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Hey there, fellow angler! If you’re on the hunt for the ultimate walleye lures to up your fishing game, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve been on countless fishing trips, testing out various lures, and I’m here to spill the beans on the best walleye lures of 2023. Trust me, I know the feeling of excitement when you’re reeling in that elusive walleye, and the right lure can make all the difference. So, grab your fishing gear and let’s dive into the world of walleyes!
Northland Fire-Ball Jig
Clam Tikka Mino
Rapala Husky Jerk
Reef Runner Crankbait
Northland Fishing Tackle Deep-Vee Jig
How We Picked The Best Walleye Lures
In our quest to find the best walleye lures, we carefully considered various factors that are crucial to successful walleye fishing. We consulted with professional walleye anglers and sought their expertise in selecting the most effective lures. We analyzed the different types of lures available on the market, including crankbaits, jigs, and live bait options.
Our research also involved studying the preferences of walleye in different fishing locations and seasons. We looked for lures that imitate the natural movement and appearance of walleye bait, as this is known to attract their attention.
Additionally, we took into account the durability and quality of each lure, ensuring they can withstand the demanding conditions of walleye fishing. After thorough evaluation, we selected the best walleye lures that showcase a combination of proven success in the past and innovation for future success. These lures are sure to enhance the fishing experience for any walleye angler, leading to a bountiful catch in the year 2023 and beyond.
Walleye Fishing Basics
When it comes to walleye fishing basics, the choice between live bait and lures is a crucial one. Live bait, such as minnows or nightcrawlers, can be highly effective for attracting walleye. Using a slip bobber rig with a live bait presentation can entice walleye to bite. It is important to properly hook the live bait to ensure it remains lively and enticing to the fish. On the other hand, using lures can also be successful in walleye fishing.
Read About: Best Walleye Rods Review And Buying Guide
There are various types of lures that can be used, including jigs, crankbaits, and spinners. Jigs are particularly popular among anglers as they can be used in various depths and are versatile in their presentation. Crankbaits are effective for covering large areas quickly and imitating the movement of bait fish. Spinners, on the other hand, create a lot of flash and vibration in the water, attracting walleye from a distance.
Regardless of whether anglers choose live bait or lures, it is important to understand the habits and preferred feeding patterns of walleye. This knowledge can help determine the most suitable bait and presentation techniques to use for a successful walleye fishing expedition.
Best Walleye Lures Reviewed
Let’s move forward and go through the review of each walleye lure we have tested.
Northland Fire-Ball Jig
One of the top choices when it comes to walleye jigs is the Northland Fire-Ball Jig. This jig is specifically designed to target walleye, and it does an exceptional job in catching them. The Fire-Ball Jig features a short-shank hook with a wide gap, which allows for excellent hooksets and improves the chances of hooking onto the fish.
The bright and vibrant colors of these jigs make them highly visible underwater, attracting the attention of walleye from a distance. Additionally, the unique shape of the Fire-Ball Jig enables it to rock back and forth, mimicking the movement of a wounded baitfish.
This realistic action has proven to be highly effective in enticing walleye to strike. The jig also features a durable and chip-resistant finish, ensuring that it can withstand the rough conditions of walleye fishing. Another noteworthy feature of the Fire-Ball Jig is its ability to accommodate live bait.
The hook allows for easy threading of nightcrawlers, minnows, or leeches, increasing the chances of a successful catch. Overall, the Northland Fire-Ball Jig is a top-notch option for walleye fishing, combining innovative design, vibrant colors, realistic action, and a strong hook to enhance the angler’s chances of landing this highly sought-after fish.
- Sizes to fit every situation.
- Great color selection.
- Very versatile.
- A quality, but not premium hook.
Best Glide Bait: Clam Tikka Mino
The Clam Tikka Mino is undoubtedly one of the best glide baits available in the market. It is a versatile and highly effective bait that has been designed to attract a wide range of fish species. The lure has a realistic minnow profile and comes with a durable tail fin that enhances its action in the water.
The bait’s unique gliding action mimics the movements of a real fish, making it irresistible to predators. The Tikka Mino is equipped with high-quality hooks that are sharp and strong, ensuring a solid hook-set every time. The bait also features realistic, bright colors and eye-catching holographic finishes that further enhance its appeal.
Whether you are fishing in freshwater or saltwater, this glide bait is a go-to option for many anglers. It can be used in a variety of fishing techniques such as jerk-and-pause, straight retrieve, or slow trolling. The Clam Tikka Mino is easy to cast and control, making it suitable for both novice and experienced anglers.
