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, and local bait&tackle shops are open, you may still prefer options. Not to worry, because thanks to the internet, you can stock up on fishing line, or find that new rod or reel from the comfort of home. We’re affiliated with Bass Pro Outlets, so check our shopping pages, we can hook you up!
Winter Walleye Fishing
Just because it’s winter, it doesn’t mean you can’t catch walleye. Most of the basic rules continue to apply, but there are some specific cold weather strategies that can increase your chance for success.
Firstly, the best times for catching walleye still hold true. The hours surrounding dusk and dawn are when walleye are most aggressive, taking full advantage of their low light capability to forage for food. You can also have good luck during regular daytime hours if the weather is snowy or overcast. Start fishing deep during daylight hours and move to shallower areas as the sun begins to set. Walleye are a little like zombies – they don’t like to come out in the bright light.
Night fishing for walleye can be rewarding, as well. Wait until their renowned light gathering eyes have adjusted, an hour or so after darkness has set in. They’ll be back on the prowl, patrolling shallower waters looking for a late-night snack. If you have some good moonlight, all the better.
Knowing when a walleye is in a biting mood is one thing, but you also need to know where they’re hanging out. It’s always good to learn the best spots on a lake or river before the ice sets up. If you’re not already familiar with a particular body of water, you can use a fish finder and map out the areas and depths where they‘re holding. Again, most of the usual rules apply. Walleye like rock or gravel bottoms, holes, dams, structures with drop-offs, etc.
There are differences, however, between early and late winter walleye fishing. As the first ice begins to set early in the season, walleye tend to remain in deep water that’s close to the shallows where they can take advantage of the last remaining bait fish. But during the latter part of winter, they will begin to focus on the spring spawn and move into staging areas near their spawning grounds. If you’re lake fishing, locate spots where rivers or creeks come in, as they tend to supply the warmer water walleye like to stage in. If you’re on a river, look for areas where their upstream movement will be blocked by dams or other man-made or natural obstructions. But remember, they aren’t exactly at those spots just yet. They’ll be exhibiting their late winter, pre-spawn behavior, which means staging themselves somewhere just off their spawning ground. So the key often is fishing the spot closest and deepest to the spawning site. But, don’t wander too far off from ground zero, walleye are likely staging within 30 feet from that point.
Best Winter Walleye Baits
The Rapala Jigging Rap has been around for nearly 50 years and represents the gold standard among anglers. Its sleek, minnow profile and crazy circular swimming motion mimics a wounded baitfish that can ignite strikes from suspended walleyes. The bill at the back-end allows for the rap’s movement on both the rise and fall. Rapala also offers jigging raps with a UV finish, great in low light or stained water. Depending on your line weight and water conditions, you can have a lot of success with sizes #5, #7, or #9.
With its lipless, deep belly profile, the Rapala Ultra Light Rippin’ Rap crankbait is designed to dive and rip with the best of them. Flat, skinny sides allow the Rapala Ultra Light Rippin’ Rap to flutter on the drop with a hard-vibrating action that’s accented with a loud, BB rattle system. Other features include textured scales and gills with deep-set 3D holographic eyes. Adding to this crankbait’s deadly disposition are fast-piercing VMC® black nickel hooks.
Used in Sweden for more than 100 years, the Bay de Noc Swedish Pimple jigging spoon delivers exceptional results on saltwater and freshwater fish. A tried-and-true ice fishing legend for decades, and the first to incorporate a flicker blade as standard equipment; just use a sharp vertical jig motion to execute an erratic injured baitfish action. Flashy and responsive, the Pimple is effective whether fished plain or tipped with bait.
Made of top-quality, 100% pure tungsten, the compact Custom Jigs & Spins Chekai Tungsten Jig offers superb control for enticing finicky panfish in any ice fishing setting. Its large eyes, concave face, and smooth rounded sides allow you to perform smooth, subtle movements that fool wary fish.
- 100% pure tungsten head
- Attracts all species of panfish
- Affords precise jigging control
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.
Winter Walleye Fishing Videos
Color Selection For Winter Walleyes
6 BEST Winter Walleye Lures
Ice Fishing Walleye Locations
More Great Walleye Lures for Winter
Rapala Original Floating Minnow
The Rapala Original Floating Minnow is the lure that started it all and is still one of the most popularures around. Whether twitched on the top as a surface bait, retrieved as a shallow runner, weighted with a split-shot for medium-depth swimming, or bottom walked off a sinker rig, the Original Floating Minnow’s wounded minnow action continues to be irresistible to game fish. 4-3/8″ and larger sizes have 3 hooks, all others have 2 .
