Walleye Baits covers the best bait and tackle for catching this crafty fish. Compare jigs, lures, and more. Learn their habits and characteristics and the strategies that can help you land one of the craftiest adversaries fresh waters have to offer.
Take a look at all the walleye baits and tackle items available. You’ll find walleye rods, reels and combinations and plenty of lures, jigs, spinners, grubs and harnesses. We also have hooks, snells, sinkers, as well as books and DVDs. All are from quality merchants offering well-known brands like Loomis, Abu Garcia, Shimano, Daiwa, Northland and Lindy.
Luckily, social distancing and fishing can be pretty compatible. But, even though you may have access to your favorite waters, it may be difficult to find local bait&tackle shops open. Not to worry, because thanks to the internet, we can still stock up on fishing line, find that new rod or reel, and enjoy our favorite sport. We’re affiliated with Bass Pro Outlets, so check our shopping pages, we can hook you up!
It’s Fall and They’re Hungry
Once the leaves turn and the weather cools, you might think that walleye fishing has peaked. But, for those heartier souls willing to brave the elements and take advantage of fewer boats on the water, this can really be one of the most productive and exciting times of the year for landing trophy sized ‘eyes. The main reason is that, come fall, walleye are looking for all the protein they can get to make it through the winter. This holds true especially for the females, whose eggs are just setting for the post winter spawn. Because they’re driven by the season to put on weight, the big fish love the big baits. By now, walleye have put a huge dent in the minnow population and large minnows on a 1/4 ounce jig can tempt a hungry fish. However, it’s also important to allow that colder water puts a chill on the walleyes’ temperament. They can be very slow to bite, so your presentation needs more time and patience. Jig your bait vertically above the walleye and give them plenty of time to take it. Slow trolling large crank baits can allow the fish a chance to react and strike.
Time and weather are also important factors. Noon to dark is your best window of opportunity. Sunny autumn days and calm water that’s had a chance to warm can trigger walleye to be more aggressive. But on the flip side, many experienced fisher-folk will tell you that wind and rain just prior to and during a passing cold front will also spark heavy feeding. What’s more certain is that after major changes in weather, walleye are likely to go off their feed until they acclimate to the new conditions. This often entails them going to deeper water, but even then you still have an opportunity. There are always some larger fish that make a habit of hanging in the depths. They’re less affected by weather changes and their usual feeding pattern remains the same. You just may need to tweak your presentation a bit. If you’ve been trying to land the bigger fish with large crank baits and get no results, make the move to a spinner with live bait. You may not tempt the largest, but there are likely some decent sized ‘eyes willing to strike.
If the waters are turbid, as they often are in fall, walleye tend to move closer to shore. Try casting light jigs and spinners toward the shoreline and then work them back to where walleye may be waiting. Walleye can also be very line shy and the fatter the line the more likely they are to see it. 8lb test clear monofilament or fluorocarbon usually work best in this regard.
If you feel something, anything, on your line, set the hook! Under spring or summer circumstances, you’re less tempted to fall for the bit of debris or weed that tweaks your line or rod, but in the fall walleyes often hit very lightly and what you think might be a snag could be a big fish. The fact that a walleye’s attitude is as cool as the water dictates the amount of time it takes to look over, decide, and hit your offering, so using the right bait and tackle will improve your chances.
Fall Trolling Baits
As we transition into fall, here are some great walleye baits you might want to troll. First, the tried and true #5 Rapala Shad Wrap catches a lot of fish and is always a good bet. It’s especially effective in the early fall in 60-65 degree water.
Once the water temp drops below 60 degrees, #9 bent-lipped shad-style lures work well, hungry walleye move into the shallows to feed on perch just that size. If the bite is slow, you can always try going back to a number 5, 6 or 7 Shad Wrap.
Another large bait that works well in cooler water is the jointed rap. It can be an effective trolling bait because it’s really underutilized by fall fishermen and walleye aren’t so used to the presentation. Snap a quarter ounce split shot above it to get down to 8 -10 feet and you might be surprised.
Once we’re in late fall and the water has dropped to the fifties and below, consider the historic Rapala Original Floating Minnow. This balsa lure has a quiet, natural action and floats above bottom snags. It’s great for slow presentation in cold water. You can cast it downstream and slowly retrieve or slow troll on a 3-way rig.
Your Walleye Weather!
Use Temperature Drop-down for more choices, Hold left mouse button to move map, + – to change size
Thanks to the input received from tournament anglers, guides, shop owners and pro staffers, G. Loomis® has come up with the accurate, high-performance, technique-specific GLX Walleye Series Spinning Rod. These walleye rods are all about performance, with improved actions, and more precise tapers and length adjustments to cover the most technical aspects of walleye fishing, especially where light weight and sensitivity are paramount to success.
- High-performance, technique-specific rods
- Especially lightweight and sensitive
- Precise tapers and lengths
- RECOIL guides
- Cork handle
Or the Kids?
When kids can catch fish, they’re more likely to enjoy themselves. Beginning anglers really will catch more fish—and have more fun—with the Shakespeare® Catch More Fish Spinning Rod and Reel Combo for Walleye. Ready to fish right out of the box, this easy-to-use combo comes pre-rigged with premium Stren® fishing line and includes a boxful of lures and tackle specially chosen to help them catch walleye. Tackle box contents: 4 Berkley® PowerBait® Minnows, 4 PowerBait Grubs, 2 jigheads, 1 nightcrawler harness rig, 2 walking sinkers, 3 octopus hooks, and 5 fluorescent beads, plus a handy rigging guide with knot-tying instructions and bait selection advice!
