Best Crankbaits for Spring Walleye Fishing: Top Picks for Anglers

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Spring marks a period of transition in the natural world. For anglers, this is an exciting time as walleye become more active and feed aggressively as the waters warm. To capitalize on this surge in activity, it’s important to use the right bait. Crankbaits are one of the most effective lures for targeting walleye during this time. Choosing the best crankbaits for spring walleye fishing is crucial as these lures mimic the movement and appearance of live baitfish, which is irresistible to a foraging walleye.

Crankbaits come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, which can be overwhelming when trying to select the ideal one for spring walleye fishing. It’s not just about the aesthetic appeal. The action, depth, and sound of the crankbait play significant roles in attracting fish. Rattling crankbaits can be particularly effective in murkier waters where visibility is low, as the sound waves help walleye locate the lure. In clearer waters, a more visually realistic crankbait may be the better choice.

The depth to which a crankbait dive is also important to consider, as walleye may change depths depending on the water temperature and time of day.

When purchasing crankbaits for walleye, attention should be paid to the build quality and materials. Durable lures that can withstand repeated strikes from fish and contact with underwater structures are a worthy investment. Size and weight are also key considerations. A crankbait should be easy to cast and able to reach the desired depth without excessive effort.

We’ve put our expertise to work, rigorously testing a variety of crankbaits under different spring conditions to identify the ones that stand out in attracting walleye. The following guide is designed to offer you insights and recommendations to help make your spring fishing outings both enjoyable and successful.

Top Crankbaits for Spring Walleye

As we transition into spring, walleye become more active, and choosing the right crankbait can significantly increase your chances of a successful catch. Throughout our extensive experience, we’ve identified a selection that not only matches the walleye’s feeding habits but also adapts to the changing water temperatures and conditions typical of the season. Our chosen crankbaits exhibit the ideal balance between depth, movement, and color to entice these clever fish, ensuring your time on the water is both productive and rewarding.

Tackle HD Twin Crank

Our time on the water suggests these crankbaits should be in your arsenal for spring walleye due to their depth range and action.


  • Impressive swimming action mimics live prey
  • Loud rattle and wide wobble in murky conditions
  • Sharp treble hooks for a secure catch


  • Limited color selection can be restrictive
  • Only two pieces in the pack
  • Some may find them too large for certain fish

Out early this spring, we had the opportunity to throw the Tackle HD Twin Crank, and the bite was on. It seems these lures were just what the walleyes were looking for.

Trolling near submerged structures, the nine to fourteen-foot dive depth proved ideal; we hit the sweet spot where walleyes were staging. The action on these cranks is something to talk about, too—the wide wobble and lifelike swim had the rods bending consistently.

Fishing in stained water can be tough, but the loud rattles on these lures cut through the murk. It’s like a dinner bell for predatory fish. Our experience showed that when other lures were ignored, the Tackle HD Twin Crank drew walleyes in. Plus, those sharp trebles meant that once a fish struck, it was ticketed for the net more often than not.

However, it’s worth noting a few considerations. While the SX Shad color worked wonders for us, having more color options would be handy for matching various forage types and water conditions. And, even though two crankbaits might be enough for a casual angler, an avid fisher might prefer a more extensive selection within reach. Lastly, the size of these lures is substantial, which worked in our favor for larger walleye, but smaller panfish enthusiasts may find them a bit intimidating for their quarry.

Bandit B-Shad


We think the Bandit B-Shad is a must-have for anglers targeting walleye this spring due to its versatility and effectiveness.


  • Excellent trolling lure for a variety of gamefish
  • Dives quickly to the desired depth
  • Maintains true tracking at multiple speeds


  • Trolling depth may differ from the description
  • Needs occasional tuning to maintain performance
  • Limited color options may restrict versatility

When we cast the Bandit B-Shad in the cool waters of spring, the immediate feel of its rolling wobble tells us it’s going to be a productive day. This lure not only promises but delivers action that captivates walleye, sending signals with every twitch and turn.

Its slender profile mimics the forage fish perfectly, making it irresistible to tentative springtime predators.

