Walleye ice fishing is becoming more and more popular. This article will explore the top 3 best Walleye ice fishing lures, rods, jigs, and bait.
We then answer some F.A.Q. such as:
- How to catch Walleye ice fishing.
- What is the best depth for Walleye ice fishing?
- How to find Walleye when ice fishing?
- What is dead stick Walleye ice fishing?
- What pound test line should you use?
- What size lures and which lure is best?
- What color is most visible to Walleye fish?
Best Walleye Ice Fishing Lures (Top 3)
There are many types of lures, but these three have proven to be the absolute best for catching Walleye while ice fishing:
Clam Tikka Mino – The Clam Tikka Mino lure excels both on ice and open water. This vertically cast ice fishing lure simulates panicked bait floating and moving through suspended water. With its realistic movements and highly visible colors, the Zander and Walleye can’t resist hitting this lure. With three ultra-sharp hooks, you can rely on this ice fishing lure every time. The versatility and authenticity of the Clam Tikka Mino make it one of the best ice fishing lure for Zander and Walleye.
Rapala Jigging Rap – Another excellent option for catching Walleye when ice fishing this season is the Rapala Jigging Rap. This ice-fishing lure mimics a minnow in size, shape, and color, which looks precisely like Walleye’s favorite food. Thanks to its unique three-hook design, it is our second favorite ice fishing lure for Walleye because it will securely hook any fish that dare to catch it. With the Rapala Jigging Rap, you put the fish on ice for the whole day.
Northland Buck-Shot Rattle Spoon – When you need to “rock” your dinner bell for your trophy fish, turn to the Northland Buck-Shot Rattle Spoon. This fishing lure combines sound, reflection, and action to attract Walleye and Zanders. The highly reflective holographic body looks like predatory fish bait, while the loud brass rattle draws fish from various locations. Plus, you can fish it under the ice just as easily as you use it in open water, so that it will be a staple in your tackle box all year round.
Best Walleye Ice Fishing Rods (Top 3)
Do you have a passion for catching Walleye fish? If so, then you probably also reel them in while ice fishing. Ice fishing is a fun activity that can provide you with hours of enjoyment. The only problem is that catching fish while covered in ice is challenging. Luckily, there are several things that you can do to increase your chances of catching a fish.
Here are the three best walleye ice fishing rods:
St. Croix Rods are known for their light and sensitive tip, helping you feel what’s happening at the end of your line without putting too much pressure on it. We love this rod for its reasonable price, high quality,
Shimano Rods are longer rod that helps you reach Walleye hiding in deeper water. This fiberglass rod provides a lot of flexibility while also being durable enough to survive many uses. We like this option due to its reasonable price, lightweight, and sensitivity.
Fenwick Rods is one of our favorites-it’s susceptible, responsive, and durable enough to last many years! The Fenwick is your go-to if you want a rod to help you catch the most walleyes possible each season.
Best Walleye Ice Fishing Jigs (Top 3)
The jig is an essential part of a walleye fisherman’s toolkit when ice fishing. It is often the best way to attract and catch big walleyes through the ice. Whether you’re an experienced fisherman or new to the sport, these jigs will help you fish like a pro:
Jigging Spoon: This is one of our favorites because it’s made from a natural material, which allows it to blend in with its surroundings and look more realistic to hungry Walleye. The shape allows it to move through the water more naturally, and the weight makes it easier to cast accurately through the ice.
Tungsten Jigs: This jig features a unique shape that gives it extra movement underwater, quickly attracting Walleye looking for an easy meal. Its weight allows for easy long-distance casting, perfect for fishing in areas where fish may be less concentrated due to cold weather or other factors.
Hair Jigs: This jig is an essential part of any fisherman’s kit because of its durability and ease of use. The durable material means you don’t have to worry about it.
Best Bait for Walleye Ice Fishing
Walleye are known for being picky eaters, and choosing the right bait for your ice fishing excursion can be the difference between a
successful day on the ice and a frustrating one. In no particular order, here are five of the best baits for walleye ice fishing:
Minnows: Minnows are a classic choice because Walleye love them. They’re easy to keep alive in an aerated container, and they stay active enough to continue attracting fish even if you take too long to reel them in. If you’re planning on using minnows, consider putting them in a plastic tube to lower and raise your line without losing any live bait.
