The Best Walleye Ice Fishing Lures of 2021: Top 8 Tested & Reviewed

Kenneth ReavesEdited by: Kenneth Reaves
Michael DarmontReviewed by: Michael Darmont

Last Update:

The Rundown

Best Overall: Rapala Jigging Rap (click to view)
“The Jigging Rap works as both finesse and searching bait. Its wide range of actions gives anglers the ability to switch their style up when fish are being difficult.

Best Premium Option: LIVETARGET Golden Shiner (click to view)
“The Golden Shiner features lifelike profile and details. Its vibrations can be sensed by fish far away and forces them to come to investigate.”

Best Budget Option: Acme Kastmaster Spoon (click to view)
“The Kastmaster Spoon is precision machined and won’t bend, break, or rust. It’s an inexpensive, effective and durable option.”

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Ice fishing for walleye can be a feast or famine endeavor. From locating the fish to enticing them to bite, some days are more complicated than others. With the right lures, though, you can increase your success rate, get more consistent hookups, and call fish in from farther away.

You want to look for lures that have a way to both calls in fish and tempt them into striking. Lures that you can work with a variety of actions are also excellent choices.

There are many walleye lures on the market, and narrowing your choices to the best options can be tricky. So we’ve put together this list to help you make an informed buying decision and know which lure is tailored for you.

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What Is The Best Ice Fishing Lure For Walleye?

Top 8 Ice Fishing Lures

Best Overall

Rapala Jigging Rap 07 Fishing lure, 2.75-Inch, Glow Tiger

Rapala Jigging Rap

Works as both finesse and searching bait

Most versatile lure in actions

Best Premium Option

Livetarget Golden Shiner Rattlebait , Golden Shiner Silver/Blue , 1/2-Ounce

LIVETARGET Golden Shiner

Lifelike profile and details

Sinks quickly to imitate fleeing baitfish

Best Budget Option

Acme Kastmaster Fishing Lure, Chrome, 1/2 oz.

Acme Kastmaster Spoon

Precision machined and won’t bend, break, or rust

Erratic action without line twist

Best Live Bait Jig

Northland Tackle TJ4-11 Thumper Jig Bait, Silver Shiner, 1/4 oz

Northland Thumper Jig

Baitfish paint job and realistic 3D eyes

Ultra-sharp hooks for consistent hook sets

Best Flutter Lure for Walleye

Custom Jigs SL18-P-211 1/8-Ounce Pro Slender Spoon, Gold/Purple Firetiger

Custom Jigs And Spins Pro Series

Bent spoon design gives crazy flash and flutter

Works whether tipped with bait or not

Best for Covering the Most Area

VMC TGS18GBSH Tingler Spoon

VMC Tingler Spoon

Super slow falling action

Stays in the strike zone longer

Best Hybrid Lure

Lindy Rattl'N Flyer Spoon Hybrid Ice Fishing Lure Jigging Spoon, Perch, 1/4 oz

Lindy Rattl’n Flyer Spoon

Integrated rattles and gliding movement

Winged body design

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Best Sinking Spoon

Clam (CLAM0) Leech Flutter Spoon Kit, 1/8oz, Size 10, Glow, Multicolor

Clam Leech Flutter Spoon

Erratic sideways motion on upwards pulls

Feathered tail for extra attraction

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Best Ice Fishing Lures

  1. Best Overall: Rapala Jigging Rap
  2. Best Premium Lure: LIVETARGET Golden Shiner
  3. Best Budget Lure: Acme Kastmaster Spoon
  4. Best Live Bait Jig: Northland Thumper Jig
  5. Best Flutter Lure for Walleye: Custom Jigs And Spins Pro Series
  6. Best for Covering the Most Area: VMC Tingler Spoon
  7. Best Hybrid Lure: Lindy Rattl’n Flyer Spoon
  8. Best Sinking Spoon: Clam Leech Flutter Spoon

Rapala Jigging Rap

Best Overall Walleye Ice Fishing Lure: The one lure that can do it all, with a variety of motions and sizes for even the pickiest walleye.

Rapala Jigging Rap 07 Fishing lure, 2.75-Inch, Glow Tiger
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KEY FEATURES

  • Most versatile lure in actions
  • Works as both finesse and searching bait
  • Durable and powerful construction

The Jigging Rap is one of the best-designed, most versatile ice fishing lures available. Acting as a searching lure and a finesse lure, the wide range of actions gives anglers the ability to switch their style up when fish are being difficult. Overall, it’s the one lure every walleye angler should have in their arsenal.

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Lure Specifics

Jigging Raps come in a wide variety of colors and sizes, so you can choose one for nearly every ice fishing situation you find yourself in. It has a central treble and eyelet, with single hooks on each end. This gives it outstanding balance and spins underwater, cutting half circles with slight pulls by the angler. 