Our experience tells us that the Bandit B-Shad’s ability to get deep fast is invaluable during springtime outings when walleye are often found in deeper haunts. Its course remains true at a range of retrieval speeds, an advantage when dealing with varying water temperatures and fish moods.

As the line tugs and the rod bends, the sensation of the forthcoming tug battles becomes a testament to its allure.

Even as we pull this lure through choppy waters, it sustains its integrity. Ensuring the lure is running straight right out of the box saves time for actual fishing rather than fiddling with adjustments.

While it’s mostly trouble-free, we occasionally have to re-tune it after an aggressive strike or when it collides with submerged structures. Despite these minor inconveniences, the results speak for themselves as the B-Shad consistently helps us land walleye and inspires confidence with every trip.

JSHANMEI Crankbaits

We found these crankbaits effective for spring walleye fishing, offering good value with satisfactory performance.


  • Realistic 3D eyes and patterns that attract fish
  • Extended diving lip helps reach deeper waters
  • Gravity ball for longer casts and noise production


  • Hooks and split rings may require replacement for durability
  • Not as effective at high trolling speeds compared to premium brands
  • 3D eyes could potentially detach after aggressive fish strikes

After casting these JSHANMEI crankbaits into the chilly spring waters, we noticed their ability to dive quickly and stay submerged, perfect for targeting walleye at depth.

Its diving lip design ensures that it can easily get down to where the fish are hiding, which is particularly useful during pre-spawn when walleye tend to be deeper.

Our experience with these lures was generally positive. The built-in gravity ball not only helped with casting distance but also produced a rattling sound that seemed to pique the interest of nearby fish.

It’s a handy feature when fishing in murkier waters where visibility is low and fish need to rely more on their hearing to locate prey.

Nevertheless, we realized that some small modifications might be necessary. The stock hooks and rings didn’t feel as sturdy as we’d like, especially when wrestling with larger, more aggressive fish. We suggest swapping them out for something more robust to avoid lost catches.

Moreover, while these lures handle average speeds well when trolling, pushing the pace seemed to disrupt their action, making them less enticing for those big walleyes. Despite these minor setbacks, we’ve managed to reel in a fair share of the catch with these baits.

AGOOL Crankbaits


If you’re serious about spring walleye fishing, these AGOOL crankbaits deserve a spot in your tackle box for their lifelike design and deep-diving capabilities.


  • Realistic swimming motion and 3D eyes captivate predator fish
  • Deep-diving bill provides access to mid-depth and deeper water fish
  • Internal steel ball improves casting distance and emits an enticing rattle


  • Some lures may not swim correctly out of the box and require tuning
  • Treble hooks are prone to rust; proper maintenance is necessary
  • While effective, there are reports of tangling during trolling

Walleye are tricky to catch, but with AGOOL’s crankbaits, we’ve managed to outsmart them more than once.

The lifelike swimming action these lures provide has consistently triggered strikes. Thanks to their well-crafted 3D eyes and detailed patterns, they’re great at fooling even the wariest of fish.

We noticed the swimbait’s ability to hold up against aggressive strikes thanks to its durable ABS plastic body.

One standout feature of these crankbaits is the large bill that enables them to dive deep, reaching those sweet spots where walleye love to hide in spring.

Fishing around structures or in deeper spots has proven successful for us. The added steel ball inside not only facilitates longer casts due to its gravitational pull but also creates a distinct sound underwater, a critical attractor for these fish.

It’s also worth mentioning their versatility. We’ve targeted a variety of predators with these lures, such as bass and pike, and the results have been impressive.

They come in a mixed color selection, catering to various water conditions and light levels.

However, not all lures swim flawlessly right out of the package. We’ve had to adjust a couple of them to get the desired swimming action.

Additionally, remember to dry the hooks properly, as they can rust if neglected – a bit of post-fishing maintenance goes a long way.

OriGlam 10 Pack Lures


We believe that these lures offer a versatile and cost-effective solution for anglers targeting walleye this spring.


  • Impressive life-like swimming action
  • Durable materials and environmentally friendly design
  • Suitable for a variety of species and fishing environments


  • Some lures may lack the diving depth desired for deeper waters
  • Occasionally chips on bills have been reported
  • Hooks might not be as robust as expected

The unique design of these lures immediately stood out, producing a convincing swim pattern that was hard for the fish to ignore. Our tackle box now feels incomplete without them.

