How to Choose the Right Lures for Walleye Fishing: A Comprehensive Guide

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on choosing the right lures for walleye fishing. Whether you are a seasoned angler or just starting out, selecting the correct lures can greatly increase your chances of landing those elusive walleye. In this guide, we will explore the various types of lures available, the factors to consider when making your selection, and offer fishing tips for improving your catch rate. So, let’s dive in and discover the secrets to successful walleye fishing!

Key Takeaways:

  • Choosing the right lures is essential for successful walleye fishing.
  • Consider factors such as lure type, size, and color when making your selection.
  • Research the behavior and preferences of walleye to better understand their lure preferences.
  • Experiment with different lure types, such as live bait, soft plastics, blade baits, jigging raps, and walleye jigs.
  • Take into account water clarity, time of year, and fishing conditions when selecting the appropriate lures.
how to choose right lures for walleye fishing

Understanding the Behavior and Preferences of Walleye

Before selecting lures for walleye fishing, it is important to understand their behavior and preferences. By gaining insight into their feeding habits, preferred habitats, and the factors that influence their lure selection, you can increase your chances of a successful fishing trip.

Feeding Habits

Walleye are known for their voracious appetite and are opportunistic feeders. They primarily rely on their exceptional night vision and stealth to ambush prey. They tend to target smaller fish such as shad, minnows, and perch. When choosing lures for walleye fishing, it is crucial to consider both the size and color of the bait to mimic their preferred prey.

Preferred Habitats

Walleye can be found in a variety of habitats, including lakes, rivers, and reservoirs. They often seek out structures such as drop-offs, underwater points, and submerged vegetation. Additionally, areas with rocky bottoms and sandy or gravelly substrates are favored by walleye. Understanding their preferred habitats can help you determine where to focus your walleye fishing efforts.

Factors Influencing Lure Selection

Several factors influence the selection of lures for walleye fishing. Water clarity, time of day, and weather conditions play a significant role in their behavior and feeding patterns. Additionally, the depth at which walleye are holding and their level of activity can impact lure effectiveness. By considering these factors, you can choose the most appropriate lures that match the preferences of walleye in different fishing scenarios.

In conclusion, understanding the behavior and preferences of walleye is essential for selecting the right lures for a successful fishing trip. By mimicking their preferred prey and targeting their preferred habitats, you can greatly increase your chances of hooking walleye. Along with careful consideration of factors such as water clarity, time of day, and weather conditions, you’ll be well-equipped with the knowledge to make effective walleye lure selections.

Top Lure Types for Walleye Fishing

When it comes to walleye fishing, using the right lures can make all the difference in your catch rate. In this section, we will explore some of the top lure types that are known to be effective for targeting walleye. Whether you’re fishing in Lake Erie, ice fishing on a frozen lake, or casting your line in the Mississippi River, these lure types have proven to be successful in attracting walleye.

1. Live Bait

Live bait, such as minnows and nightcrawlers, is a classic choice for walleye fishing. The natural movement and scent of live bait can entice even the most cautious walleye. Whether you’re using a bobber rig or bottom rig, presenting live bait in the right location can greatly increase your chances of success.

2. Soft Plastics

Soft plastic lures have gained popularity among walleye anglers due to their versatility and lifelike action. These lures come in a variety of shapes and sizes, mimicking baitfish that walleye prey upon. Whether you prefer paddle tails, twister tails, or ringworms, soft plastics can be fished on a jig head or with a spinner for added attraction.

3. Blade Baits

Blade baits, like the popular Silver Buddy, are great options for jigging walleye. These lures have a metal blade that vibrates and flashes in the water, mimicking injured baitfish. The erratic action and audible vibrations can trigger aggressive strikes from walleye, especially in colder water conditions.

4. Jigging Raps

Jigging raps, such as the Rapala Jigging Rap, are versatile lures that can be used for both ice fishing and open-water fishing. These lures have a minnow-shaped design and an enticing darting action when jigged vertically. Tip the treble hook with a minnow head or a piece of soft plastic for added attraction.

5. Walleye Jigs

Walleye jigs, like the Northland Fishing Tackle Fire-Ball Jig, are specifically designed for targeting walleye. These jigs feature a short-shank hook and a unique shape that enhances both hook-setting efficiency and bait presentation. Pair them with a variety of soft plastics or live bait for an irresistible walleye lure.

Remember, the key to successful walleye fishing is to experiment with different lure types, colors, and sizes to match the conditions and preferences of the fish. Additionally, paying attention to the water depth, structure, and temperature can also improve your chances of catching walleye.

how to choose right lures for walleye fishing - live bait for walleye

Factors to Consider When Choosing Walleye Lures

When it comes to walleye fishing, selecting the right lure can make all the difference in attracting and hooking these elusive fish. Several factors should be taken into account to increase your chances of success on the water. From lure color to diving depth, understanding these considerations will help you make informed decisions and ensure that you have the right bait in your tackle box.

