Best Walleye Lures for Trolling

Walleye trolling in the lake.

Trolling describes the act of pulling lures behind a slowly moving boat. While this sounds relatively straightforward, there’s a lot of technique and strategy to it. 

One is choosing the right lure, especially if you’re fishing walleyes.

Using the right lure and combining it with the proper presentation and optimum trolling speed can mean the difference between a productive day out on the water and a frustrating one.

So, what are the best walleye lures for trolling?

We’ll answer this question in a bit. But, first, let us examine the factors that can help you decide what walleye lures to use when trolling.

How to Choose the Best Walleye Trolling Baits

If you’re out fishing on the water for long enough, chances are most eventually work. But why not shorten your waiting time and optimize your fish by using the ideal lures for walleye?

Here are some factors that help you determine what lure to buy when fishing walleye using the trolling method:

Trolling Speed

Your trolling speed should guide what trolling lure you use. In an ideal situation, the best trolling baits for walleye are ones that are deep-diving. However, pulling trolling lures behind a boat tends to make them bob up on the water surface. Therefore, it is best to choose lures that counter this natural tendency.

Also, if you’re trolling at higher speeds, it is essential to use lures with brighter colors.

But, just how fast should you be going in the first place?

As a rule of thumb, the warmer the water is, the quicker you can troll. This is because walleye are generally more likely to chase their meal in the summer than in winter. Also, brighter days and more transparent waters allow you to troll faster as walleye can see your lures easily.

Here’s some math to help you determine your ideal trolling speed:

Divide the temperature of the water (in Fahrenheit) by 10. Then, divide that answer by 2. This is your maximum trolling speed at that temperature.

In other words, if the water is 55°F, your top trolling speed should be 2.75mph.

However, if you can’t measure the water temperature or you don’t want to bother with the math, here’s a quick guide for you:

SeasonTrolling Speed
Spring1.3 – 1.5 mph
Summer2.0 – 3.0mph
Fall1.5 – 2.5mph
Winter< 1.0mph

Color

When it comes to trolling for walleye, brighter lures are the way to go!

Why?

Unlike shore fishing, where your lines are more or less static, trolling means your lure will be in motion. In other words, your target fish will have only one chance to spot your lure (especially in murkier waters) before it moves out of sight. So, you better make it count! 

Any lure color that stands out from the water and the surrounding river bed will typically do the job.

Remember, while walleye have excellent eyesight, it also helps to help them along the way by using easy-to-see lures.

Size

Lure size is a crucial factor to consider when trolling for walleye.

With trolling, your boat is all the hard work. In other words, the size or weight of your lure is less of a constraint. This means you can go a little bigger with your lure size.

We recommend using trolling lures between 4 to 6 inches. Aside from the fact that larger trolling lure sizes make your baits more visible to your target walleye, it also reduces the number of smaller, undesired fish that will try to bite.

Hooks

If you’re shore fishing, walleye may circle back if they miss a hit and try to bite your bait again when you leave it sitting. However, this is not an option with trolling. After all, your lure may be 25 yards away when the walleye circles back around.

Therefore, you want to do all you can to ensure a hook-up every time your target walleye bites your lure.

So, pay attention to your hooks and use lures with at least two treble sets. A lure with three sets of trebles is even better.

Rattle

This is another essential factor to consider regarding walleye lures.

Experts have discovered that using lures with rattles has shown higher success percentages. Therefore, it is best to use trolling lures with rattles if you want to catch as many walleyes as possible.

Diving action

When trolling for walleye, you want to try and keep your lures as deep as possible. However, the pulling action of your boat means that most lures will naturally ride to the top of the water due to the trolling speed.

However, if you use trolling lures with big diving vanes, the lures will ‘swim’ to the depths that you need them to be. In addition, some lures come with adjustable lures, allowing you to vary your fishing depths.

So, these are worth looking into.

Best Walleye Lures for Trolling

Here are our top trolling lure recommendations for walleye:

Rapala Shad Rap 07 Fishing Lures

The Rapala Shad Rap 07 is one of the best trolling lures for the walleye due to how deep it dives. This lure has a running depth ranging from 5 to 11 feet, which you can adjust by varying the speed of your retrieve. 

