Run-And-Gun Walleye Tactics


Covering water and fishing quickly is a run-and-gun tactic many ice anglers use to catch walleye. The method works because the more holes an angler fishes, the more willing-to-bite walleye they’re likely to find. Here are tips for maximizing results with this fast fishing strategy.


Dependable auger essential


Running-and-gunning means drilling a lot of holes. This is necessary for exploring various depths on points, flats, drop-offs, humps and other winter walleye hangouts.


StrikeMaster’s Lithium 40v and 24v Augers are perfect for running-and-gunning. These electric drills are reliable, powerful and fast.

StrikeMaster Lithium 24v

StrikeMaster Lithium 40v

A StrikeMaster’s electric auger also increases fishing efficiency. Press a button and high-performance Lazer blades start shredding through ice. No downtime waiting while a gas engine warms-up. Another example is using reverse to clear out slush and bypass cleaning holes with a scoop.


StrikeMaster’s Lithium Augers are also quiet. This makes it easy to talk with buddies to fine-tune hole position. Not to mention keeping nosey anglers off your trail.


Tip: Lithium spare batteries are available and recommended.


Commit to fishing fast


Run-and-gun success hinges on being mobile. Five minutes is an approximate time frame to spend jigging a hole when searching for active fish. Naturally, sonar revealing active fish is a sign to invest more time in triggering bites, but avoid dillydallying with fussy fish.


Sometimes, a big move is required to find active walleye. In other instances, a small move leads to a pod of walleye eager to compete to eat your lure.


Mark productive holes using GPS. Walleye frequently hold on specific spots and returning later can put more fish on the ice.


Best baits for the job

Carry a collection of 2- to 3-inch baits. Learn walleye preferences by experimenting with different profiles, vibrations, rattle versus non-rattling, colour patterns and so on.


The Jigging Rap Series of lures are all excellent. They sink quickly into the strike zone and their natural swimming action attracts and triggers walleye.

Jigging Rap

The hard-vibrating, rattling Rippin’ Rap is another run-and-gun essential. Walleye absolutely crush this bait! The more subdued but equally potent Slab Rap is another must-have.

Rippin' Rap

Slab Rap

Good spoon choices include: the VMC Rattle, Flash Champ and Tingler. The glow-stick powered 13 Fishing Flash Bang is another winner. When fishing deep or in current, Luhr Jensen’s Crippled Herring and Cast Champ are worth having to compliment heavier Jigging Raps, Snap Raps and Flat Jigs.

VMC Rattle Spoon

VMC Flash Champ Spoon

VMC Tingler Spoon

Luhr Jensen Crippled Herring

Luhr Jensen Cast Champ Spoon

Jigging tips

When fishing a fresh hole, begin with large jigging strokes to attract walleye. These moves also frequently trigger aggressive walleye to strike. Pounding a lure on bottom is another reliable way to draw-in walleye.


When a fish approaches the lure but hesitates, try and coax it into chasing. Raise the lure while shaking and hopping it, keeping it just above the walleye. Engaging a walleye in a game of keep-away stimulates its predatory instincts and can turn a neutral fish into one that’s willing to bite.


Rod combos

Experienced run-and-gunners often prefer 30- to 42-inch spinning rods, like 13 Fishing’s Omen and Widow Maker models. Using a long rod makes it easy to jig while standing, which supports fast, mobile tactics. A long blank also provides leverage and control for fighting fish.

13 Fishing Omen Ice Rods

13 Fishing Wicked Ice Rods

As hole hoping leaves gear exposed to the elements, we recommend Sufix Advance Ice Monofilament. Its water-repellent protection resists freezing and ice build-up. Advance Ice Monofilament also has 50% less stretch than standard mono, ultra-low memory and is super sensitive. Six- or 8-pound test is suitable for most walleye adventures.


Sufix Advance Ice Mono


This said, when fishing a trophy walleye system, such as Bay of Quinte, Lake of the Woods or Lake Winnipeg, anglers are wise to use Sufix 832 Advanced Ice Braid in 20-pound test. Add a VMC ball bearing swivel and a short Sufix Fluorocarbon leader for stealth.


Complete the combo with a 13 Fishing Wicked Spinning Reel. Alternatively, invest in the Black Betty Free Fall XL; you can read about the advantages of an inline reel here


13 Fishing Black Betty FreeFall XL


Better performing outerwear

Running and gunning leaves anglers out in the open and subject to winter’s wrath. Quality outerwear is critical for warmth and staying mobile. Anglers can expect exceptional performance from StrikeMaster’s Pro, Surface, Battle and Allie jackets and bibs. Garments feature oversized hoods, lower back coverage, adjustable cuffs, waterproofing and ample insulation.


StrikeMaster Pro Suit


StrikeMaster’s jackets and bibs are also ergonomically designed with angler movement in mind. While wearing them, it’s easy to walk, bend and kneel. Raising and bending an arm is effortless, too, which lets an angler focus on triggering a strike when it counts without distraction from constrictive clothing.


This winter catch more walleye fishing fast and covering water. Give running-and-gunning on the ice a try, we guarantee you’ll like the results.