The Perfect Gear: What to Use for Successful Walleye Ice Fishing

What to Use for Walleye Ice Fishing: Tips and Tricks


Ice fishing is a thrilling winter activity that allows anglers to catch walleye, one of the most sought-after freshwater game fish species. To increase your chances of success on the icy waters, it’s crucial to have the right gear and bait for targeting walleye. In this blog post, we will delve into some expert tips and tricks on what to use for walleye ice fishing.

Gear Essentials for Walleye Ice Fishing

To start your ice fishing adventure off right, ensure you have the following essential gear:

  • Ice Auger: A sturdy ice auger is necessary to drill holes in the ice and access productive fishing spots.
  • Ice Shelter or Portable Fish House: Protect yourself from biting winds by investing in an insulated shelter that keeps you warm during long hours on the frozen lake.
  • Rods and Reels: Choose sensitive yet robust rods equipped with spinning reels suitable for handling light lines commonly used when targeting walleyes through the ice.
  • Fishing Line: Opt for low-stretch monofilament or fluorocarbon line with a test strength between 4-8 lbs., as it offers better sensitivity and reduces visibility underwater.
  • Tackle Box: Organize your lures, jigs, hooks, weights, swivels, floats/bobbers neatly in a tackle box to keep everything easily accessible while out on the ice.
  • Eskimo Suit/Insulated Clothing Layers:
  • Ice Picks: Always carry a pair of ice picks around your neck to help you climb out of the water if you accidentally fall through the ice.

The Best Bait Options for Walleye Ice Fishing

Selecting the right bait can be a game-changer when it comes to enticing walleye under the ice. Here are some tried-and-true options:

Jigging Spoons

A classic lure choice for walleye ice fishing is jigging spoons. These metal baits imitate distressed baitfish and can be vertically jigged just below the surface of the hole. Opt for silver, gold, or glow-in-the-dark colors to attract these voracious predators.

Jig Heads with Soft Plastics

Pairing jig heads with soft plastic bodies is another effective technique. Choose paddle-tail grubs or curly-tail minnows in natural colors such as white, black, and chartreuse. Experiment with different sizes and scents until you find what works best on that particular day.

Rapala Jigging Raps®

The Rapala Jigging Rap®, specifically designed for vertical jigging presentations, has gained immense popularity among walleye anglers over recent years. Available in various color patterns and sizes, this lure offers irresistible wobbling actions that trigger aggressive strikes from hungry walleyes beneath the ice.

Additional Tips to Improve Your Chances of Success

Fish During Prime Time Hours

Walleye tend to feed more actively during low-light conditions—early morning hours and late afternoon into evening are prime times to catch them. Plan your fishing excursion accordingly to maximize your chances of landing a trophy walleye.

Locate the Right Spot

Do some research or ask local ice anglers for recommendations on productive walleye fishing spots. Look for areas with structures like drop-offs, submerged vegetation, or rock piles where walleye are likely to be lurking.

Experiment with Depth

Walleye behavior can change throughout the day, so it’s important to experiment with different depths until you find their preferred level. Start by jigging near the bottom and gradually work your way up until you start getting bites.

Vary Your Jigging Techniques

Different jigging techniques can trigger varying responses from walleyes. Try imparting subtle twitches or more aggressive lifts and drops to test what entices them most effectively on any given day.

Pack Essential Safety Equipment

Safety should always be a top priority when ice fishing. In addition to carrying ice picks as mentioned earlier, bring along a first-aid kit, a charged cell phone for emergencies, and let someone know about your planned location before heading out onto the frozen lake.

In Conclusion

To make the most of your winter angling adventures targeting walleye through the ice, ensure you have appropriate gear such as an ice auger and shelter while choosing bait options like jigging spoons or soft plastics that consistently attract these prized fish species. Combine these expert tips and tricks with patience and adaptability for an unforgettable experience on the frozen lakes chasing after elusive walleyes!