Fun fact? The Rapala Shad Rap 07 is hand-tuned and tank-tested to ensure top-notch quality.

The Rapala Shad Rap 07 has a balsa wood body with a detailed and realistic paint finish in various colors. Therefore you can pick whatever color of lure works best for your fishing needs, even if you’re fishing in murky waters.

Of course, it is usually best to choose a lure with a pattern and color ideal for baiting in your target fish’s environment.

We should also mention that all Rapala Shad Rap 07 lures have a set of two sharp black nickel VMC treble hooks, complete with a diving lip.

Rapala Husky Jerk 08 Fishing lure

The most appealing characteristic of the Rapala Husky Jerk 08 lure is the neutral buoyancy that lets it stay suspended when it is stationary. This makes the lure look like an easy meal that even the most unwilling walleye cannot ignore.

Also, the Rapala Husky Jerk 08 comes with a rattle chamber that diffuses its sounds through the lateral line of the lure. As a result, you’ll likely get bites even in waters with very low visibility.

The Rapala Husky Jerk 08 trolling has a running depth ranging from 4ft to 8ft. 

In addition, you get to pick from three finishes — natural, glass, and metallic — and have a vast selection of color pattern options (including baby bass and blue minnow). 

Bandit Walleye Minnow Jerkbait

Are you looking for a trolling lure with very bright colors? Do you want one that comes with a deep-diving cane? Perhaps you’re particular about your lure having several trebles.

The Bandit Walleye Minnow Jerkbait meets all these conditions and more!

Even more, this trolling lure can reach depths of up to 27 feet, depending on how fast you’re pulling! So, you don’t have to worry about your bait bobbing up to the surface.

Furthermore, each Bandit Walleye Minnow Jerkbait lure comes with several beads inside, which allows it to rattle as you pull it along.

Of course, you also get to pick from various colors and patterns!

Storm Hot ‘N Tot MadFlash 05 Fishing Lure

The Storm Hot ‘N Tot MadFlash 05 lure comes with an assortment of innovative colors and designs that are guaranteed to help you attract as many walleye as possible. Some available color finishes include classic UV, chrome, holographic, and even a fish scale pattern.

Each pattern on the Storm Hot ‘N Tot MadFlash 05 comes with a very realistic set of 3D holographic eyes, which prove very effective on unsuspecting walleyes.

We should also mention that this trolling lure comes with a group of two black VMC nickel treble hooks.

With the Storm Hot ‘N Tot MadFlash 05, you can choose between two sizes — the 2-inch model and the 2.5-inch model. The smaller variant has a running depth between 5 and 14 feet, while the larger variant ranges from 7 to 20 ft.  

Cotton Cordell Wally Diver Walleye Crankbait

The Cotton Cordell Wally Diver is infamous for encouraging some of the most impulsive strikes you’ll see from a walleye. This is because of the hyper-realistic and beautiful finishes that come with this trolling lure.

In addition to its impressive color patterns, this trolling lure also comes with two trebles to help to ensure that fish that bite stay hooked.

Another exciting feature of the Cotton Cordell Wally Diver is that it will remain in waters as deep as 20 feet, as long as there is a constant pull. However, the lure doesn’t bob back to the surface even when you stop pulling. Instead, it will stay at the depth you left it.

REEF Runner 800 Series Deep Divers

The most exciting feature of the REEF Runner 800 Series is arguably their erratic and very life-like swimming action when you’re trolling them. This trolling lure offers realistic baitfish swimming motions, which are a very tough sight for walleyes to resist.

However, that is not the only impressive feature of this lure.

Because of its rounded-lip design, the REEF Runner 800 Series can dive and reach depths of up 30 feet while you’re pulling it along. So, you don’t have to worry about not being able to fish the depths you want.

Also, the lure comes with a rattle sound imitator and has a chip-proof, glossy finish. Of course, you also get to pick from various color patterns and combinations.

Conclusion

Using the right trolling lure can significantly improve your results when fishing walleye. In other words, your walleye lure directly impacts your catch. Hopefully, this article has helped highlight the best walleye lures for trolling and the various factors that can help you decide which lure to pick!

Do let us know if you have more questions.

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