Lure Color

Walleye are known for their preference for certain colors depending on the water conditions. In clear water, natural colors like silver, white, and chartreuse often work best. On the other hand, in murky or stained water, using brighter and more vivid colors like orange, yellow, and hot pink can be highly effective in attracting walleye. Additionally, experimenting with different color combinations and patterns can help you identify which hues are most appealing to walleye in your fishing location.

Lure Size and Diving Depth

Choosing the appropriate size and diving depth for your lure is crucial for targeting walleye at specific depths in different fishing scenarios. During spring walleye runs, for example, using smaller lures that mimic baitfish can be highly effective in shallow water. Conversely, when fishing in deep water, larger lures with a deep-diving capability will help you reach the desired depths where walleye are likely to be feeding.

Lure Action

The action of a lure refers to its movement in the water when being retrieved. Different lures offer various actions, such as wobbling, darting, or vibrating, which can mimic the natural movement of baitfish and trigger the predatory instincts of walleye. Experimenting with different lure actions is essential to find the one that entices walleye the most in your fishing area. Understanding how these actions appeal to freshwater fish like walleye can significantly improve your success on the water.

Water Conditions and Behavior

Understanding the water conditions and the behavior of walleye in different fishing scenarios is essential for selecting the appropriate lures. In clear water, where walleye may be more cautious, using subtle and natural-looking lures can be more effective. Conversely, in murky or turbulent water, opt for lures with a strong presence and a noisy rattle to grab the attention of walleye. Additionally, considering the time of year, the temperature of the water, and the presence of other baitfish can give you valuable insights into the kind of lure that will entice walleye to strike.

By taking into account factors such as lure color, size, diving depth, and the behavior of walleye, you can greatly improve your chances of success on the water. Remember to experiment with different lure types and techniques to find what works best in your fishing location. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be well-equipped to attract hungry walleye and land that trophy-worthy catch.

how to choose right lures for walleye fishing - lures of different colors and sizes

Tips for Using Lures Effectively in Walleye Fishing

When it comes to walleye fishing, using lures effectively can make all the difference in your success. Here are some tips and techniques to help you maximize your catch:


When presenting your lure to walleye, it’s essential to mimic the natural movements of their prey. Consider the following:

  • Use a slow and steady retrieve to simulate the movement of injured baitfish.
  • Vary your retrieval speed and pause intermittently to trigger the curiosity of nearby walleye.
  • Experiment with different depths and areas of the water column to find where the walleye are most active.
  • Try jigging techniques or vertical jigging to entice walleye in deeper water or when they’re holding near the bottom.

Fishing Reports and Local Advice

Staying up to date with fishing reports can give you valuable insights and help you plan your walleye fishing trips more effectively. Pay attention to:

  • Reports on walleye activity, such as spawning seasons, feeding patterns, and preferred habitats.
  • Information on successful lures and techniques used by local anglers in your target fishing area.
  • Advice from experienced anglers or local guides who have a deep understanding of walleye behavior in specific bodies of water.

Choosing the Right Fishing Gear

The right fishing gear can greatly enhance your ability to effectively use lures for walleye fishing. Consider the following:

  • Select a fishing rod and reel combo that is suitable for walleye fishing, providing the right sensitivity and strength.
  • Choose the appropriate fishing line that matches the water conditions and the size of the lures you’ll be using.
  • Use high-quality hooks and consider using a fluorocarbon leader to prevent line visibility in clear water.

Understanding Walleye Distribution Patterns

Walleye distribution can vary depending on the season, water temperature, and available prey. Understanding these patterns can improve your chances of success. Consider the following:

  • Research specific bodies of water or consult with local experts to identify areas where walleye are commonly found.
  • Pay attention to underwater structures, such as drop-offs, weed beds, rocky areas, or submerged points, which can serve as prime spots for walleye.
  • Keep in mind that walleye tend to move closer to shore during spring and fall, while they may be found in deeper water during summer.
Lure TypeDescriptionBest Fishing Scenarios
Live BaitIncludes minnows, leeches, and nightcrawlers. Provides a realistic presentation and scent.Spring walleye, slow presentations
Jigging RapsHard plastic lures with a minnow-like profile. Ideal for vertical jigging in deeper water.Deep water, ice fishing
Soft PlasticsImitation baits with a lifelike action. Can be used on various rigs or as trailer hooks.Clear water, weed beds
Blade BaitsMetal lures with a vibrating action. Effective for covering water quickly and attracting walleye.Aggressive fish, colder water
Walleye JigsLead-headed jigs with various color patterns. Versatile lures that can be used with live bait or plastics.Multiple fishing scenarios

By using these tips and techniques, you can improve your lure presentation, pay attention to fishing reports and local advice, choose the right fishing gear, and understand the distribution patterns of walleye. With this knowledge, you’ll be well-prepared to increase your chances of success in walleye fishing.

how to choose right lures for walleye fishing - walleye with a lure


Choosing the right lures is essential for success in walleye fishing. By understanding the behavior and preferences of walleye, anglers can make informed decisions when selecting lures. Factors such as lure type, size, and color play a crucial role in enticing these elusive fish.