Its consistent performance, durability, and ability to attract fish make it a must-have in any angler’s tackle box. If you are looking for a reliable and efficient glide bait, the Clam Tikka Mino is definitely worth considering.
- One-piece design nearly eliminates breakage.
- High-end finishes at a reasonable price point.
- Can be fished year around.
- While the Tikka Mino is designed for success, some users might prefer an even larger treble hook size for specific fishing situations.
Rapala Husky Jerk
The Rapala Husky Jerk is widely regarded as one of the best cold-water crankbaits on the market. Its unique design and quality craftsmanship make it a favorite among anglers looking to target fish in colder temperatures. The Husky Jerk features a suspending action, which allows it to stay in the strike zone longer, enticing reluctant fish to bite.
This is especially effective in cold-water conditions when fish tend to be less active. The lure is also equipped with a rattle chamber that emits a loud and distinct sound, grabbing the attention of nearby fish. These Husky Jerk Minnows come in a variety of lengths, from the compact 2 ½ inches to the substantial 5 ½ inches, covering a range that’s perfect for various fishing scenarios. Plus, they’re designed to dive deep, with running depths from 4 to 8 feet. And let’s not forget the weight options – from ⅛ to ⅝ ounce – offering flexibility in how you want to present your bait.
The combination of the suspending action and the rattling noise makes the Rapala Husky Jerk highly effective in murky or low-visibility waters. Additionally, the lure has a wide range of color options, allowing anglers to match the hatch and choose the most suitable color for the conditions they are fishing in.
The Down Deep Husky Jerk features a deep-diving lip that allows it to reach depths of up to 20 feet, making it ideal for targeting species that inhabit cooler waters. Its unique suspending and rattling action mimics injured baitfish, making it a perfect choice for eliciting aggressive strikes. This lure is also equipped with high-quality VMC black nickel treble hooks that ensure a solid hookset every time.
The Husky Jerk is known for its durability, making it a reliable choice for anglers who want a lure that can withstand the challenges of fishing in cold water. With its proven track record and numerous features, it’s no wonder that the Rapala Husky Jerk is considered the best cold-water crankbait by many experienced anglers.
- Perfect suspension even in cold water
- Reasonably priced for the value
- Versatility in shallow and deep models
- Reliable performance out of the box
- Basic finishes might not be as eye-catching as some competitors
Best All-Around Crankbait: Reef Runner
When it comes to crankbaits, the Reef Runner definitely stands out as the best all-around option. This lure is widely regarded as one of the most effective and versatile crankbaits on the market. The Reef Runner features a unique design that allows it to dive to depths of up to 27 feet, making it ideal for targeting a wide range of fish species.
This crankbait comes in a variety of natural and vibrant colors, mimicking the appearance of baitfish and attracting hungry predators. The lure’s high-quality construction ensures durability, enabling anglers to use it in both freshwater and saltwater environments without worrying about wear and tear. One of the standout features of the Reef Runner is its wiggle action, which closely resembles the movement of real fish. This realistic action entices fish to strike and increases the chances of a successful hookset.
Additionally, the lure is equipped with sharp treble hooks that provide excellent hooking power. Whether you are fishing for bass, walleye, pike, or trout, the Reef Runner is a reliable crankbait that will consistently produce results. Anglers of all skill levels can appreciate the versatility and effectiveness of this lure, making it a must-have in any tackle box.
- Extensive variety of colors available
- High landing percentage due to secure hooks
- Effective in clear waters with bare naked patterns
- Requires frequent tuning due to hunting action
Best Overall: Northland Fishing Tackle Deep-Vee Jig
The best overall fishing jig is the Northland Fishing Tackle Deep-Vee Jig. This jig is designed with a unique V-shaped head that allows it to cut through the water with ease. The V shape also helps to create extra movement and action, which can entice even the most stubborn fish to bite.
The Northland Fishing Tackle Deep-Vee Jig comes in a variety of sizes and colors, making it versatile for different fishing conditions and targeting various species. The jig is also incredibly durable and strong, ensuring that it can stand up to the toughest fishing situations.
It features a super sharp hook that provides excellent hooksets and reduces the chances of the fish getting away. Additionally, the Northland Fishing Tackle Deep-Vee Jig is easy to use for both experienced anglers and beginners alike.
It is a versatile jig that can be used for a variety of fishing techniques such as casting, vertical jigging, and trolling. Whether you are targeting walleye, bass, pike, or panfish, the Northland Fishing Tackle Deep-Vee Jig is a reliable and effective option. Overall, this jig is the top choice for anglers looking for a high-quality, versatile, and effective fishing jig
- Barb holds live bait and plastics snug to the head
- Long-shank hook
- Simple design, no moving parts
- No trailer hook
- Pricey compared to other jigs
Best Budget: Berkley Flicker Shad
You don’t need to break the bank to reel in some impressive walleyes. The Berkley Flicker Shad proves that great performance can come at an affordable price. This crankbait’s aggressive action and enticing wobble make it a cost-effective option that consistently delivers results.
