What Are The Baits For Walleye Ice Fishing?

It’s critical to select the correct bait if you want to catch walleye on ice. According to the fishing experts, walleye are delicious to eat, but they’re also fun to see. You will need skill, patience, and the correct tackle to catch these valued fish. Although many anglers utilize live bait, artificial lures are frequently used for walleye ice fishing. You should always have these lures in your tackle box if you want to be a walleye pro-fisher.

Understanding The Walleye

Before we get into the most excellent walleye lures, let’s go over some basics about walleye behavior and traits.

The big, sensitive eye of the walleye is its most distinguishing feature. Their eyes can see well in low-light conditions, including twilight, evening, overcast days, and murky water. Therefore, the most suitable time of day to fish is the time with the least light, such as the early morning or late afternoon. Cloudy days might be fruitful because the clouds limit the rays of light that reach the water. Meanwhile, sunny days often necessitate deeper fishing to go places with little light. Windy days can also be preferable as the chop prevents sunlight from accessing the depths. One more unique feature of this kind of fish is that walleye have a keen sense of smell. This ability makes live bait or scented lures irresistible to them.

3 Types of Baits For Walleye Ice Fishing.

There are three primary kinds of walleye ice fishing baits to select from:

  • Minnow (Live/dead)
  • Fake Lures
  • Minnow and Artificial lures combination

Minnow

Minnows may be incredibly productive for walleye ice fishing, but what works best on a given day or lake varies significantly. Most tackle shops sell minnows, including common species such as rainbow minnows, shiners, suckers, etc. The smaller ones are always the most preferable, although all of them can be utilized successfully.

Artificial Lures

When it comes to walleye ice fishing lures, three primary varieties are most commonly utilized and create the best results: Spoons, Jigs, and Jigging swimbaits.

Spoons

Spoons are one of the most enduring walleye lures with well-established patterns and color schemes. Spoons are designed to resemble prey fish; rather than striving to look exactly like them, their designs elicit a more instinctual reaction from the walleye. The spinning and wobbling movement and the shimmering reflected light simulate wounded prey fish struggling to flee, making it nearly hard for the walleye to withstand.

Spoon lures come in various color schemes, which is significant since they heavily rely on sight. Shiny silver, white, red, and classic colors work well in brighter lighting.

Jigs

Jigs are ideal whenever it needs to reach deeper depths and cast in confined places. The experts advocate utilizing a jig at any depth when the walleye stays close to the bottom, particularly under heavy cover. The gentle but irregular movement of vertical jigging will tempt any sized walleye, particularly in cover. Not only being suitable for dropping into heavy cover, but jigs can also boost your chances of success by adding bait to the hook. Those are why you should always have jigs in your tackle box.

Shad color schemes, as well as simple colors like white, work well for the jighead. A simpler dark hue, such as black, can be used for contrast in darker situations or in considerably deeper water.

Jigging swimbaits

Jigging swimbaits induce lateral movements as users move the rod tip up and down. When users lift your rod, the lure goes sideways with a fluttering motion, then loops back when they lower it.

Jigs and spoons have existed for a long time, but they are still quite efficient for capturing fish on ice. Jigging swimbaits, on the other hand, are a relatively modern development.

Minnow and Fake Lures Combination

A lure baited with a minnow or a chunk of a minnow is one of the most successful methods to persuade fussy winter fish to bite. The minnow works excellent with spoons as well as jigs.

10 Good Bait For Ice Walleye Fishing

Live Bait

Live minnows are popular for walleye bait fishing. A deadstick rod is set up passively at an ice hole, and it waits there until a fish comes by and swallows the hook. A dead stick with a slip bobber is usually set up, and the live minnow is hung under the bobber approximately 1 foot over the bottom.

The deadsticking benefits users in that they can put up many rods and use them to cover a wider area while at the same time handling active jig rods in other ice holes.

The proper way to hook a live minnow for walleye:

It would be best if you hooked live minnows correctly to gain the maximum performance out of them. The best method is to use a size two hook and thread it through the minnow’s nostril.

Minnows that have been hooked in this way stay alive for a long time, making sure that their motions will attract fish. You may also catch them by passing the hook through the rear beneath the dorsal fin, but they won’t last as long that way.

Dead Bait

While live minnows are more effective in catching walleye, dead minnows can still be used to capture fish. They can be displayed passively with a deadstick or aggressively jigged up and down to attract fish. 

Fish in extensively fished waterways are picky biters who have learned to avoid anglers’ hooks. In such instances, they may prefer a dead minnow on the bottom over a suspended one because it appears more natural.

Rapala Jigging Rap

Rapala jigging rap is one of the best artificial lures for walleye ice fishing. It is linked to the line in the middle of the back, unlike other lures, and this, along with the flat tail fin, results in a powerful lateral movement as you jig your rod up and down.

The Rapala jigging rap allows users to create lateral movement when fishing vertically on ice, which is excellent for attracting fish and tempting them to strike even when they aren’t actively eating.