Best Use Tactics

While ice fishing, the best practice is to use high sweeping rod motions and then suddenly drop them. It gives the lure a ton of darting movement in the water and covers a lot of areas. Don’t be afraid to bang it off of rocks on the bottom to stir up dirt for more noise.

LIVETARGET Golden Shiner

Best Premium Walleye Ice Fishing Lure: Most realistic lure you can find.

Livetarget Golden Shiner Rattlebait , Golden Shiner Silver/Blue , 1/2-Ounce
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KEY FEATURES

  • Lifelike profile and details
  • Internal rattles for added attraction
  • Sinks quickly to imitate fleeing baitfish

The LIVETARGET Golden Shiner is a fantastic choice for walleye anglers, thanks to its incredibly powerful rattles and lifelike attention to detail in the design. The vibrations of the lure can be sensed by fish far away and forces them to come to investigate. Overall, it’s a perfect choice for anglers looking to force walleye to go in and smoke their lures.

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Lure Specifics

The combination of vibrations and lifelike paint jobs make these lures almost irresistible to walleye. Everything about the lure, from its motion to paint job, is made to nearly perfectly mimic a living wounded baitfish. In addition, the weighted lures sink quickly to the bottom, also mimicking a fleeing baitfish, and all of this combines to make an excellent walleye lure.

Best Use Tactics

The best practice with this lure is to let it drop to the bottom and then quickly lift your rod tip to pull it up. This makes the lure move side to side and begins rattling. You’ll then let it fall back to the bottom and continue the upward pulls. If you’re looking at an extra cautious fish, go for small jigs with the lure instead. Most strikes will occur in the pause on the bottom after letting it drop.

Acme Kastmaster Spoon

Best Budget Walleye Ice Fishing Lure: A tried and true classic that produces any time of year for any species.

Acme Kastmaster Fishing Lure, Chrome, 1/2 oz.
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KEY FEATURES

  • Finish that doesn’t diminish over time
  • Erratic action without line twist
  • Precision machined and won’t bend, break, or rust

Spoons are an angler’s best friend, and nearly everyone has one or two in their tackle box. Inexpensive, durable, and effective, a good spoon is an essential tool to have with you ice fishing for walleye.

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Lure Specifics

Like most spoons, this one’s design is pretty simple. Precision machined brass is then finished with a shine and color of your choice. The fluttering lure produces crazy action underwater and flashes even on cloudy days. 

Best Use Tactics

Your best option is to simply vertically jig the lure, letting it fall slowly and then pulling upwards quickly. The lure itself will produce most of the action and flash while using a chain hook, or tipping the lure with bait can increase interest from walleye.

Northland Fishing Tackle Thumper Jig

Best Live Bait Jig: Perfect for baiting live minnows, this lure adds the flash and weight you need to attract big walleye.

Northland Tackle TJ4-11 Thumper Jig Bait, Silver Shiner, 1/4 oz
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KEY FEATURES

  • Flutter blade adds flash to your bait
  • Baitfish paint job and realistic 3D eyes
  • Ultra-sharp hooks for consistent hook sets

Sometimes live bait brings in the biggest walleye, but only the best jig heads consistently provide results. This one from Northland Tackle securely fastens your bait to it, provides extra flash and action, and consistently sets hooks when others may fail.

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Lure Specifics

The lure has a realistic minnow head, painted to look like a wounded fish with 3D eyes. The barbed wire live bait rig helps secure live minnows to the jig and keeps them from wriggling off. It also has a flashing blade that helps add some vibration and flash to your presentation underwater and an extremely sharp hook that makes hook sets more consistent. 

Best Use Tactics

The best way to use this is to use a second rod with a rattle or flashy lure. Big or cautious walleye might avoid your lure but will have a hard time resisting a live bait. You can fish it on a dead rod or give it some up and down the action in the water, just don’t move it too quickly or erratically and make it look unrealistic.

Custom Jigs And Spins Pro Series Slender Spoon

Best Flutter Lure For Walleye: The ultimate lure for flash and flutter, great for calling in fish from a long way away.

Custom Jigs SL18-P-211 1/8-Ounce Pro Slender Spoon, Gold/Purple Firetiger
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KEY FEATURES

  • Bent spoon design gives crazy flash and flutter
  • Super sharp VMC treble hook
  • Works whether tipped with bait or not

Walleye can be called in with flashy lures, and this Slender Spoon provides all that you could need. Its fluttery movement underwater is hard to resist for them as well, and even big walleye will come in and crush the lure. Overall it’s a solid choice in any water condition, thanks to the myriad colors and patterns available.

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Lure Specifics

The bent spoon design makes the lure flutter and spins on drops, which then, in turn, produces a ton of flash underwater. Coming in up to 75 colors or patterns and in four sizes, you can use this spoon on any day in any water. It will glide around underwater as well, covering a wide area around your hole.

