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

Color: Bare-Naked Clown. Reef

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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

Color: Glass Pink Clown. Rapala

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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

Color: Perch. Rapala

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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

Color: Silver Clown. Smithwick

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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

Color: Creme Blue. Rapala

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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

Color: Hot Tiger. Reef

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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

Color: Lights Out. Reef

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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