How To Fish For Walleye: The Best Bait, Rig And Techniques

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Struggling to land that elusive walleye? You’re not alone in this, as walleyes are known for being particularly tough to hook. However, the right combination of bait, rig, and technique can significantly improve your success rate.

This post will dive into detail about the best baits for attracting walleye, recommend top rigs optimized for these crafty creatures, and reveal techniques used by seasoned anglers to reel them in.

Ready to transform your fishing game? Let’s get started!

Key Takeaways

Best Bait for Walleye Fishing

When it comes to walleye fishing, the best bait options include jigging with live bait, grubs on a jig, and using crankbaits.

Jigging with live bait

As a proficient walleye angler, you know the value of jigging with live bait. This technique has proven highly effective for catching these elusive fish and works year-round, though its effectiveness peaks in the summer months.

Using a lead sinker with a hook moulded into it, the bait is attached and then lowered to the bottom of your fishing spot. Common habitats for Walleye include flats, drop-off ledges, humps or weed lines – these areas should be your target when jigging.

With minnows or leeches as your go-to live baits, presenting them realistically increases your chances of attracting and hooking walleye. Colored twister tails can serve as good accessories while nightcrawlers are an excellent choice during warmer months.

Mastering this technique not only enhances precision control but also adds excitement in every cast!

Grubs on a jig

Curly tail grubs on a jig have earned their place in the tackle box of the seasoned walleye angler. This set-up, combining soft plastic bait with a weighted lead head, has proven to be incredibly effective especially when used for vertical jigging or hopping techniques.

Fuzz-E-Grub is a fan-favorite in this category, known specifically for attracting and triggering walleyes into biting.

Jigging with these curly tail grubs along rocky banks can yield great results as it mimics natural prey movement which entices walleyes lurking near the bottom. The key is to drag or swim them just about a foot off the bottom; any higher and you risk getting ignored by your intended catch.

Whether fishing in freshwater or saltwater environments, rigging these versatile baits properly contributes significantly to successful Walleye fishing. Remember that every grub-jig combo cast into the water increases your chances of bringing up an elusive walleye!

Using crankbaits

Crankbaits serve as an ideal choice for walleye fishing, notably in murky water conditions during spring. Designed to imitate the movements of small prey, these lures dive under the surface when retrieved by a spinning rod and reel setup, making them attractive to lurking walleyes.

Their distinct wobbling action can be further enhanced with minor speed adjustments like a short pause or throttle change – these subtle manipulations often prove essential to enticing a strike from this elusive fish.

Fishing line strength matters too; lightweight lines allow crankbaits to reach their maximum diving depth quickly where hungry walleye await their next meal. For more aggressive feeding periods, try hopping your lipless crankbait along the bottom and watch as it attracts schools of curious walleyes.

Recommended Walleye Fishing Rigs

The bottom-bouncer rig, the slip-float rig, and the Carolina float rig are three popular rigs for walleye fishing.

Bottom-Bouncer Rig

The Bottom-Bouncer Rig is a go-to technique for walleye fishing, especially during the warmer months when these fish tend to hang out in deeper waters. This rig allows you to quickly and efficiently get your bait down to the desired depth so you can entice those walleyes.

The key component of this setup is the bottom bouncer weight, which helps keep your bait near the bottom where walleye often lurk. The general rule of thumb is to use one ounce of weight for every 10 feet of water depth.

By properly coordinating your boat speed, lake depth, and rig setup, you’ll greatly increase your chances of success with this proven walleye-catching method. So grab your gear, set up that bottom-bouncer rig, and get ready for some exciting walleye action!

Slip-Float Rig

One highly recommended rig for walleye fishing is the slip-float rig. This technique is easy to set up and can yield exciting results. By using a slip bobber, you can easily adjust your bait’s depth, allowing you to target walleye at various levels in the water column.

The 1/16 ounce Fire-Ball Jig paired with a super-wide-gap hook is an excellent choice when using slip bobbers for walleye. Anchoring yourself in one spot will maximize your success with this rig, especially when targeting walleye in rivers or during the summer months.

Longer rods are commonly used by anglers who swear by the slip-float rig for their walleye fishing adventures. Remember to choose the appropriate size of Thill slip bobber to match your desired catch!

Carolina Float Rig

The Carolina Float Rig is a highly effective fishing rig for targeting walleye. This versatile rig consists of a main line, swivel, leader, and hook, with the addition of a float to enhance its effectiveness in certain fishing conditions.

With the float added to the rig, anglers can easily modify the depth at which their bait is presented, allowing them to adapt to different water conditions and depths. The Carolina Float Rig is particularly useful when targeting walleye in areas with submerged vegetation or rocky structures where precision presentation is important.

