14 Essential Walleye Trolling Lures
Trolling is an extremely effective fishing technique. Walleye in particular are mostly caught by anglers trolling, particularly in the Great Lakes region. However, there are specific lures that are more productive for anglers trolling for walleye.
The 14 essential walleye trolling lures are;
- Reef Runner 800 Series Deep Diver
- Rapala Shad Rap
- Bandit Walleye Deep Diver
- Michigan Stinger Spoon
- Bomber Long A
- Storm Thunderstick
- Rapala Husky Jerk
- Moonshine Walleye Spoon
- Cotton Cordell Wally Diver
- Storm Hot N Tot
- Erie Dearie
- Yo Zuri Crystal Minnow Deep Diver Walleye
- Northland Whistler
- Hammer Time Walleye Spinner
Trolling is the act of slowly moving the boat while pulling lures behind. However, there is much more to it than that. Special equipment can be required, depending on the depth being fished. Speed, technique, and presentation are very important. Having the best lures is the first place to start.
The main advantage in trolling is the ability to cover so much more water than anglers can casting or drifting. Also, multiple lures can be presented at one time in varying depths, colors, and sizes. This makes trolling a very productive and effective technique for a nomadic, bottom feeding species such as walleye.
Walleye feed extensively on bait fish. Therefore, most of the lures designed for walleye trolling mimic this forage. Lures are available in many sizes and colors. Successful anglers choose a bait that resembles the forage that walleye are feeding on in their specific waters. Of course, there are days when a gaudy color and size will draw a strike.
14 Essential walleye trolling lures
The three basic types of walleye trolling lures are plugs, spinners, and spoons. Plugs are by far the most popular for a couple of reasons. Plugs can be purchased with lip sizes that result in them diving down to a determined depth. This means that anglers do not have to use other hardware such as downriggers and sinkers. Plugs are also available in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and colors.
Spoons and spinners do have their place and are effective walleye trolling lures as well. Both require a method in which to get the lure down in the water column and down to the desired depth. This is most often accomplished using in-line weights, a downrigger, or a Dipsey Diver. One advantage of spoons and spinners when trolling for walleye is that other species, especially trout and salmon, are often taken on these lures.
Reef Runner 800 Series Deep Diver
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Number one on the list of the 14 essential walleye trolling lures is the Reef Runner 800 Series Deep Diver. Reef Runner 800 Series Deep Divers are popular casting and deep-diving trolling lures. These Deep Divers are rattling minnow imitators designed to deliver a wide erratic swimming action. Reef Runner 800 Series Deep Divers have a long slender design with a rounded lip. This bait will dive down to 30 feet. They are available in a wide variety of color patterns.
Rapala Shad Rap
The Rapala Shad Rap is second on the list of 14 essential walleye trolling lures. This is a legendary bait that has been around for a very long time. It has a wider body than does many of the long slender banana style plugs such as the one listed above. This is an excellent lure to use when walleye are feeding on shad and other larger, wide profile forage species, including yellow perch.
These baits are available in multiple sizes to cover the depths at which anglers will troll for walleye. The smaller #5 Shad Raps are excellent for trolling in shallow water between 4 feet deep and 8 feet deep in the spring. Larger models, all the way up to the #14 size, are used to get the bait down deeper in the summer. Anglers should match the color and size to the forage in the body of water being fished.
Bandit Walleye Deep Diver
The next bait on the list of 14 essential walleye trolling lures is the Bandit Walleye Deep Diver. This lure is long and slender and will exceed 30 feet in depth when trolled properly. It is four and three-quarter inches long and 5/8 of an ounce. This is a very effective bait with a dedicated following among anglers, and for good reason. They have been producing excellent catches of walleye for decades.
Michigan Stinger Spoon
The Michigan Stinger Spoon is the first spoon on the list of the 14 essential walleye trolling lures. It is the “go to” spoon for anglers trolling for walleye and other freshwater game fish species. It is by far the most popular trolling spoon used in the Great Lakes region. These spoons are available in several sizes and a wide variety of colors and finishes.
Spoons do require some method of getting them down into the water column. Trolling sinkers and downriggers are generally used. One benefit of trolling with spoons is that they are extremely effective lures for salmon and trout. Therefore, anglers trolling for walleye in waters that have these other game fish will often be happily interrupted by these other species.