The Flicker Shad’s tight wobble and subtle rattle mimic the movements of a distressed baitfish, making it an excellent choice for attracting nearby walleyes. Available in a variety of sizes and colors, you can match the hatch or experiment with different patterns to find what works best for the day’s conditions. Don’t let the budget-friendly price fool you – this lure’s performance speaks for itself.
- Best for trolling
- Best for casting
- Multi-species lure
- Lip can be damaged when hitting rocks
Best Swimbait: Z-Man DieZel MinnowZ
If you’re a fan of swimbaits and want to up your walleye game, look no further than the Z-Man DieZel MinnowZ. This soft plastic swimbait combines realistic looks with an enticing paddle-tail action that walleyes simply can’t resist. Whether you’re retrieving it slowly or adding a little more speed, this swimbait’s lifelike movement is a walleye magnet.
The DieZel MinnowZ’s soft texture and durable construction ensure that it stands up to multiple strikes without losing its effectiveness. It’s also incredibly versatile – you can fish it on a jighead, swim it on a weighted hook, or even rig it on a spinner harness for added attraction. If you’re looking to add some finesse and flair to your walleye arsenal, this swimbait deserves a spot in your tackle box.
- Easy to use
- Snag resistant
- Made in the USA
- Resilient to wear and tear
- Will react and melt other plastics if stored out of the bag
Best for Spring: Custom Jigs & Spins AuthentX Pulse-R
As the ice melts and spring rolls in, walleyes become more active and ready to bite. The Custom Jigs & Spins AuthentX Pulse-R is a go-to choice for spring walleye fishing, thanks to its unique design and effective vibration.
The Pulse-R’s standout feature is its segmented body and curved tail, which create a fluttering and pulsating action that mimics injured baitfish. This action is especially effective in cooler water temperatures when walleyes are less likely to chase after fast-moving lures. Whether you’re casting it or jigging it, the Pulse-R’s subtle yet enticing movement is designed to trigger those springtime strikes.
- Can be fished as a jig, worm or swimbait
- Best deep water and shallow water
- Can be purchased in bulk (up to a 96 pack)
- Paddle tail may tear after a catch
Best Soft Plastic Lures for Walleye
When it comes to targeting walleye, soft plastic lures have become increasingly popular among anglers. These lures are designed to mimic the natural movement and appearance of live bait, making them extremely effective in enticing walleye to strike. Soft plastic lures for walleye come in a variety of shapes and sizes, allowing anglers to match the hatch and target specific feeding patterns.
Some popular options include paddle tail grubs, curly tail worms, and swimbaits. Paddle tail grubs have a lifelike action that creates vibrations in the water, attracting walleye from a distance. Curly tail worms have a seductive wiggle that imitates wounded prey, making them irresistible to walleye. Swimbaits, on the other hand, resemble small baitfish and can be rigged with a jighead or used as a trailer on a spinnerbait.
The advantage of using soft plastic lures over live bait is that they can be more durable and last longer, allowing anglers to fish multiple times without constantly re-baiting. Additionally, soft plastic lures offer a wider range of colors and patterns, allowing anglers to experiment and find what works best in different water conditions. Whether it’s a paddle tail grub, curly tail worm, or swimbait, using soft plastic lures for walleye can greatly increase your chances of success on the water.
Walleye Lures for Different Situations
Jigging Spoons for Deep Waters
Jigging spoons are effective for targeting walleye in deeper waters. Their vertical jigging action mimics wounded baitfish, making them irresistible to hungry walleye lurking below.
Crankbaits for Aggressive Strikes
Crankbaits are versatile lures that can cover a wide range of depths. They are known for their wobbling and diving actions, imitating the movement of prey fish and eliciting aggressive strikes from walleye.
Soft Plastic Grubs for Versatility
Soft plastic grubs are a go-to option due to their versatility. They can be rigged on a variety of jig heads, allowing you to experiment with different presentations until you find what works best.
Spinner Rigs for Slow Presentations
Spinner rigs combine flashy blades with live bait or soft plastics. Their slow-rolling action is perfect for enticing walleye during slower feeding times.
Live Baits for Natural Appeal
Live baits such as minnows and leeches offer a natural and irresistible scent and movement. They are particularly effective when walleye are more finicky or the water is stained.
