There are so many lures out there, it’s difficult to know which ones are best to bring home the trophy fish you want.
In my experience, it’s important to fish specifically for walleye. They tend to require more specialized methods than some of their neighbors in cold water lakes.
I love walleye though because they can be caught year-round and have excellent flaky flavor and high levels of protein.
There are various types of bait you can use to land walleyes, but it’s worth mentioning that the best lure is different depending on the season.
We may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you when you buy through links on our website.
Learn more about our Amazon affiliate program
Best Lures for Catching Walleye
Many of my favorite lakes for Walleye are in central Wyoming. They are big, deep lakes on the Snake river basin and contain some monster Walleye. Before I really started to fish for walleye, I just assumed I could throw the same baits as I do for trout and be just fine. I went years catching lots trout out of these beautiful lakes before I really figured out that Walleye take special tactics, baits, and lures to attract a hit.
My experience is that walleye hang out on rocky outcroppings. They seem to prefer baits that have a lot of action to them like jerkbaits, crankbaits, and jigs. The lure I had the most success with is a steel shad that vibrates so much you can feel the vibration through your pole (that’s what she said….sorry, couldn’t resist).
Live baits definitely work, baits that rattle work, and baits that have a ton of action. Here’s a list of lures I have used to catch loads of Walleye up and down central Wyoming.
SteelShad Crankbait / Jig
Hands down, my favorite lure to use for Walley is the SteelShad. I happened across this lure a number of years ago and they are amazing. There are a variety of colors and sizes. I prefer the 3/8 oz size as it gives a nice size presentation with good casting weight.
These lures have an amazing vibration to them on the end of your pole. I have used them trolling, casting, and jigging. They are super versatile. I have landed large Walley with them but also caught trout and bass with them. You will not be disappointed in these lures. A must-have in my tackle box for sure.
Northland Fire Ball Jig
The Northland Fire-Ball Jig is a popular choice among professional walleye anglers due to its versatility.
It comes in a wide variety of sizes and its clever features such as a shortened shank wide gap barb for rigging huge live bait and strong hooksets make it a popular option for walleye fishing.
Since it was made with fishermen in mind, the original Fire-Ball is a fishing machine. The wide gap hook makes it easier to rig large lures and improves your chances of getting a connection, and the head design reduces drag and resists snagging.
There is an eye located behind the head to use a stinger hook in cases where fish are not striking effectively.
The Acme Hyper-Rattle is another quality option. Walleye will be at the end of your line quicker than with any other lure or even live bait because of the combination of sound and sight that it provides. In addition, it is so sturdy that it is difficult to break.
The only item that can ever outfish a jigging minnow is an Acme Hyper Rattle jigging minnow with sound. The Acme Hyper-Rattle gives you all the lethal action of a jigging minnow, with the added benefit of a designed rattle chamber.
This modern jig includes all the motions of traditional designs, and it works exceptionally well in low-light situations and darker water. The hyper-broad, Rattle’s flat belly looks like the food that fish in many different waters enjoy eating.
It comes with enhanced realism thanks to the attached eye’s raised fin position as well as exclusive high-definition durability coatings. Best of all, the lure is made with high-quality hooks.
Cotton Cordell Wally Diver
The Cotton Cordell Wally Diver, considered by many experts as the best walleye lure of all time, is undeniably a time-tested classic that deserves a prominent spot in the arsenal of every dedicated walleye fisherman.
Its baitfish body is modeled like a wide variety of feeder fish, making it effective in North American freshwater systems and ready for immediate trolling or casting.
The Cotton Cordell Wally Diver’s slim build makes it ideal for the tight wriggling action necessary to elicit heavy bites. When you stop reeling, though, it sits perfectly still, making for a remarkably lifelike display.
There are two sizes to choose from 3 1/8 inches or 2 1/2 inches. While the smaller lure can only be thrown to a depth of 8 feet and trolled to a maximum of 11 feet, the bigger lure can be trolled to a staggering 18 feet and dive to a depth of 11 feet.
When a walleye strikes, the two cutting treble hooks on this bait will ensure a solid hook set no matter what size you choose.
Rapala Shad Rap 07
An abundance of walleye crankbaits have flooded the market, each one designed to excel in a certain setting, but the Rapala Shad Rap stands out from the rest because of how many different fish it can catch. Cast or trolled at high or low speeds, the Shad Rap delivers with equal success.
You may modify the Shad Rap 07’s running depth from 5 feet to 11 feet by changing your retrieve speed. In addition, it is tank-tested and fine-tuned by hand to ensure that it lives up to the company’s standard of excellence.
The Rap 07, made of premium balsa wood, features a realistic paint job that comes in a wide variety of proven fish-catching patterns.
Pick a design that works well in your area, and enjoy the lure’s efficacy thanks to its wounded minnow motion and realistic baitfish profile. With a diving lip and two razor-sharp black nickel VMC treble hooks, this lure is available in three different sizes.
Rapala Husky Jerk
In 1936, Lauri Rapala, the “father” of the modern floating minnow lure, used a shoemaker’s knife and sandpaper to fashion a lure out of cork. Since then, fish have been fooled by the Down Deep Husky Jerk because of its realistic appearance.
When trolled, the bigger size of this lure may penetrate depths of twenty feet; it can be drawn at a crawl at 1 MPH and runs well at speeds of up to 4 MPH.
This crankbait dives down to 10 feet on the retrieve, making it effective whether cast from a boat or from the shore. Because it has no net buoyancy, this bait floats after the fish stops moving.
If you’re looking to catch some quality walleye, then you’ll want to have the Rapala Husky Jerk lures in your arsenal.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Walleye Lure
If you’re in the market for some new walleye lures, it can be tough to know which one is best. There are so many different options to choose from and so many of them look the same.
However, there are a few things you should consider before making your final decision.
The size of the fish that you’re catching will determine how large or small your lure should be. A smaller fish will typically require a smaller lure while larger fish might need something with more bulk.
Different colors may attract different types of fish as well as attract their attention more than others.
For example, walleye prefer white lures in clear water and gold/yellow lures in stronger currents.
You’ll also want to make sure that the weight of your lure matches up with the type of water you’re fishing in.
A lighter weight will work better in light currents whereas a heavier weight would be better for fishing in strong currents or on rough water.
You’ll also want to consider what time of day it is too. Heavier weights may not work as well during the day when there’s stronger sunlight shining on the water’s surface.
So, there you have it – a solid list of the best walleye lures I’ve used to land prize catches. If you know of other great options, please share them with us in the comments below. Happy fishing!