I love catching walleyes all year, and ice fishing season is no different. I spend countless hours on the ice, fishing for walleye. And like any angler, I’ve taken a few mental notes along the way. From early ice to the dead of winter, these are my 5 best walleye ice fishing lures that I’ve found.
Lindy Darter Walleye Ice Fishing Lure
Okay, I will be fair to those that started this craze. Salmo came out with the Chubby Darter years back, and while my tackle box is FULL of them, I’ve started switching to Lindy Darters for fishing aggressive walleyes through the ice.
Why? Well first off, price. You can get the Lindy Darter for almost half the price of a Salmo Chubby Darter. Second, it has a rattle inside the lure. I tend to fish stained and dirty water often, and I like the sound rattles make to attract walleyes. I tend to RIP my darters when I jig them. The flash just irritates walleye and causes reaction strikes.
I tend to fish my Lindy Darter with a minnow head on the front treble (not the back). This not only tends to keep the lure more horizontal, but a little bit of meat never hurt! This combination has been lethal for me.
The bait is fairly light in weight compared to others in its class. This is bad for when you want to get a bait down fast, but good when you want a slower falling walleye lure.
The hooks are pretty good as well, haven’t had the best of luck with smaller hooks from Salmo.
Overall, it’s one of the best walleye ice fishing lures you can have in your tackle box!
Slender Spoon by Custom Jigs and Spins
A buddy of mine turned me onto these lures for walleye a few years back, and I’ve been stocking up ever since. What’s different about this walleye ice fishing spoon, is that it’s design rolls and flutters after it’s jigged. It makes it one of my favorite jigging lures in the box.
As of recent, they’ve added a ton of custom colors to their arsenal (see the selection at the link). I’ve been a fan of their glow in the dark versions as well, as I do a lot of fishing at night.
But as far as a spoon that’s vertically jigged, this is one of those that’ll be tough to beat.
There are a variety of sizes, but I tend to use the 1/8 oz version more than any other size. I don’t normally use BIG spoons, but more in the mid-size most of the time. It’s all about personal preference.
Check out this GIANT walleye caught on a Slender Spoon this winter:
Northland Tackle Doodle Bug Walleye Ice Fishing Jigs
I’m sure right now some of you are looking at this selection and wondering, is this really for walleye? Absolutely!
I have a ton of these jigs in my tackle box, and for good reason; they catch fish!
There are a couple reasons why I use these ice jigs for walleye fishing.
First off, it’s great when you’re in multi-species waters. When I fish lakes that have walleyes, perch, crappies, pike, etc. then this is a great option. It has the right size for pretty much everything.
Second, I like to use these when walleyes are finicky. I will use a full minnow more often than not, and hook it towards the tail so the minnow creates action lacking from the lure. This works great not only for deadsticking, but for your active rod as well.
Third, I like the treble hook design. They do make a single hook version, but I’m more of a fan of the hooksets I get with the treble hook.
I can’t stress enough that I’ve caught countless fish with these walleye ice fishing lures!
Rapala Jigging Rap Swimming Lure
If you’re not familiar with the Rapala Jigging Rap for walleyes these days, you must be avoiding all media. This ice fishing walleye lure will not only attract fish, but it’s unique swimming action will trigger bites more often than you think! There are A LOT of lures that are like the Jigging Rap, and they all have very similar action. I do like to modify my jigging raps with a longer shank hook on the bottom treble hook. I feel this tends to get a lot more hookups then the stock version.
In recent years, it’s also exploded in the open water scene as well. A guy can literally target walleyes with your electronics and sit and trigger the fish to bite. This is quite an impressive walleye bait!
I like to really jig or “rip” my jigging rap hard. This produces the lure to swim back and down which is often irresistible to walleyes.
Honestly, I could write an entire article on Rapala Jigging Raps alone. Just take my word for it and try a couple this winter, you won’t be disappointed!
Northland Tackle Buckshot Rattle Spoon
This is another one of those jigging spoons that you need to have close by. I use the smaller versions a lot for perch, but I also use the larger models for walleyes as well.
It’s always a good idea to have some kind of rattle spoon lures in your arsenal. They’re great walleye lures to attract fish, and the new one’s have a curved spoon design kind of like the Slender Spoon. Again, it’s that unmistakable flash that make these one of the top walleye ice fishing lures on the market for many years.
I usually fish this lure with just a minnow head, firmly attached to the treble hook. This is a bait I tend to fish aggressively, and let the deadsticks do the job if they’re not active.
Any way you look at it, with a huge assortment of colors and glow in the dark options, this is one of those walleye ice fishing lures you’ll keep using for years.
Keep in mind, trying to figure out your best walleye ice fishing lures isn’t an easy task. I can barely close my tackle box it’s so crammed with “stuff”. But when it comes down to being versatile, and being able to fish walleye in the winter in any mood, you need some variety.
So get a scoop of minnows, and try some of these wintertime walleye lures the next time you hit the hardwater…I’m sure you’ll find your confidence in them.