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Best Bait: 15 Greatest Walleye Lures of All Time

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March 22, 2013
Best Bait: 15 Greatest Walleye Lures of All Time - 3

The best bait for walleyes just might be a leech on a jig, but what’s the challenge in that? We rounded up the best crankbaits, spinnerbaits, jigs, and jerk baits for walleye fishing on any water in any condition. From tried and true to new and hot, we’ve got the skinny on the only walleye lures you’ll ever need. These are our top 15 picks…

Cordell Wally Diver

One of the sport's legendary lures, the Wally Diver produces big results when cast or trolled. Built with a slender profile designed for a tight wiggle, this bait reaches depths of 20 feet when trolled and teases fish with a vulnerable presentation by sitting motionless when paused. ($5.79, Lurenet.com)

Lindy Fuzz-E Grub Jig

A soft-plastic, grub-style body offers a slippery, life-like appearance, while the tantalizing marabou tail enhances the display. This, along with a two-color painted eye on the jig head prompts aggressive strikes and entices the fish to eat the whole bait, then hold on longer for greater hook sets. Fish it plain, or tip it with a minnow, crawler or leech. ($3.14/2, Lindyfishingtackle.com)

Terminator T1 Spinnerbait

Impress the ’eyes with a spinnerbait sporting unbreakable Titanium construction, premium ball bearing swivel and a premium VMC® hook. Painted, gold or nickel plated blades made with bevel edges complement the realistic baitfish head design and QuickSkirt changeable premium silicone skirt. Fish this bait over weeds or troll it through trees for suspended walleye. ($9.49, Rapala.com)

Lindy Slick Jig

One of the most versatile jigs for ice fishing, the weight-forward design and position of the line tie yield a horizontal position in the water, with a realistic profile for presenting a minnow, leech or wax worm. The Slick Jig's downward-sloping front end makes it ideal for bottom pounding, while jigging action carries it outside the hole to cover a wider area. ($2.30, Lindyfishingtackle.com)

Strike King Redeye Shad

Made for shimmying through shallow water, deflecting off cover and ripping through weeds, this lipless crankbait contains free-floating rattles for fish-calling appeal that complements a shad-shaped body with glaring red eyes. Fish it fast to cover lots of water, or vertically jig it when icefishing. ($6.49, StrikeKing.com)

Rapala Shad Rap (No. 7 & No. 5)

Cast or trolled, Rapala's premium balsa body and distinctive shape delivers big results in ultra-slow or super fast presentations. The Shad Rap is hand-tuned and tank-tested for optimal performance sticky sharp VMC black nickel trebles ensure solid connections. ($7.29, Rapala.com)

Lindy Watsit Jig

Made to match a diverse array of aquatic forage, the Watsit comes pre-rigged on a color matched Lindy Jig head. Available in 1/16- to ¼-ounce sizes with grubs of 1 ¾- to 2-inch bodies sporting realistic looking legs and split tail design, this is a solid choice for lighter presentations. ($3.14/2, Lindyfishingtackle.com)

TriggerX Nightcrawler

Loaded with Ultrabite Pheromones that stimulate walleyes to feed, this 6.5-inch worm looks and moves like the real thing. Effective on a jig, rig or spinner, the Trigger X Nightcrawler's body shape, action and pheromones are custom-designed to attract walleyes. The ribbed design increases surface area for maximum pheromone distribution, while the bait's natural biodegradable material breaks down and enters the food chain within weeks. ($6.99/10; Rapala.com)

Rapala Husky Jerk

Perfectly balanced, the Husky Jerk features an oversized lip that gets it down to 20 feet when trolled or up to 10 when cast and retrieved. Neutral buoyancy allows the bait to suspend when paused – just the thing for tempting indecisive fish with a vulnerable meal. ($6.99, Rapala.com)

Storm Hot ’n Tot Mad Flash

A metal lip and erratic, side-to-side searching action make this a go-to choice for walleye trolling. Detailed external scale patterns, classic and UV Bright finish choices and 3-D holographic eyes make the Hot ’n Tot Mad Flash visually appealing and VMC premium black nickel hooks make it good at latching onto whatever bites. ($5.49, Rapala.com)

Reef Runner Little Ripper

A smaller version of Reef Runner's Ripstick, the Little Ripper's banana shape and triangular lip create present a unique and appealing profile with aggressive darting, wobbling action that triggers serious strikes. The bait comes fitted with ultra-wide gap Eagle Claw Kahle hooks. ($6.99, Reefrunner.com)

Koppers Live Target Crawfish

Whether you're ticking the tops of weeds, bumping wood cover or clanking off rocks, this ultra-realistic crawfish imitator has the looks to tempt hungry walleye. Available in crankbait, squarebill and deep diving models, the Live Target Crawfish features incredibly detailed body molding with equally intricate coloration and protruding red eyes just like a real mudbug. ($12.99, Koppersfishing.com)

Mepps Black Fury Spinnerbait (Size #3)

A good choice for clear water, overcast days, night fishing or heavily pressured waters, this bait's black blades accented with bright dots presents eye-catching appeal without spooking fish with excessive coloration. The blade rotates close to the body for mid-depth retrieves, while the fully dressed gold-plated treble bolsters the appeal. ($4.49, Mepps.com)

Bass Pro Shops Walleye Angler XPS Jig Spin

When walleyes suspend or hold near the bottom, fire down the XPS Jig Spin and watch the fish react to the flash and vibration of this bait's willow leaf blade. Rig the XPS Jig Spin with a soft plastic or live bait. ($6.49, BassPro.com)

Northland Fishing Tackle Forage Minnow Jigging Spoon 

This miniature jigging spoon's molded metal body features Northland Fishing Tackle's lifelike Holographic Baitfish-Image™ design for the flash and flutter that mimics a crippled minnow. A good bet for ice fishing or open waters. ($3.49, NorthlandTackle.com)

Comments (3)

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from Joe Zellmer wrote 7 weeks 3 days ago

Erie Dearie and the Lazy Ike caught thousands more walleye that 1/2 of your picks. Looks to me like you sold out to advertisers. How a once mighty magazine has fallen. :(

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from DSMbirddog wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

It is probably the water I fish but I have never caught a walleye on a spinner bait or in line spinner. The Wally Diver, Shad Rap, floating Rapala, and various rattling lipless shad baits have been my most consistent producers. I've caught a few with a Hot n Tot and the Husky Jerk. Try putting a split shot in front of a Storm Thin Fin and troll it over reefs and bars right after dark. It's a winner.

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from buckeye wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

What about the Eerie Deerie!?!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report

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from buckeye wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

What about the Eerie Deerie!?!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

It is probably the water I fish but I have never caught a walleye on a spinner bait or in line spinner. The Wally Diver, Shad Rap, floating Rapala, and various rattling lipless shad baits have been my most consistent producers. I've caught a few with a Hot n Tot and the Husky Jerk. Try putting a split shot in front of a Storm Thin Fin and troll it over reefs and bars right after dark. It's a winner.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Joe Zellmer wrote 7 weeks 3 days ago

Erie Dearie and the Lazy Ike caught thousands more walleye that 1/2 of your picks. Looks to me like you sold out to advertisers. How a once mighty magazine has fallen. :(

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)