7 Crankbaits for Cool-Water Walleyes

Lethargic walleyes can't pass up these hunting baits.

Crankbaits are effective when going after walleyes. But just as any good mechanic will tell you there is a tool for each specific job, there are also specific crankbaits that work best in the springtime. Regardless of where you live, these cranks will help you put more walleyes in the boat.

Reef Runner 800

walleye crankbaits, walleye cranks, cool-water walleyes, cool-water crankbaits, spring walleyes
Color: Bare-Naked Clown.Reef

Best application: Clear water—The 800's ability to hunt and run much deeper than traditional crankbaits makes this lure the most valuable on this list.
Depth: To 28 feet when trolled.

Reef Runner 800

walleye crankbaits, walleye cranks, cool-water walleyes, cool-water crankbaits, spring walleyes
Color: Glass Pink Clown.Rapala

Best application: Clear to semi-stained water—the Husky Jerk will perfectly suspend in water less than 50 degrees. Irresistible wobble at slow speeds.
Depth: To 19 feet when trolled.

Rapala Original Floater

walleye crankbaits, walleye cranks, cool-water walleyes, cool-water crankbaits, spring walleyes
Color: Perch.Rapala

Best application: While some anglers will troll it for high-riding suspended or super-shallow walleyes, this is the go-to lure for three-way rigging.
Depth: Surface to 6 feet.

Smithwick Deep Diving Rattling Rogue

walleye crankbaits, walleye cranks, cool-water walleyes, cool-water crankbaits, spring walleyes
Color: Silver Clown.Smithwick

Best application: Sunny days in dirty water—it's known for its unique wobble. The Rogue's super-loud rattle is what helps catch walleyes in spring conditions.
Depth: To 15 feet when trolled.

Rapala Shad Rap

walleye crankbaits, walleye cranks, cool-water walleyes, cool-water crankbaits, spring walleyes
Color: Creme Blue.Rapala

Best application: Green water—the broad profile and subtle balsa wobble make it a must-have in lakes, rivers, or reservoirs.
Depth: To 15 feet when trolled.

Reef Runner Skinny Stick

walleye crankbaits, walleye cranks, cool-water walleyes, cool-water crankbaits, spring walleyes
Color: Hot Tiger.Reef

Best application: Dirty water—the scooped-out head and suspending nature of the Skinny Stick allow it to run super slow and nearly motionless at depth.
Depth: To 21 feet when trolled.

Reef Runner Ripstick

walleye crankbaits, walleye cranks, cool-water walleyes, cool-water crankbaits, spring walleyes
Color: Lights Out.Reef

Best application: Overcast days and nights—it has a unique hunting action and dives deeper than other shallow stickbaits.
Depth: To 12 feet when trolled.

Photographs by Cliff Gardner and John Keller