Throughout this guide, we have explored various lure types that have proven effective for walleye fishing. Whether it’s live bait, soft plastics, blade baits, jigging raps, or walleye jigs, each lure type offers unique characteristics that can attract walleye in different fishing scenarios.

Additionally, we have discussed important factors to consider when choosing walleye lures, such as the water conditions, time of year, and the behavior of walleye in specific environments. Paying attention to these factors can greatly increase your chances of success on the water.

By utilizing the tips and techniques provided in this comprehensive guide, anglers will be well-equipped to maximize their catch rate when targeting walleye. So, grab your fishing gear, select the right lures, and get ready to reel in more walleye on your next fishing adventure!


How do I choose the right lures for walleye fishing?

To choose the right lures for walleye fishing, consider factors such as the type of lure, water conditions, time of year, and the behavior of walleye. Experimenting with various lures, including blade baits, husky jerks, and jigging raps, allows you to determine which ones are most effective in different situations. Additionally, having a selection of best walleye lures, such as rapala rippin rap and walleye jigs, ensures you’re prepared for various fishing scenarios.

When selecting your fishing gear, prioritize quality equipment that can withstand the rigors of walleye fishing. Invest in reliable rods, reels, and fishing lines that can handle the weight and fight of walleye. Moreover, having a range of fishing lures, including rapala jigging raps and fishing lure, gives you versatility in your approach. With proper gear and a diverse selection of lures, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle different walleye fishing challenges.

What are the best lures for walleye?

When targeting walleye, anglers often rely on a variety of lures and techniques to maximize their chances of success. For instance, anglers may opt for lures like the Rapala Rippin’ Rap or lipless crankbaits to imitate injured baitfish, triggering the aggressive instincts of walleye. Additionally, custom jigs with specific color patterns or jig heads designed for deep water can effectively entice walleye in different conditions.

Experienced anglers know the importance of adapting their techniques based on the season and water conditions. During spring walleye fishing, anglers may focus on shallow water areas where walleye gather for spawning, using lures like the Rapala Husky Jerk or Cotton Cordell Wally Diver to target hungry walleye. In contrast, when fishing in clear water or during the summer months, anglers may need to experiment with lure colors and retrieval speeds to match the walleye’s preferences.

What is the most effective lure for catching walleye?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the most effective lure for catching walleye can vary depending on the circumstances. However, jigs and crankbaits are often considered to be highly effective lures for walleye fishing. Additionally, an artificial lure, such as soft plastics or spinnerbaits, can also be successful in enticing walleye, especially when targeting them in specific locations or during certain seasons.

How should I present my lures to attract walleye?

When presenting your lures to attract walleye, it’s important to vary your retrieval techniques. Try techniques such as slow trolling, jigging, or casting and retrieving at different depths and speeds to see what works best on a particular day. Pay attention to the behavior of walleye and adjust your presentation accordingly. Understanding the preferences of walleye and their response to different lure types and techniques can greatly improve your chances of catching them.

Are there any tips for using lures effectively in walleye fishing?

When it comes to selecting the right lure for walleye fishing, anglers have a plethora of options to consider. Popular choices include the Rapala Jigging Rap, Cotton Cordell Wally Diver, and Rapala Husky Jerk. Each lure has its unique action and appeal to hungry walleye, making them valuable additions to any angler’s arsenal.

Another essential aspect of successful walleye fishing is understanding the behavior of the fish in different water conditions. In clear water, lighter lure colors and more subtle presentations tend to be more effective, while in stained or murky water, brighter colors and aggressive retrieves may produce better results. Additionally, vertical jigging with jig heads and custom jigs can be highly productive, especially when targeting walleye in deep water or along structure.

Furthermore, mastering fishing knots and techniques such as vertical jigging and lipless crankbait trolling can greatly enhance your chances of success on the water. Don’t hesitate to seek advice from seasoned anglers or fishing tournaments to refine your skills and stay updated on the latest trends in walleye fishing.

What should I consider when selecting lure colors for walleye fishing?

Choosing the right bait and lures is crucial for successful walleye fishing. Experienced anglers often rely on bait fish like minnows or shiners, while blade baits and Husky Jerk lures are popular choices for enticing strikes. Additionally, jigging raps and walleye jigs can be effective in mimicking the movement of prey, increasing your chances of catching walleye.

For novice anglers, experimenting with different techniques and lures is key to mastering the art of catching walleye. Whether you’re casting with the best walleye lures or jigging with precision, patience, and persistence are essential virtues. As you gain experience as a walleye angler, you’ll develop a deeper understanding of the habits and behaviors of this elusive game fish.

Additional Resources:

1. different techniques and lures –

2. Rapala Jigging Rap –

3. highly effective lures for walleye fishing –

4. baitfish

5. catching walleye. –

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