Another fantastic feature is that it contains hooks on both ends and in the center, making it easier to hook a fish no matter where it hits the lure. A bigger model, such as a size five or bigger, is a recommendation for walleyes.

Rapala Slab Rap

Rapala Slab Rap is another jigging swimbait from Rapala. Since it does not have a flat tail fin like the jigging rap, it moves less visibly when users jig it with the rod. Therefore, it can be a saver on the days when fish are fussy. The spherical form also adds weight, which can help attract giant walleye while keeping smaller ones away.

Northland Buckshot Rattle Spoon

Northland Buckshot Rattle Spoon is one of the most effective spoons for ice fishing for walleye. Because of a hollow rattling chamber packed with noise-generating balls, the Rattle Spoon rattles when moved in the water, which adds to its efficacy. The rattling spoon comes in various colors that look like different types of minnows. When walleye pursue pelagic fish like shad in the early winter, this is a fantastic bait to employ in midwater.

Leech Flutter Spoon

 Leech flutter spoon is a tried-and-true bait that never fails to deliver. With a drop-shaped body and a feathered treble hook resembling a tail fin, it’s meant to look like a leech but may also pass for a little minnow.

When jigging this spoon up and down in the water, the flutter spoon makes a fluttering move in the water, which appears to be highly efficient in luring fish in.

Northland Whistler Jig

These jigs are great for capturing walleye since they have several features that appear to grab the full attention of the fish. Between the head and the hook is a propeller that turns when submerged and makes vibrations that attract predators. The jigs come in various glow-in-the-dark colors that gather light and reflect it as a unique glow underwater. The hook may be baited with a live or dead minnow, just like any other jig. When everything else is not working, this luminous bait can be the saver that encourages bites.

Clam Drop Jig

These jigs’ tungsten substance is exceptionally thick, ideal for finesse methods on fussy fish that need a tiny lure size.

The jigs have another excellent characteristic, its hook hangs down at a diagonal angle, making it much easier to set the hook when you feel a bite. These jigs’ hooks are also significantly bigger than most other jig variants, making them ideal for catching minnows.

Spoon Baited With Minnow Head

Hooking a minnow head on the treble hook of a spoon is one of the greatest methods since it adds some more pungent odor of a wounded prey fish emanating from the skull. When fish pass by, they will be drawn by the spoon’s noticeable movement and color. They are then stimulated further by the minnow’s head, leading to bites.

Jig Baited With Live Or Dead Minnow

It is not a bad idea to hook a full live minnow through the nose using jigs. The combination of a bright jig that can move about with the sight and scent of a wounded minnow is a great combo.

Things To Consider Before Choosing Baits for Walleye Ice Fishing

Cost

When purchasing a walleye bait for ice fishing, cost and performance are critical considerations, with more companies joining the ice fishing market for walleye bait and more alternatives for quality and performance. The most costly ice fishing walleye bait is not necessarily the most excellent choice for you and your money. There are many low-cost models that function admirably and provide outstanding comfort.

Branding

The best pick for ice fishing walleye bait is a brand with high-quality items and excellent customer service. Good brand items are made with extraordinary care and accuracy. They will always be ready to answer your concerns, repair any problems in the product, or carry out refunds of your money if any damage is discovered.

Specification

Make sure the product meets your needs before purchasing it. When it comes to buying a product, specifications are crucial. They specify the capabilities of the product. With so many choices, it’s critical to select the best one. Choose ice fishing walleye bait that has been tailored perfectly to meet your need.

The three most important aspects to examine are performance, features, and price when comparing specs. Each of these factors will influence your final decision. Taking into account all of these guarantees that you get the most bang for your buck.

Design

It’s tough to find the best walleye bait for ice fishing since the globe is overflowing. Looking at the design might help you decide: The materials used in manufacturing, the color palette, and even the apparent weight all contribute to the overall design of a product. Understanding this will assist you in finding a product that perfectly matches your preferences and requirements.

Stability & Control

To determine the performance of a walleye bait for ice fishing, let’s look at its stability and control and think about how the product will affect our lives and how we will feel after using it.

Comfort

No one likes being restricted or unpleasant while doing what they enjoy. Consider the comfort of a product while selecting whether or not to utilize it for ice fishing. There are several types of walleye bait for ice fishing that provide stability, regulation, and comfort. 

Durability

The design and construction of a walleye bait for ice fishing and the materials utilized affect its durability. Choose a walleye bait that can withstand wearing out, pressure, and damage for ice fishing. Additionally, guarantee it has a sleek design that will go with anything.

Conclusion

When it comes to walleye ice fishing, all 10 best baits and lures for walleye ice fishing discussed above can help anglers have productive days. However, they do not work on every occasion. Considering some products’ features to make the most suitable decision is also necessary. When going out on the ice, it’s crucial to have a range of them in the tackle box. 

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