them is...

Pole lines illustrate the paradox of catfishing. At a time when excellent rods, reels, and other Catfish

Catfish Pole Rigs

Richard Peterson with In-Fisherman - April 28, 2016

Pole lines illustrate the paradox of catfishing. At a time when excellent rods, reels, and...

See More Trending Articles

More Walleye

Paddletail Swimbaits are one of the most efficient options yet devised to catch walleyes, including during late season. Walleye

Paddletail Swimbaits for Late-Season Walleyes

Doug Stange - November 19, 2019

Paddletail Swimbaits are one of the most efficient options yet devised to catch walleyes,...

It's time to turn on the jets and hit the water. Walleye

Crankbaits: The Fastest Lures for Walleyes

David Harrison

It's time to turn on the jets and hit the water.

Overcoming the challenges of finding and icing big-water walleyes starts with changing your mindset. Walleye

Big Water Walleyes

Dan Johnson - February 20, 2020

Overcoming the challenges of finding and icing big-water walleyes starts with changing your...

Jigging minnows, traditionally winter walleye baits, are equally effective on open water. Walleye

Rippin' Jigging Minnows for Non-Stop Walleye Action

Gord Pyzer - November 25, 2019

Jigging minnows, traditionally winter walleye baits, are equally effective on open water.

See More Walleye

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All In-Fisherman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now