How to Choose Walleye Baits and Lures

Types of Walleye Fishing Baits

Remember that walleyes' behavior and location chan­ges seasonally -- so, the b­ait that worked so well at the beginning of September might not be the best one for March. Come prepared to try a few different kinds of baits, and remember that every angler works by trial and error.

When the weather is cold, you may find the best results with live bait. In cold water, walleyes are sluggish. The movement of live bait will likely be most effective at stimulating them to bite. Walleyes are more aggressive in warmer weather, and that can sometimes let you get away with plastic bait, especially plastic worms. [Source: All About Fishing] But many anglers swear by minnows year-round.

If you're using a live bait jig, try minnows, worms, leeches or red tail chub. With a spinner, try a piece of worm.

One approach you may want to explore is coordinating your baitfish to whatever is schooling in the water. If you see a school of perch, for example, walleye are probably feeding close by, so use perch as bait. Then let your jig drop a few feet at a time, the better to imitate the movement of the baitfish. [Source: Kane] Obviously, this requires a bit more observation, flexibility and patience on your part. But isn't that why you go fishing in the first place?

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More Great Links


  • "All About Fishing for Walleye." All About Fishing. (Accessed 11/10/08)
  • Anlauf, Ron. "Early Fall Walleye Tactics." Lake Erie Walleye. (Accessed 11/10/08)
  • Eggerston, Daniel. "How to Use the Most Popular Walleye Fishing Lures." (Accessed 11/10/08)
  • Hoffman, Justin. "Top Lures for Catching Walleye." Ontario Walleye Fishing. 2001. (Accessed 11/10/08)
  • Kane, Fred. "Walleye and Bait." Ontario Walleye Fishing. 2001. (Accessed 11/10/08)
  • Michigan Department of Natural Resources. "Walleye Sander vitreus.",1607,7-153-10364_18958-45694--,00.html (Accessed 11/9/08)
  • Olson, Rick. "Top Tactics for Early Fall Walleyes." Lake Erie Walleye. (Accessed 11/10/08)
  • Parsons, Gary, and Kavajecz, Keith. "The Late Season Walleye Trolling Bite." Lake Erie Walleye. (Accessed 11/10/08)
  • "Walleye Recipes." Game and Fish Recipes. (Accessed 11/10/08)