Andrew Martinsen's Walleye Fishing Update

Baits to Bring in Walleyes

Baits that Work for Walleye

One of the fun things about walleye is their unpredictability. While this adds to the excitement of the day, their unpredictability means that it can be a very good idea to have a few bait options on hand when you hit the water. Here are a few baits that you shouldn't leave shore without.

When it comes to walleye fishing, nothing works quite like live bait. Minnows, night crawlers and leeches are often enough to get walleyes to bite. This type of bait can be combined with any number or riggings for a successful presentation.


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Keep the "live" part in mind when going with this type of bait. The bait needs to be fresh and in good condition in order to be productive. If the fish suddenly stop biting, your bait may be the problem.

Jigs are another great type of bait that adds versatility to the tackle box. They can be fished solo or tipped with live bait. These unobtrusive baits come in a wide range of colors and sizes. It is easy to mix combinations until you get the killer blend of the day.

Swimbaits are also killer bait to have on hand. Swimbaits have the action, flash and vibration that fool walleye most of the time. There are a lot of ways to present a swimbait, but this way is a good place to start.

Combine a five or six inch swimbait with a saltwater style bullet-shaped jig head. The , and one ounce are good sizes to play with. Add a two to three foot fifteen pound test line of fluorocarbon to the lure and attach to the line on your rod. A seven foot, medium-heavy action spinning rod with fourteen pound Superbraid is ideal.

This set up lets you cast about a mile out and still sinks quickly. Once the bait hits bottom, bring the bait back to you with a steady, slow pace. The bait should stay within a foot of the bottom.

Add an occasional tic to the set up as you retrieve. This can be achieved by dropping the tip of your rod as you pick up line. The slight pause can be an important to your catch numbers. Ninety percent of walleye hits happen when the bait changes pace.

Crankbaits are another type of bait that no tackle box should be without. They are versatile and effective in just about any situation. Crankbaits can be especially deadly around rock structures.

Look for rocks that barely break the surface. Walleye will often haunt these groups especially on windy days. Choose a shallow to medium running crankbait. You want it to run slightly deeper than the water you are fishing.

Cast your crankbait shallow and bring it back with a steady retrieve. Walleyes can get fairly aggressive on windy days so you won't need to finesse the bait as much. Don't worry if it hits and bounces its way along the rocks. This can work wonders for inciting walleye.

Pause for a few seconds when you feel the bait make contact. The right crankbait should float up and over the rocks when you stop. Be on the watch for a strike from a walleye. They tend to hit the bait as it rises.

Walleye baits come in all shapes in sizes. It is hard to know which ones to go with because walleye can change from day to day. Having a few of each of these on hand will give you some quality options when the bite is slow. What you cast out is often as important as how you do it.


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