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Best Walleye Ice Fishing Lures
Although dead-sticking with natural bait can be extremely effective when out on the ice sometimes you need a bit of action or vibration to get walleye to bite.
The best walleye ice fishing lures tend to produce an injured bait-fish action. Jigging is most definitely one of the most productive methods of snagging a winter walleye out on the hard-water.
Some of the best walleye lures can be used year round even in the depths of winter. Trolling with a harness rig is pretty much finished once the ice starts to form, but your summer walleye jigs can be used during winter.
Action, vibration and a flash of color are the most important attributes of a good ice fishing lure for walleye.
There are generally three types of lures that are most effective:
- Jigging lures with a swim action
- Small spoons
- Jig heads
All of which require a jigging action to add some life, vibration and flash into them.
A common technique is to put a small piece of natural bait on one of the treble hooks. This also adds some scent onto your lure which is often overlooked when ice fishing for walleye.
A small night-crawler, minnows or leeches can work wonders on a small spoon or jig head.
Best Walleye Ice Fishing Lures
1. Rapala Jigging Rap
This really was a toss up between the Jigging Rap and the Bay de Noc below as to which would be first in our list of the best ice fishing lures for walleye, but the Jigging Rap wins it just by a whisper.
The Jigging Rap has been producing fish for the past thirty years and shows no sign of slowing down with age it is a type of jig that can also be categorized as a swimming lure due to it’s lifelike swim action.
And it is just as effective in summer as in winter. If you are ever stuck trolling a harness and seeing no results, find a few walleye on your depth finder and start jigging with a Jigging Rap!
For walleye you can use up to a size #9 although that would only be on the largest of waters where you know there are big walleye lurking.
A good approach is to start with a size #5 and see what is biting. Color wise I always try to “match the hatch” as they say. If there is a healthy population of small perch in the waters you are fishing then start with the classic perch pattern.
Otherwise the classic silver is a safe bet.
2. Bay de Noc Swedish Pimples Ice
The all time classic walleye ice fishing spoon the Bay de Noc Swedish Pimple is responsible for catching literally thousands of walleye down through the years.
It is the go to flutter spoon for many walleye fishermen. It’s swim action imitates an injured minnow or other small bait fish.
Fishing a Swedish Pimple is very simple drop it to the bottom or just off it, reel in some slack and then jig it with vary different twitches and pauses of your rod tip.
It flutters on the drop and and emits a lot of flash that can pull in walleye from a long distance especially in low light scenario’s.
You can add scent easily to the treble hook using a head or tail of a small minnow or shiner.
A lot of anglers will go o far as to replace the treble hook with a single or dropper chain.
Size wise look at the number #3 or #4 in a variety of colors. A good place to start is with a more natural gold or silver and it that is not producing switch to one of the more flashier artificial patterns.
3. Sebile Vibrato
The Sebile Vibrato as is part flutter spoon part swimming jig and it sure does produce. Another all time classic ice fishing lure for walleye.
It is best worked with shorter, snappier twitches of the rod tip rather than with long powerful strokes. These shorter twitches done in batches of two or three with a brief pause between give it a very distinctive movement through the water.
Allow it to rest on the bottom for a brief count of two or three seconds and then start again. A lot of the time you’ll actually get a strike when it is at rest on the lake bottom.
4. Custom Jigs and Spins Slender Spoon
A classic jigging spoon with a rather chunky body the Slender spoon from Custom Jigs and Spins is simple but certainly effective.
Unlike a lot of other flutter spoons the Slender spoon is actually quite wide at the head and thinner at the tail. This shape gives it quite a pronounced fluttering action as they fall through the water.
Walleye love them and they are best jigged with a slower action given the width of the body. Again it is to imitate an injured minnow so start with more natural colors and start from there.
5. Rapala Snap Rap
Although it may look pretty similar to the Jigging Rap above the Rapala Snap Rap has a much more pronounced swim action. This ice lure can be fished in almost the same way as the Jigging Rap but you do need to be a bit more form with your jigging action to get the best out of it.
It has a beefier tail fin than it’s more popular cousin and has a more slender body. These design differences means that it has a different swim action.
They tend to sink much quicker and are more suited to deeper jigging work. The Snap Rap is also useful in larger open water jigging.
6. Northland Buck-Shot Rattle Spoon
A jigging spoon with a difference as the name suggests the Northland Buck-Shot Rattle spoon have a built in rattle that helps draw in walleye from far under the ice.
A very basic jigging spoon but with addition of the inbuilt rattle it can be a top performer when other spoons seem to fail.
The patterns are also top notch with the gold/perch being one of the best ice lures for walleyes of all time.
Size wise look for the 1/16 or 1/8 of an ounce as the go to sizes.
You can fish these off the bottom with a nice rhythmic jigging action. Some of the patterns are glow in the dark so if you are ice fishing for walleye at night then make sure to have a small selection of these excellent walleye ice spoons in your tackle box.
7. Lindy Darter Rattling
Another walleye ice lure that has an inbuilt rattle the Lindy Darter Rattling is pretty similar to one of the most successful lures of all time the Salmo Chubby Darter.
They are great in darker waters where the walleye need the added attraction of a little bit of sound to help with the strike.
They have a slightly slower action and sink rate than some of the other lures listed above, so they are not really suitable for really deep walleye jigging.
Walleye Ice Fishing Lures
There are a few main types of lures for walleye ice fishing. They will of course vary by size shape and color depending on the brand that you buy.
With a seemingly endless choice of walleye fishing tackle available in can be a little overwhelming.
Once you have a small selection of each lure you can be pretty sure that you have almost every situation covered.
You don’t need a massive tackle box full of lures, just a decent spread of colors and types.
Start out with a couple of each of the lures from out list above. Those lures are considered all time great walleye ice jigs and you can be sure that on any given day one if not half of them will definitely produce.
A common addition to any of these lures is to add some form of natural bait to one of the hooks.
Most of these lures worth by giving out a flash, vibration and/or a rattle or a combination of all three.
However, you can really increase your chances if you add a small bit of bait to the hook.
Natural bait has a scent that will increase the chances of a walleye investigating your lure.
Night-crawlers or a minnow head are the two most popular choices to use.
Just be aware that if you add too much bait to the hook it will affect the swim action of the lure so you need to be really careful to only add just enough.
When using minnows the most common practice is to only use the head of the minnow.
With the right walleye ice fishing rod and reel and ice fishing line you can have a pretty good jig setup that will not cost the earth.
A good selection of lures is worth the investment.