Artificial bait: If you want to cut down on maintenance, consider using artificial bait instead of minnows or worms. There are plenty of options available, including tubes, jigs, spoons, and crankbaits-make sure you find one with a small profile to attract Walleye. You’ll also want to choose something bright enough to be visible under the ice.
Live bait: Yes, we are talking worms (cut or whole), grubs, and small live minnows are all excellent choices for Walleye. Slow minnow-tipped jigs or small jig heads with a minnow tail work well too. If nothing else is working, try live grubs on a jig head.
Leeches: Sponges, as leeches are also called, make an excellent option for walleye bait for something a little different. They’re perfect if you’re trolling, and they provide plenty of action to entice the fish. Sponges are also very good at staying secure on your hook!
Crankbaits: These work great if you’re trolling and need something flashier than a traditional lure. They’re also ideal for deeper water if you aren’t getting bites from the Walleye higher up in the water column under the ice.
How to Catch Walleye Ice Fishing
Walleye are a popular freshwater game fish, and ice fishing is a popular way to catch them. But how do you find these elusive fish once the ice sets in, and how do you see them? These tips will help you find success fishing for Walleye under the ice:
Find your spot: The best way to find Walleye is to get out on the ice and drill lots of holes in shallow water-about 10 feet or less. Look for spots with lots of vegetation, and try different depths until you find fish. Alternatively, use an ice fishing fish finder to save yourself time.
Bring the bait: Walleye will go for live minnows, leeches, or worms, but if you’re looking for something more convenient, try artificial bait like curly-tailed jigs or spoons. Fish with finesse: Use a light action rod and 2-pound test line, and drop your jig down to the bottom of the lake before slowly reeling it back in again, so it stays just above the bottom as it moves through the water column.
Use a lighter line: Walleye can be finicky biters, so you want a more translucent line and not as heavy as it would for other fish species. They aren’t big fighters either, so a more delicate line is best because it will allow them to take the bait without feeling like they need to fight against something heavy pulling back on them.
A jigging rod with an action tip: Walleyes do not put up much of a fight, so a reel is unnecessary. Instead, use a jigging rod with an action tip that allows you to feel when there is a bite on your line. This is helpful because walleye bites tend to only last for one or two seconds before letting go again if there isn’t any resistance from the person holding the rod.
Don’t drill too deep: Walleye prefer to lurk in shallow waters (less than six feet), and the deeper you go when drilling your hole, the less likely you are to come across one. Try hitting your spots on the edge of a drop-off for maximum results-this is where Walleye like to hang out when hunting other fish.
Best Depth for Walleye Ice Fishing
Walleye fishing depth differs during the changing seasons and time of day. In early winter, Walleye can be found in shallow waters of 4 to 8 feet, as this is where many of its prey like to feed. They feed almost exclusively on small fish during this time, and their usual prey includes perch, lizards, minnows, and others. With the onset of winter and the cooling of the water, they move to deeper waters, following perch and other baitfish.
In mid-winter, they are often found in bodies of water 30–40 feet deep and like to linger in places close to lower structures such as sea hills or mudflats that rise to a depth of 10–25 feet. In these shallower waters, you will find their prey, while Zanders and Walleye usually stay in deeper pools within easy reach of bait such as perch or minnow. Then, as winter begins to give way to spring, the Walleye again move into shallow water as they approach the spawning grounds. At this time, they can often be found at a depth of 10-20 feet.
How to Find Walleye When Ice Fishing
Walleye are a famous freshwater catch, especially in Minnesota, where they’re the official state fish. They can be found in most North American freshwater lakes and, of course, the Great Lakes.
However, ice fishing can be especially tricky if you’ve never done it before. A successful fishing trip requires knowing when and where to go, what gear to pack, and what bait to use.
One of the best ways to set yourself up for success is to understand the behavior of Walleye.
Walleye feed on small fishes like minnows, so bait becomes less important than location. Walleye tend to move around a lot but stay in groups, so you want to find a wide-open area close to reeds or other places where smaller fish would congregate. Once you’ve found that spot, it’s time to start drilling holes. A portable fish finder with an ice fishing transducer makes this task easier.
You’ll want your bait about two feet off the bottom of the river or lake bed because that’s where Walleye spend much of their time looking for food. The key is patience-sometimes, it can take hours for a walleye to bite your line!
