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!
As winter closes in and the ice begins to set, there will no doubt be reports of hungry fish with an aggressive bite. First ice always brings fishermen out in droves to take advantage of what’s considered to be the best time for ice fishing. And it doesn’t necessarily matter if you’re way up in Minnesota, Wisconsin or Michigan, because early season ice fishing can be super just about anywhere. The fish go into a feeding frenzy this time of year and walleyes are no exception.
The question is, why does the action get so hot and heavy while the weather is cooling off? There are a number of theories, but no definitive answer. One possibility is that all the sediment that was kicked up during fall’s unstable weather begins to settle out once the ice puts a lid on it. The water clears and the baitfish are still in the shallows and easy to see, so walleyes don’t stray too much from their earlier haunts and habits. They will continue to hang around their usual breaks and structures. Another point often made is that the females are especially concerned with feeding in preparation for the spring spawn.
It could also just be that early winter is a continuation of fall habits. The sun shines bright, oxygen content is high, and the minnows continue to meander about the shallows. Add the notion that the fish are bulking up in preparation for midwinter and you’ve got the perfect conditions for some hot action.
So, this is a great time to break out the winter gear, because by the middle of January the light will diminish because of the snowpack, the oxygen content will drop and walleyes will move to deeper water and the bite will definitely slow.
Of course, this is a good time to remind everyone that safety comes first. You’ll want to be certain that the ice is thick enough to support whatever you’re bringing to the game. According to the experts, if it’s just yourself and your gear, the ice should be at least 4 inches thick. If you are bringing your midsized truck onto the ice, make sure you’ve got at least a foot underneath you. By the time the ice is that thick, it will be the middle of winter and time for a new strategy to tempt those otherwise lethargic ’eyes to take the bait.
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
Northland Fishing Tackle Buck-Shot Rattle Spoon Kit
One of the hottest deals in ice fishing, the Northland Fishing Tackle® Buck-Shot® Rattle Spoon Kit gives you a multi-pack of deadly-effective lures for low light and dark water. Flashing and fluttering, the Buck-Shot Rattle Spoon produces enticing ticking, thumping, and clicking sounds, while its special high-vis finish acts like a magnet for crappie, walleye, and perch. Glo Kit contains one each: Super-Glo Perch, Super-Glo Chub, Super-Glo Redfish. UV Kit contains 1 each: Glo Perch UV, Pink Tiger UV, Electric Perch UV.
- Flashy, fluttery action
- Built-in rattle calls fish in from long range
- Hi-vis Glo or UV finish
- Great for crappies, walleye, and perch
Acme Kastmaster Tiger Glow Ice Spoon
Proven action, exciting glow finishes, and a super-loud rattle chamber make the Acme Kastmaster Tiger Glow Ice Spoon a monster for ice fishing. In the dark waters below the ice, fish are attracted to the sound and wild flash it puts out. Features a UV/Baitfish painted front side, and a brilliant gold or chrome backside. Nicely balanced, for lifelike darting action.
- Lifelike darting action
- Extremely loud rattle chamber
- UV/Baitfish glow paint on one side, gold or chrome on the other
- Wild flash draws attention any time of day
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