Ice-Fishing for Walleyes
Different Lures for Different Situations
By Bob Jensen
is similar to open water fishing in at least one way: There
is a wide assortment of lures available to ice-anglers. Some open water
lures catch fish through the ice, but there are a few lures that have
mostly ice-fishing appeal. As with open water lures, selecting the
proper ice-fishing lure will increase your chances of getting bit.
are the target, traditional baits like jigs and a simple hook/split-shot
rig will do a good job. However, in many situations, jigging spoons or
Airplane Jigs will do an even better job.
spoons are a chunk of painted metal or lead with a single hook molded
into it or a treble hook attached with a split ring. The bait is
designed to flutter as it falls. Jigging spoons have attracted a strong
following among walleye anglers and are probably the most popular lure
for walleyes when it comes to ice-fishing.
Buck-Shot Rattle Spoon is a jigging spoon with a built-in rattle
chamber. These rattles give the bait a very unique sound, and sound can
be a real aid in triggering walleyes to strike. In stained water the
rattle helps the walleyes find the bait, while in clear water it will
attract them from farther away.
style of lure that is very popular with walleye anglers is the Airplane
Jig. This bait has wings that enable the jig to swim in half-circles as
it falls. Unlike a jigging spoon, an Airplane Jig will kind of “fly” as
it falls. At times, the “flying” action of the bait really attracts the
fish and triggers them to strike.
spoons and Airplane Jigs are almost always tipped with some kind of
attractant. A minnow or minnow head has been popular and productive for
a long time and continues to be. However, in the past couple of years,
ice-anglers have been adding Gulp! Maggots to these baits. If you are
using a spoon with a treble hook, put a Maggot on two of the hooks to
increase scent and enhance color.
If using a
bait with a single hook, trying adding a couple of Maggots, and hook
them so they dangle on the hook. Instead of threading them onto the
hook, just lightly hook them through one end.
lure action are very important considerations when using the baits for
walleyes. Sometimes they want a fast jigging action, other times they
prefer the bait barely moving. There are times when you’ll get bit the
best when you just shake your hand a little bit while hanging onto the
mind that walleyes under the ice can show a preference to a particular
style of lure just like they can in open water. If you remember this
and try the different types of lures, you’re going to catch more fish.
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