Where to Find Walleye Ice Fishing
You can find Walleye in various habitats, but they tend to congregate in areas with a combination of shallow and deep water. This is because Walleye are generally located near the shoreline, but they’ll swim up to 30 feet into deeper waters to feed.
Where do walleyes hang out? Walleyes are a schooling fish and tend to stay near other walleyes. If you find one, you’ve likely seen a bunch. They also like deep water with cover-underwater trees, logs, or rocky areas-to hide from predators like bass and northern pike.
As you might expect, areas with large lakes or rivers are great places to find Walleye. If you’re ice fishing for Walleye, you’ll want to look for areas where the depth changes from shallow to deep water over a short distance.
What Is Dead Stick Walleye Ice Fishing?
Deadstick walleye ice fishing is a technique that involves using your rod’s drag to attract fish. Many experienced ice anglers use a dead stick in combination with a lure or jig line.
This method works exceptionally well at night when walleyes are trying to find schools of baitfish. Using this technique, you can stay on the move and attract the fish to you rather than sit in one location for hours on end.
The best way to use this method is by setting up your rod with a light line (around a 4-pound test) and attaching it to the ice hole just below the water’s surface. The drag should be set at its maximum level or even higher if possible; this will make it easier for fish to see your bait moving through their field of vision.
What Pound Test Line for Walleye Ice Fishing?
Choosing your pound test line can be a tricky business when it comes to ice fishing for Walleye. It’s a species that can be highly sensitive to the characteristics of your line. You want to make sure you pick the right one, or you could lose your catch before getting it out of the hole!
Here are some tips on choosing the best pound test line for walleye ice fishing:
Choose a low-memory line. Walleye are extremely sensitive to vibrations in their environment, including any strange tugging on the line that suggests an angler is trying to reel them in. The less memory your clan has, the more natural and gentle it will seem as you reel in your catch.
Choose a thin diameter line. Walleye have a lot of sensory receptors that help them detect vibrations and changes in their environment, so for this reason, choosing a more delicate diameter line will reduce the amount of tension and pressure they feel on their skin from your line. This will make them feel more compelled to bite down on your bait while they’re still near the hole.
What Size Lures for Ice Fishing Walleye?
It is all about the color and size of the lure when going after Walleye, especially when ice fishing. Walleye are aggressive fish that will strike anything they can fit into their mouths, making them easy prey for ice anglers. The best lures for Walleye are jigs and spoons.
Jigs come in many sizes, but the smaller ones are better for Walleye because they resemble small baitfish.
Spoons also come in various sizes, but their effectiveness has more to do with their movement than their size. Smaller spoons move more like small baitfish, whereas larger spoons move more slowly and resemble large baitfish.
What Is Lure Best for Walleye?
The best lure depends on environmental factors such as:
- The specific body of water
- The season
- Are you after the most significant catch or just enough for dinner?
The body of water you’re fishing on can make all the difference in what kind of lures work and what don’t. A small pond or lake will have an abundance of insects and larvae, attracting the fish better than lures. An enormous lake might require you to use live baitfish or lures like jigs and spoons.
The season also plays into this equation of what lure is best for ice fishing Walleye. During winter, fish tend to stay close to their homes at the bottom of bodies where temperatures remain above freezing point. This means that smaller lures may work better during these times than larger ones which could sink too deep.
Finally, consider whether you’re looking for quantity over quality when deciding which lure will best suit your needs. If it’s just one person doing some weekend trolling around, then something like worms might be good enough, while if there are multiple people, they’ll probably need more meat on their line.
What Color Is Most Visible to Walleye Fish?
The walleye population is typically more active at night, making them more challenging to find during the day. Knowing what colors are most visible to walleye fish is essential to lure in as many fish as possible. While this answer might seem obvious on paper, some factors will impact how visible color is for a walleye.
Walleyes have different color receptors than humans, which means they are not likely to see colors the same way we do. They also don’t have the best vision in low light conditions, so it is essential to use colors that will stand out against the backdrop of the lake. The colors that walleyes see best are red and orange, followed by yellow and bright green shades. Brown is also more accessible for them to notice in low-light conditions than other colors such as blue or purple.
When choosing lures or bait for your next Walleye ice fishing trip, ensure that you select colors that are most visible to walleye fish. You are much more likely to catch one if they can see your bait.
Ice fishing is a popular outdoor activity that attracts millions of people each year. You can do this extreme sport either as a group or alone. However, You should always heed ice safety and local fishing rules and regulations.