Get Noticed By More Winter Walleye
Catching walleye on ice is a game of attraction. Naturally, the more fish one can entice, the greater the odds of catching a lot of them. Walleye are attracted to a lure’s movement, vibration, flash and colour. Here’s a look at some reliable baits and tactics to help your presentation get noticed by more winter walleye.
Captivate them using flash
Walleye are instinctually drawn to flashy lures because panicking or injured baitfish move erratically, causing their scales to sparkle and shine. One easy way to add more flash to a Jigging Rap, spoon, lipless crankbait or other lure is replacing a standard hook with our new Bladed Hybrid Treble. Available in 2, 4, 6 and 8 sizes, it features a small, silver willow blade connected by a resin-sealed split ring to the back of a 1X-strong, wide-gap, short-shank, high-carbon steel Hybrid Treble.
On a lift-drop cadence, the Bladed Hybrid Treble spins and rocks steadily for a strobing flash and thumping effect. Equally potent is the blade’s faint flickering and subtle vibrations when it’s barely moved during a triggering sequence.
Catch more walleye using custom-painted baits
One strategy for fooling walleye is showing them something they haven’t seen before. Enter our four, new “custom colour” Rippin’ Raps, which take inspiration from custom bait painting trends. Fruit Bowl, Leprechaun and Road Trip have green highlights, red or orange throats, stripes and flashy metallic accents. Bad Lipstick is a flashy gold, purple and pink concoction. There’s nothing subtle about these rattling baits. They are loud, proud and brightly painted to get a lot of attention.
Upsize for more walleye
Our popular Slab Rap now comes in a large, 2-1/2 inch profile. A gentler cousin of the Rippin’ Rap, this finesse-style lipless crankbait has a slower fall. Longer hang-time in the water column helps the Slab Rap get noticed by more fish. Plus, an unhurried sink rate is great for coaxing strikes from onlooking walleye.
Jig a Slab Rap using quick rod snaps (similar to a Rippin’ Rap). This sends it vibrating subtly on the lift, then searching in wide, erratic directions, circling back to centre on the fall. Nodding or lightly shaking the rod gives the weight-forward Slab Rap a rocking action that drives walleye wild.
Have confidence in the classics
While modifying lures and using new baits are reliable ways to get the attention of more walleye, another approach is jigging a historically proven presentation, like a Rapala Jigging Rap. For decades, this balanced, weighted minnow’s gliding, swimming action has been attracting and catching walleye.
The Jigging Rap’s longevity brings with it the advantage of having dozens of colours to choose from. New this year are the ultra-realistic Live Red Belly Dace and Live Gold Shiner finishes. Glow and UV baits attract walleye best in low light or dingy water. Look to gold, chrome blue, perch and other baitfish patterns to call-in fish during the day.
Use the right line
For a lure to perform properly and, in turn, attract and catch more walleye, it must be fished on the right line. Sufix Advance Monofilament is our top recommendation. Abrasion resistant, it withstands sharp teeth and is tough enough to endure being dragged across the bottom of an ice hole. Advance Monofilament stays supple and sensitive in extreme temperatures, while delivering stretch to keep hooks pinned during the battle. Monofilament also wicks water, reducing ice build-up on the line, rod and reel.
Use 4-pound test for light baits and finesse tactics. Six-pound is great for many winter walleye scenarios, but on trophy waters upgrade to 8- to 12-pound.
Tip: For anglers carrying multiple rod combos, consider spooling one with easy-handling Sufix Advance Fluorocarbon. Near invisible underwater, it can trigger more bites in clear water, and being super-sensitive you’ll feel even the slightest nibble.
Turn more walleye heads this winter with the VMC Hybrid Treble, custom-colour Rippin’ Raps, No. 6 Slab Rap and the reliable Jigging Rap. And to unlock a bait’s best fish-attracting features be sure to use Sufix Advance Monofilament and Advanced Fluorocarbon line.