What Lures to Use for Walleye Ice Fishing
Ice fishing for walleye is a thrilling and popular winter activity. As an angler, choosing the right lure can greatly increase your chances of success in catching these elusive fish. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the best lures to use for walleye ice fishing, along with tips on how to effectively present them.
1. Jigging Spoons
Jigging spoons are one of the most versatile and effective lures for walleye ice fishing. These metal baits mimic small baitfish or wounded prey, attracting hungry walleyes. Opt for spoons that have a realistic finish and colors such as silver or gold.
To maximize your chances of attracting walleyes, try using different sizes and weights of jigging spoons based on water depth and current conditions. Varying your jigging motion by gently twitching or aggressively ripping the spoon can entice even finicky walleyes into biting.
2. Blade Baits
Blade baits are another excellent choice when it comes to targeting walleyes under the ice. These lures feature a thin metal body with a vibrating blade that creates both flash and vibration underwater, grabbing the attention of nearby fish.
When using blade baits for walleye ice fishing, experiment with different retrieval speeds until you find what works best on any given day. A slow lift-and-drop technique often proves successful in tempting reluctant biters while imitating injured baitfish.
3. Jigs with Soft Plastic Tails
Jigs tipped with soft plastic tails are highly effective at enticing bites from wary winter walleyes due to their lifelike appearance and subtle action. Consider using paddle tails, curly tails, or minnow-shaped soft plastics in natural colors like white, black, or chartreuse.
When presenting jigs with soft plastic tails to walleyes under the ice, experiment with different retrieves such as steady swimming motions or gentle twitches combined with short pauses. This variety of movements can trigger aggressive strikes from nearby walleyes.
4. Live Bait Rigs
In certain situations, live bait rigs can outperform artificial lures when targeting walleye during ice fishing season. Popular live baits for walleye include minnows (shiners) and shad guts.
To effectively use live bait rigs for catching winter walleye, hook your live bait through the lips or dorsal fin to allow natural movement while minimizing injury that could reduce its effectiveness. Keep in mind that some regulations may limit the number of hooks allowed on a single line when using live bait.
Tips for Success
While choosing the right lure is crucial in enticing bites from winter walleyes, there are a few additional tips you should keep in mind:
1. Research Local Conditions
Prior to heading out onto the ice, research local conditions such as water depth and clarity. Understanding these factors will help determine which lures will be most effective at any given time.
2. Vary Your Presentation
The behavior of walleyes can change throughout the day due to factors like light levels and weather conditions. Experimenting with different jigging techniques and retrieval speeds can improve your chances of attracting more fish.
Selecting the right lure is essential for success while targeting walleye during ice fishing season. Jigging spoons, blade baits, jigs with soft plastic tails, and live bait rigs are all effective options to consider. Remember to research local conditions and vary your presentation techniques for optimal results. So gear up, head out onto the ice, and enjoy the thrill of catching walleye through the frozen waters!