What to Consider When Choosing Walleye Lures
Now that we’ve gone through our top picks, let’s chat about the key factors to keep in mind when selecting the perfect walleye lure for your next fishing adventure.
Lures come in all price ranges, and while some premium options can be worth the investment, you don’t have to break the bank to catch walleyes. Consider your budget and strike a balance between quality and affordability. There are affordable options available, such as inexpensive jigs or soft plastic swimbaits, that can still effectively catch walleyes. These lures are often designed to imitate the natural prey of walleyes, such as minnows or shad.
Higher-end lures may offer additional features or materials that can enhance their performance, durability, or realism. These may include features like UV coatings, rattles, scent impregnation, or higher-quality hooks. While these premium lures can be beneficial in certain situations, they are not always necessary for catching walleyes.
Pay attention to the components of the lure – from the type of hooks to the quality of the paint finish. High-quality components can make a significant difference in both the lure’s performance and its durability. Hooks: The best fishing lures will feature sharp, rust-resistant hooks that are strong enough to handle the fish you’re aiming to catch. Some lures come with single hooks, while others have treble hooks – choosing between them largely depends on the type of fishing you’re doing.
Lures come in various shapes and sizes, from small and sleek to large and bulky. The body of a lure can greatly affect its movement in the water, with some designed to imitate a wounded fish, while others mimic the swimming style of different prey species. It is crucial that the lure’s body is made of high-quality, durable materials to withstand the bites from fish and the harsh conditions of the water.
The best fishing lures have a detail-oriented paint finish that effectively mimics the appearance of a fish’s natural prey. This can involve realistic colors, patterns, and even holographic designs. A good paint finish should be durable and resist chipping, even after repeated use.
Weight and Buoyancy
The weight and buoyancy of the lure affect its diving depth and swimming action. Some lures are designed to float, while others sink – deciding what you need depends on the fish species and the depth where they are typically found.
Some lures have propellers or spinners on the end, which can create vibrations in the water to attract fish. These components should be made of high-quality, durable materials, and they should be securely attached to the lure to withstand aggressive bites.
Beads and rattles: Several lures come equipped with beads or rattles that create noise underwater – another technique used to attract fish.
Different lures excel in different fishing techniques. Whether you’re jigging, trolling, casting, or drifting, make sure you choose a lure that complements your preferred technique.
The gear you’re using, including your fishing rod and reel, should be compatible with the chosen lure. Make sure your setup allows you to effectively cast, retrieve, and hook those walleyes.
What are the best walleye lures?
When it comes to walleye fishing, there are several lures that work best. Some popular choices include crankbaits, jigs, soft plastic lures, and blade baits. These lures are designed to attract walleye and have proven to be effective among walleye anglers.
Which lures are recommended for catching walleye?
For walleye fishing, lures such as crankbaits, jigs, and soft plastic baits are highly recommended. These lures mimic the natural prey of walleye and are known to attract their attention.
Do walleye prefer live bait or artificial lures?
Walleye tend to respond well to both live bait and artificial lures. It often depends on the fishing conditions and personal preferences of the angler. Many walleye anglers use live bait rigs with minnows or leeches, while others opt for artificial lures such as crankbaits or soft plastic baits.
What type of lure is best for vertical jigging?
When it comes to vertical jigging, jigs are the go-to lure for many walleye anglers. Jigs allow for precise control and can be worked effectively in various depths. They are especially effective when paired with live bait or soft plastic lures.
Are there any specific lures that walleye love?
Walleye are known to have a preference for certain lures. Some of the lures that walleye anglers often rely on include crankbaits, jigs, and soft plastic baits. These lures have proven to be successful in enticing walleye to strike.
Which lures work best for ice fishing walleye?
When it comes to ice fishing for walleye, lures such as jigging spoons, jigging rapalas, and small crankbaits are commonly used. These lures can be jigged vertically beneath the ice and have been proven to be effective in catching walleye.
Can you catch walleyes at night?
Absolutely! While walleyes are known for being more active during low-light conditions, they can definitely be caught at night. Opt for lures that have a bit of noise and vibration to attract them in the darkness.
What color lures do walleyes like?
Walleyes have a preference for natural and subtle colors, such as silver, white, and various shades of green and blue. However, experimenting with different colors can also pay off, especially in varying water conditions.
There you have it, my fellow angler – a comprehensive guide to the best walleye lures of 2023. Remember, while these lures have proven themselves time and time again, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution in fishing. Walleyes can be finicky, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different lures, colors, and techniques to find what works best for you.
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, the thrill of hooking into a walleye is a feeling like no other. So, gear up, head out to your favorite fishing spot, and give these top-notch lures a shot. Tight lines and happy fishing!