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Best Walleye Lures to Have in Your Tackle Box

walleye lures

Although there are literally thousands of walleye lures available out there, narrowing down your choices is what will yield the best results.

Even the best walleye lures are never going to work in all situations and every possible light or season.

You need to pick the right tool for the job. Crankbaits, trolling lures, blade baits, crawler harnesses and jigs have always been the most productive lures for walleye that have stood the test of time.

Best Walleye Lures

The most reliable walleye fishing lures to have in your tackle box are:

  • Cotton Cordell Wally Diver
  • Rapala Shad Rap
  • Salmo Hornet
  • Lindy Fizz-E Grub
  • Storm Hot’n’Tot Mad Flash
  • Rapala Husky Jerk
  • Rapala Jigging Rap
  • Strike King Red Eye Shad
  • Reef Runner Deep Diver
  • Rapala Original Floating

1. Cotton Cordell Wally Diver

The Cotton Cordell Wally Diver can be considered as one of the most successful walleye lures ever.

Great for trolling thanks to an aggressive lip which gets them running down to just under 20 feet depending on your setup.

A slim design profile gives a tight wiggling action on the retrieve.

There are two sizes available a CD5 and a CD6.

The CD5 is 2-1/2 inches in length will dive down to a depth on about 8 feet when casting and when on the troll down to roughly 11 feet. Like all trolling lures for walleye this can be extended down to deeper depths with the use of a down-rigger or lead core line.

The CD6 is 3-1/8 inches in length. When using a casting setup it’ll go down to about 11feet, when trolling it’ll go to 18 feet.

Between both sizes you can cover pretty much any depth that walleye are commonly found at.

With a big range of colors available there are lots of options depending on the time of year and the what kind of light you are fishing on. 

2. Rapala Shad Rap

The Rapala Shad Rap along with the Wally Diver above is one of the most popular crankbaits every built.

Personally I have a pretty even split of Shad Rap’s and Wally Diver in my tackle box. Of those Shad Rap’s I tend to favor the size 5 with a few number 7’s thrown in for good measure.

Available in a shallow diver(with a shorter angled lip) and a deep diver variation. Once you find the most productive colors for the water you are fishing it is a good idea to get those colors in both the shallow and deep diving models.

This way you can use the colors that you know are working at a variety of depths. 

The Shad Rap is a solid performer and with only a handful of the size #5’s you should be able to catch walleye in almost any type of light and water.

3. Salmo Hornet

The Salmo Hornet is quite the stocky looking little crankbait. For walleye it can be fished in a size #3 or a #5. Occasionally you may need to move up to a size #5.

With a big dive lip and short stocky body it produces quite an aggressive swim action.

There is also a ‘rattlin’ model available with a built in rattle. Personally I only tend to try those types of lures in very bad light situations.

4. Lindy Fuzz-E Grub

Fuzz-E Grubs are an all time classic walleye lures. Often described as one of the top walleye jigs the distinctive marabou tail gives them an extremely life like action when jigging.

Personally I have found any color variation that contains chartreuse or black to be the most effective.

When they are feeling lazy jigging is one of the better methods available.

5. Storm Hot ‘n Tot Mad Flash

One of the go to walleye lures for late spring or early summer the Storn Hot ‘n Tot Mad Flash has a highly erratic left to right action.

The action needs to be tuned to the speed at which you run the lure for the best results.

The 1/2 ounce size is a particular killer if trolled in lakes. The black/chrome and black/gold are the basic colors that work well.

You can experiment with the brighter colors depending on the day. Sometimes the fire tiger will produce all day long other times it’s the more naturals looking lures that work best.

6. Rapala Husky Jerk

The Husky Jerk from Rapala is a really versatile lure for walleye. It is just as good a performer as a casting lure as it is for trolling.

Unlike the Original Floating Rapala featured below the Husky Jerk is a suspending model meaning that it has an almost perfect neutral buoyancy.

This neutral buoyancy allows you to use a stop/go retrieval method when casting from the shore over gravel bottoms and on the outside edges of weeds beds. 

When casting from the shore line you can throw the Husky Jerk retrieve for a few seconds then pause. Instead of starting the retrieve again give the it a little ‘jerk’ by twitching the rod tip. 

This tactic is particularly effective in cold water as walleye will be generally a little lazier. You’ll find this can be more effective than trolling as a winter walleye will try to expend as little energy as possible.

When trolled they will run deeper than the original floating Rapala without the need for lead core line or split shot to be added to your setup.

7. Rapala Jigging Rap

Often thought of as a ice fishing lure only, those in the know have used the Jigging Rap to murder walleye in the early season.

It has a very distinctive circular swim pattern when used for vertical jigging in open water. A good choice to use when the bottom structures change in depth such as a drop off shelf or some thing similar.

8. Strike King Red Eye Shad

A great lip-less crankbait the Strike King Red Eye Shad gets it’s name from the distinctive red eye that shimmers when light reflects off of it. They also have a built in rattle which helps walleye to hone in on them.

These walleye fishing lures work well in shallower waters. They are a sinking lure so you can control the depth at which they run by using a slow count after they hot the water before you start to retrieve them.

9. Reef Runner Deep Diver

When a Rapala is just running too shallow and you need to get your lures down into the depths it is the Reef Runner Deep Diver the reigns supreme.

Available in a large range of colors this lures are responsible for producing some of the largest walleyes ever caught.

10. Rapala Original Floating 

The Original Floating Rapala is one of the top selling lures of all time. They’ve taken monster musky, salmon, trout and walleye. When you troll one of these you get one of the most life like swim actions ever produced.

Each one is individually hand tested in a tank to ensure the most natural swim action.

There is a big range of colors and sizes available. They can be flat lined or used with down-riggers and lead core lines alike.

Built from balsa wood they are a floating lure and will generally dive to shallow depths on retrieval.