Walleye Weight Calculator
Don’t have a scale or forgot to bring it? Try this calculator. Just plug in the relevant numbers for a pretty fair estimate of your trophy catch’s weight. There are all kinds of formulas for approximating weights, but this calculator has been calibrated to the known lengths/girths of the largest walleyes on record. Be sure to measure from the front tip of the lower jaw to the very end of the tail. Then measure the girth at the widest part around the body.
If you’re using a tape measure, lay the fish flat on top of it. Don’t make the mistake of pulling the tape over the top of the fish, because you’re likely to bend the tape over the fish’s contours. That will give you an inaccurate length that won’t pass muster with Fish & Game on those closer calls.
Fall Walleye Fishing Videos
Best Fall Walleye Lures
EASY Way to Catch Fall Walleyes!
Locating Fall Walleyes and Techniques to Catch Them
Best Walleye Lures for Fall
Rapala Shad Rap Custom Colors by Yeck Lures
This version of the Rapala Shad Rap Custom Colors by Yeck Lures, is a proven crankbait with the body profile, colors and action that walleye find irresistible. Equally deadly whether cast or trolled. Super-responsive balsa wood construction with a tough, hard-diving lip and sharp trebles; built to weather even the toughest fights. Floats up on the pause.
- Legendary casting and trolling crankbait
- Custom-painted with unique color patterns
- Super-responsive balsa wood construction
- Durable construction
- Floats at rest
Northland UV Whistler Jig
A long-time favorite for walleyes gets more fish-attracting bling! This version of the classic, the Northland® UV Whistler® Jig, features a brilliant UV-coated paint design that’s proven to pull fish in from a distance. Meanwhile, this walleye jig uses an innovative propeller spinner blade that flashes and creates continuous sonic vibrations as it moves through the water, coaxing fish to come looking for a meal. The vibration creates an underwater “whistling” sound when retrieved, a quality that’s especially useful in murky rivers or reservoirs when sound and flash are pivotal to getting fish to bite. The Northland UV Whistler Jig boasts a razor-sharp hook that can be tipped with live bait or a plastic grub.
- Classic walleye getter with extra bling
- Brilliant UV-coated paint adds long-distance appeal
- Flashy propeller blade creates continuous vibration
- Makes a “whistling” sound with every movement
- Essential for dark or murky water
- Razor-sharp hook
- Best tipped with bait or plastic
VMC Neon Moon Eye Jig Glow Kit
Want more walleye hookups? Get better jigheads. The VMC® Neon Moon Eye™ Jig Glow Kit gets the job done with eye-catching glow colors and 3-D holographic eyes. Its aspirin-shaped head increases jigging control and creates the illusion of a wide-profile meaty morsel. Premium high carbon steel hook with black nickel finish. Assorted colors.
- Eye-catching glow colors and 3-D holographic eyes
- Aspirin-shaped head increases jigging control
- Creates the illusion of a wide-profile meaty morsel
- Premium black nickel hook
Rapala Husky Jerk
An hour or so after dark, fall walleye will move into 3 – 5 feet of water. This is s great time to use jerkbaits like the 4 – 5 inch Husky Jerk. Perfectly balanced, the Rapala® Husky Jerk® Minnow can be cast or trolled at any speed, and will still run true. Its rattle chamber transmits sound waves that amplify through the water, catching and piquing attention, and the horizontal suspending action of the Husky Jerk Minnow is more than a hungry predator can stand! The “Glass” colors offer a transparent body and a holographic ”spine” for added flash; all styles are fitted with premium VMC® black nickel hooks.
- Tracks true at any speed
- Perfecty balanced
- Horizontal suspension at rest
- Loud rattles
- Premium VMC Black Nickel Hooks
Reef Runner Cicada
A darting, fluttering action on the fall and a unique vibe on the upstroke make Reef Runner Cicada a fish-catching machine, whether fished vertically or horizontally. Its bug-like appearance and concave blade produce flash and vibration patterns no other lure can duplicate, to attract fish sonically and visually. Sturdy double hooks resist fouling.
- Unique bug-like appearance with a concave blade
- Produces unmatched flash and vibration patterns
- Darts and flutters on the fall
- Sturdy, foul-resistant double hooks
- Great for vertical jigging or casting
Rapala Down Deep Husky Jerk Custom Colors by Yeck Lures
A proven trophy bait with an exciting new look! This version of the Rapala Down Deep Husky Jerk Custom Colors by Yeck Lures, giving you a bait with the diving, wobbling, suspending action you need, plus unique color patterns that stand out from the ordinary. The oversized, deep-diving lip on the Deep Husky Jerk allows it to dive to 20′ or more on the troll, and 10′ or more when casting. Its neutral buoyancy design allows you to pause your retrieve and let the lure suspend in position, increasing its appeal to wary fish. Balanced profile for long casts; active rattles bring fish in for a closer look. Fitted with razor-sharp VMC® black nickel hooks.
- Proven trophy bait for casting or trolling
- Custom-painted with unique color patterns
- Oversized, deep-diving lip
- Neutrally buoyant
- Internal rattles to call fish in
- Razor-sharp VMC black nickel hooks
With its rippled sides and paddle tail, the Berkley® PowerBait® Ripple Shad sends a fish-attracting vibration through the water. Even better, the added surface area allows for better dispersion of that classic, fish-attracting PowerBait scent. Made in USA.
- Rippled sides and paddle tail
- Creates a fish-attracting vibration
- Proven PowerBait scent