It’s worth noting that while this rig is popular among bass fishermen, it can also be adapted successfully for walleye fishing. So if you’re looking for a rig that offers versatility and precise bait presentation, give the Carolina Float Rig a try on your next walleye fishing adventure!

Techniques for Catching Walleye

Casting along rocky banks and weed beds, trolling in deeper waters, and using various jigging techniques are all effective ways to catch walleye. Want to learn more about these techniques? Read on!

Casting along rocky banks and weed beds

Casting along rocky banks and weed beds is a tried-and-true technique for targeting walleye in lakes and reservoirs. These areas provide excellent cover and food sources, making them prime spots for these elusive fish.

When casting, it’s best to use live bait, jigs, or crankbaits to entice the walleye lurking beneath the surface. The key is to make accurate casts close to the shore or into pockets of weeds where walleye are likely hiding.

By presenting your bait or lure in these target-rich areas, you increase your chances of enticing a hungry walleye to strike. So next time you’re out on the water, don’t forget to explore those rocky banks and weed beds – they could be holding some trophy-sized walleye just waiting for you!

Trolling in deeper waters

Trolling in deeper waters can be an incredibly effective technique for catching walleye. These elusive fish often prefer to stay in cooler and deeper sections of the water column, especially during the warm summer months.

By trolling with lures or live bait at varying depths, you increase your chances of hooking into a feisty walleye. Remember that trolling is not just about blindly dragging your bait behind your boat – it’s a highly technical method that requires careful consideration of speed, depth, and lure selection.

To maximize success, use trolling lures specifically designed for walleye and experiment with different speeds until you find what works best in your fishing location. So if you’re looking to reel in some trophy-worthy walleye, don’t hesitate to try out trolling techniques in deeper waters!

Jigging techniques

Jigging is a highly effective technique for catching walleye, and it’s no wonder why it’s a favorite among anglers. With the right jig and proper presentation, you can entice even the most finicky walleyes into biting.

The key to successful jigging lies in keeping the bait moving and imitating natural prey, such as baitfish. Vertical jigging allows for better control of the bait, resulting in a more realistic presentation that walleye find hard to resist.

When it comes to choosing the right jig, opt for silver jigs or jigging spoons when fishing in clear water and go for brighter colored lures in stained water conditions. Remember to experiment with different techniques like snap jigging for added success on your next walleye fishing adventure!


In conclusion, mastering the art of walleye fishing requires a deep understanding of their behavior and preferences. By utilizing the best baits such as live minnows, grubs on jigs, or crankbaits, and employing proven rigs like the bottom-bouncer rig or slip-float rig, you can increase your chances of a successful catch.

Remember to adapt your techniques based on the location and season to maximize your results. So gear up with the right equipment and get ready for an exciting adventure on the water! Happy walleye fishing!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the best bait to use when fishing for walleye?

The best bait for walleye fishing is often live bait such as minnows, leeches, and nightcrawlers. Walleye are known to be attracted to movement, so using live bait can be highly effective in enticing them to bite.

2. What fishing rig works well for walleye?

A popular rig for walleye fishing is the spinner rig. This rig consists of a spinner blade, beads, a hook, and a weight. The spinner blade creates flash and vibration, attracting the attention of walleye. It is a versatile rig that can be effective in various fishing conditions.

3. What are some effective techniques for walleye fishing?

Some effective techniques for catching walleye include jigging, trolling, and casting and retrieving. Jigging involves using a weighted lure (jig) and bouncing it off the bottom to mimic the movement of prey. Trolling involves dragging bait or lures behind a slowly moving boat. Casting and retrieving involves casting a lure or bait out and reeling it back in.

4. Are there any specific lures that work well for walleye?

There are various lures that work well for walleye fishing, including jigs, crankbaits, and soft plastics. Jigs are versatile and can be used with a wide range of fishing techniques. Crankbaits mimic the movement of baitfish and can be effective when walleye are actively feeding. Soft plastics can imitate live bait and are often used in finesse techniques.

5. What type of fishing line is recommended for walleye fishing?

When fishing for walleye, it is generally recommended to use a monofilament or fluorocarbon fishing line. These lines have good strength and sensitivity, allowing anglers to detect subtle bites from walleye. The choice between monofilament and fluorocarbon depends on fishing conditions and personal preference.

6. Is there a specific season or time of day that is best for walleye fishing?

Walleye are known to be more active during low-light conditions, such as early morning, late evening, and cloudy days. Additionally, walleye fishing tends to be productive during the spring and fall when walleye are feeding more aggressively before or after spawning. However, walleye can still be caught throughout the year.


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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