Bomber Long A
The Bomber Long A is a very versatile lure that has been around for a long time. It is fifth on the list of 14 essential walleye trolling lures. The Bomber Long A is a legendary slender minnow jerkbait. It mimics a minnow’s lifelike swimming action when trolled at a constant pace. They are available in many different color patterns.
These lures also are available with a deep diving lip and a shallow diving lip. Anglers can troll the shallow diving lipped baits behind a downrigger ball or trolling sinkers while the deep diving lip will reach the desired depth on its own.
The Storm ThunderStick is another very popular ineffective stick bait used to troll for walleye. Storm Original Deep ThunderSticks are a true classic lure, used by anglers around the world. These baits feature designs from the original ThunderStick molds and are outfitted with premium VMC hooks for sure holding power. The injured baitfish swimming action of these lures attract walleye and other species. It weighs 5/8 of an ounce and will dive down to 25 feet. Like the Bomber Long A, it is available with a smaller lip to troll behind a downrigger or in very shallow water.
Rapala Husky Jerk
The Rapala Husky Jerk is number seven on the list of 14 essential walleye trolling lures. This is been a very popular jerk bait for freshwater anglers for decades. It will catch a variety of species, including a walleye. Like several of the other plugs listed above, it is available in both a deep diving and shallow diving model. The deep diving version will go down 20 feet or so and they are well known for running true right out-of-the-box.
The second spoon on the list of top walleye trolling lures is the Moonshine Walleye Spoon. The Moonshine Walleye Spoon is a high-quality trolling spoon and is one the brightest UV glowing products offered by Moonshine. This durable 3-inch spoon features proven patterns for success that are painted with eye-popping colors. The amazing UV colors are best used in low light scenarios but the Walleye Spoons will even excel in daylight use!
Cotton Cordell Wally Diver
The Cotton Cordell Walleye Diver is another very effective plug. It is legendary among both recreational and charter anglers throughout the Great Lakes region. It has a slightly larger head and a long slender body resulting in a terrific tight wiggling action. It is available in two different sizes and is perfect when trolling for walleye in water depths between 10 feet deep and 20 feet deep.
Storm Hot N Tot
The Storm Hot-N-Tot is another effective walleye trolling lure that has been around for a very long time. It has changed very little since its inception. It still has the original metal lip. It is a smaller bait with a wider profile that has a very erratic side-to-side action it is 2 inches long, weighs 3/16 of an ounce, and will troll down to 15 feet or so. Is an excellent lure to use when trolling for walleye in water between 10 and 20 feet deep or when the fish are a bit finicky.
Number 11 on the list of 14 essential walleye trolling lures is the Erie Dearie. Many anglers have used this interesting looking lure over the years. It is basically a weight forward spinner that is designed to bounce right off of the bottom where walleye feed. The Erie Dearie is used in conjunction with live bait. It is an extremely effective way to slow troll and present a live nightcrawler to bottom feeding walleye.
Yo Zuri Crystal Minnow Deep Diver Walleye
The Yo Zuri Crystal Minnow Deep Diver Walleye is next on the list of 14 essential walleye trolling lures. Yo Zuri is world renowned for the finishes on their baits. Their addition into the realm of deep diving trolling lures for walleye is no exception. These baits are available in three different sizes, with the largest reaching depths of 15 feet to 18 feet. They are available in a wide variety of colors as well.
The Northland Whistler is an unusual looking lure that is really a combination of a jig and a spinner. While some anglers may not consider it a true trolling lure as it is often used when casting or vertically jigging, it is very effective when slow trolling for walleye. It is used in conjunction with live bait, either a nightcrawler, minnow, or leech. It is an excellent choice in cold water when walleye are less active as well as in situations where fish are found in a small confined area.
Hammer Time Spinner
Last, but certainly not least, on the list of best walleye trolling lures is the Hammer Time Walleye Spinner. It is a harness rig to slowly troll a nightcrawler. Give walleye an even greater edge in low-light conditions. The Hammer Time Walleye Spinner Rig expands the strike zone in clear water and helps walleye home in on your bait in dark, stained, or dingy water. Rigged with Glo beads and a hammered Colorado blade with a UV finish, the Hammer Time Spinner maximizes both sonic and visible attraction. This premium 2-hook crawler harness is hand-snelled on a nearly-invisible 60″L, 15-lb. fluorocarbon leader with 2 perfectly-spaced octopus hooks and a quick-change clevis.
In conclusion, this list of the 14 essential walleye trolling lures will help anglers choose the correct baits for their angling situations, and therefore catch more fish!