- Wounded minnow action
- One of the most popular lures around
- May be fished all kinds of ways
Bass Pro Shops XPS Walleye Jigs
Endorsed by top walleye pros, theses jigs have a unique flat-footed design that keeps your bait in a natural ”feeding” position, just out of bottom debris. Great for vertical jigging in current. Upsized wide-gap premium hook; sharp, vivid colors as used by Gary & Keith. 6 pack.
The jig used by Gary Parsons and Keith Kavajecz!
“XPS Jigheads are unique, because we took the popular round head style and gave it a perfectly flat bottom. Now, it has that proven round profile, plus the snag resistance and in-your-face bait presentation of a stand-up jig. We think the XPS is the ultimate river jig—especially in these proven-deadly colors!”
Gary Parsons, 2007 PWT Angler of the Year
Rapala Slab Rap
Deadly any way you fish it, the Rapala® Slab Rap makes fish bite in all seasons. Cast or vertical jig as needed; the Slab Rap’s weight-forward design allows you to fish it fast, with aggressive rod snaps to make it swing out wide and circle back, or slow, with gentle lifts and drops that send out subtle vibrations on the rise and a hyponotic side-sway on the fall. The Slab Rap can be comfortably fished at any depth, and is great for many species. Equipped with a pair of VMC® black nickel round-bend trebles.
- Deadly lipless slab bait for all seasons
- Great for vertical jigging or casting
- Fish it fast for aggressive fish
- Fish it slow for neutral or negative fish
- Great for all depths and all species
- Equipped with stealthy VMC trebles
New! Walleye Nation Rip-N-Glide
Through the ice or in open water, the Walleye Nation Rip-N-Glide delivers a unique darting action that triggers fish to respond, whether they’re hungry or not. Darts up and out on the upstroke, then glides smoothly down to a full stop as the rod tip is lowered. High-impact plastic construction and an extra-strong lip ensure that the Rip-N-Glide will remain in tune and safe from damage. Extra-strong tail hook and belly treble.
- Great for ice fishing or open water jigging
- Strong darting action on the upstroke
- Smooth glide on the downstroke
- High-impact plastic body and lip
- Extra-strong hooks
Clam Pro Tackle Drop Tg Tungsten Jig
The Clam™ Pro Tackle Drop Tg Jig leverages the extreme sensitivity of tungsten to ensure higher hookup rates when ice fishing or vertical jigging in open water. Made of environmentally-safe 98% tungsten, a super-hard and extremely dense material, the Tg Jig has a much smaller profile than a leadhead of the same weight; it slices through the water with less resistance, enabling precise control on the drop and the jig stroke. Round-ball head is molded onto a Mustad® 90° hook with low-profile wire keeper.
- Made of environmentally safe 98% tungsten
- Compact and extremely sensitive
- Enables precise rod tip control
- Mustad 90° hook with low-profile keeper
B-Fish-N AuthentX Series Pulse-R
The B-Fish-N AuthentX Series Pulse-R is specifically designed to come alive when fished slow! With its ultra-thin profile, deep belly rings, and large paddle tail, it creates a fishing frenzy like few other swimbaits can. Great for lethargic walleyes. Made in USA.
- Comes alive when fished slowly
- Ultra-thin profile with deep belly rings,
- Large paddle tail produces frenzied action
Custom Jigs & Spins Pro Series Slender Spoon
The Custom Jigs & Spins Pro Series Slender Spoon is the upgraded version of one of the most popular ice fishing lures of all time. With its premium paint pattern and tough, super-sharp VMC® Spark Point treble hook, the Pro Series is perfect for the angler on a trophy quest. With its classic curved body, it has all the extreme flash and proven action of the original Slender Spoon – the wide swing, the erratic flutter on the fall – and fishes exactly the same. Fish plain or tipped; great for open water, too. Made in USA.
- The popular ice fishing bait, upgraded
- Premium paint pattern
- Sticky-sharp VMC Spark Point treble hook
- Curved body delivers amazing erratic action
- Maximum flash and flutter
- Fish plain or tipped, through the ice or in open water