While fishing various spots, from shallow bays to deeper transitional areas, these lures proved their worth.

Their vivid 3D eyes and lively action tempted even the wariest of walleye, resulting in satisfying strikes. Their versatility across different fishing conditions was also a boon, whether we were fishing from shore or a boat.

However, not all the lures dive as deep as we’d sometimes like, particularly when fishing drop-offs.

We noticed a few minor defects in the bill on a couple of lures right out of the box, but they remained the exception rather than the norm.

And while the hooks are effective, heavy fighters like Pike could test their limits, so we’re considering an upgrade for added peace of mind.

Buying Guide

When selecting crankbaits for spring walleye fishing, we consider several crucial features that enhance our experience and increase our chances of a successful catch.

Size and Depth Range

Size: Choose a lure based on the average size of walleye in our fishing area. Typically, lures ranging from 3 to 6 inches are effective.

Depth Range: Spring walleye often reside in different depths depending on the water conditions. It’s important to have a selection of crankbaits that cover shallow, medium, and deep water situations.

Action and Wobble

The action of a crankbait is essential for attracting walleye.

We look for a bait that has a lifelike swim action and an appropriate wobble. The water temperature can affect how aggressive we want the action to be; cooler waters generally require a subtler action.

Color and Finish

Walleye can be particular about the color of the prey they chase.

We ensure our tackle box includes a variety of color patterns to match the prevalent baitfish and water clarity conditions.

Water ClaritySuggested Color Patterns
ClearNatural, subtle tones
StainedBright, high-contrast

Durability and Hardware

We opt for lures that demonstrate a robust construction and have strong hooks and split rings. This ensures the crankbaits can withstand the bite of a large walleye and the wear from frequent use.

Best Crankbaits for Spring Walleye Fishing: Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, we address common inquiries about crankbaits for spring walleye fishing, providing straightforward advice on effective lure types, color selection for varying water clarity, retrieval methods, top brands, and how weather influences crankbait choice.

What types of crankbaits are most effective for targeting walleye in spring?

For spring walleye, medium-sized crankbaits that dive between 5 and 15 feet are highly effective, especially those with a moderate wobble and roll. Jerkbaits and shad-profile crankbaits often entice walleye as they mimic the natural prey emerging in the spring.

How do you choose the right color crankbait for clear vs murky water conditions when fishing for walleye?

In clear water, we recommend natural and translucent colors that mimic the local baitfish. For murky water, brighter colors like orange, chartreuse, or fluorescent hues can enhance visibility and attract more walleye to your lure.

Can you explain the best retrieval techniques for crankbaits when targeting spring walleye?

A stop-and-go retrieve is often successful for spring walleye, as the erratic action can trigger bites from lethargic fish. Slow, steady retrieves can also be effective, as they match the slower metabolism of walleye during cooler spring temperatures.

What are the top recommended crankbait brands for walleye fishing during the spring season?

Notable brands include Rapala, Berkley, and Strike King. Their crankbaits are consistently praised for their quality, action, and ability to mimic live bait, making them top choices among experienced walleye anglers.

How do water temperature and weather conditions affect crankbait selection for walleye in the spring?

Slightly warmer water temperatures can activate walleye, so we choose more aggressive action crankbaits. Conversely, during colder snaps, we opt for lures with a subtle action that performs better when walleye are less active.

Which crankbaits work best for both shallow and deep-water spring walleye fishing?

For shallow applications, we prefer crankbaits with a square bill design. They deflect off the cover and present a tempting target.

For deeper waters, deep-diving crankbaits are our go-to choice. They reach the desired depth where walleye are holding, typically featuring a longer bill.


Hi, I’m Kurt and I’m the author of walleyemania. I’ve been fishing for Walleye since I was a kid and I love sharing my tips, tricks, and stories with other anglers. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, you’ll find something useful and entertaining on my site. I cover everything from the best gear, baits, and techniques to the best spots, seasons, and recipes for Walleye fishing. Join me on my journey to catch more and bigger Walleye!

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