Best Use Tactics

Hard, upward lifts work best with this lure, followed by partially slack-lined drops. This should bring fish in, and once they’re around, move to either huge aggressive pulls or a more subtle movement. You can try both and see which one produces more strikes, then use that technique.

VMC Tingler Spoon

Best For Covering The Most Area: A lure that defies gravity and falls longer than any other, making it an ideal target for longer.

VMC TGS18GBSH Tingler Spoon
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KEY FEATURES

  • Super slow falling action
  • Stays in the strike zone longer
  • 3D eye and a super sturdy hook

Walleye tend to strike on the falling action of your lures, so a lure like the Tingler Spoon that falls slower is a great choice. With a ton of flash, a ton of flutter, and a wide sweeping motion, the lure covers a ton of ground around your hole and will attract fish to you. It’s an excellent choice for enticing big walleye to strike for an easy meal.

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Lure Specifics

The fluttery, triangular design of the lure body makes it seem to defy gravity and fall slowly. It also contributes to a long, sweeping motion that will go far out from the hole under the ice. It features an extra sturdy VMC treble hook, 3D eye, and ultra-flashy patterns that are sure to hypnotize walleye.

Best Use Tactics

Slow down with this lure. You want to give a slow upward pull and then let the lure fall on a slackline. Small, slow pulls give the lure a hopping motion added to the flash and flutter, typically driving walleye nuts. If the fish seem to lose interest after approaching, tip it with bait or use a smaller size to entice strikes.

Lindy Rattl’n Flyer Spoon

Best Hybrid Walleye Ice Fishing Lure: The best of both worlds wrapped up in a fluttering, rattling, gliding lure.

Lindy Rattl'N Flyer Spoon Hybrid Ice Fishing Lure Jigging Spoon, Perch, 1/4 oz
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KEY FEATURES

  • Winged body design
  • Integrated rattles and gliding movement
  • Glow eyes and ultra-realistic holo-foils

A new lure in the walleye community, the Rattl’n Flyer is a hybrid lure that combines some of the best attributes of the best walleye lures. Huge vibrations, gliding, and fluttering movement, and wide search patterns all make it a contender for one of the most effective and versatile walleye lures available.

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Lure Specifics

The winged body shape makes the lure glide when it’s jigged and flutter on falls. It features ultra-realistic holographic foils that provide plenty of flash under the water, and it does a great job of covering extensive stretches of water. Its glow eyes show through stained water, and while it doesn’t spin on the drop, the lure is incredibly responsive to rod tip actions.

Best Use Tactics

You’ll want to begin by jigging the lure like you would any spoon, letting it flutter up and down in the water to call in fish. You can make it dart around under the ice to help imitate the movement of a lone bait fish as well. Once fish are interested, slow it down and give it a couple of subtle shakes. Tip the lure with a minnow head whenever you feel it’s necessary.

Clam Leech Flutter Spoon

Best Sinking Spoon: These leech-shaped spoons are hard for walleye to resist with a body shaped like common prey.

Clam (CLAM0) Leech Flutter Spoon Kit, 1/8oz, Size 10, Glow, Multicolor
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KEY FEATURES

  • Erratic sideways motion on upwards pulls
  • Standard or Glo finish color options
  • Feathered tail for extra attraction

The Leech Spoons from Clam has been successful enough with walleye to spawn a series of different sizes for various fish. It’s no wonder the lures drive fish nuts with their leech-shaped body profile, brilliant flash, and enticing flutter. It’s the perfect lure for when walleye are feeling aggressive and a solid option at all times.

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Lure Specifics

The lure body is cast from a zinc alloy and finished in bright or Glo colors. The reflective plated finish provides plenty of flashes to call in fish, and its fluttering drop action is ideal for enticing strikes. Featuring a feathered tail for added attraction allows you to fish it baitless in most scenarios as well.

Best Use Tactics

The best way to fish this one is slow or violent upward pulls and then a half slack drop. You will usually fish it baitless, but a minnow head or grub can be popped on the treble to give it a little more weight.

Tactics To Catch More Walleye

Be Mobile

One of the keys to walleye fishing is getting to where the fish are. Walleye typically move around a lot, even if they hold in particular areas. So drill many holes, and be prepared to move when the fish just aren’t biting. Chances are, they are just somewhere else.

That being said, with a big shack, it can be hard to be mobile. Use lures that can call in fish in these situations to not need to move as much. You can also venture out to other holes to check for fish, then return to your shack to warm up. The more ground you cover, the better your chances are of landing the fish you’re after.

Map Your Fishing Locations

Knowing the lake and lake bottom is essential for efficiently catching walleye. If you’ve mapped the lake bottom, it’s easy to know where the fish are likely holding. These are the areas you’re going to want to drill and set up to fish. 

Look for drop-offs and humps in the lake. Walleye tend to hang in the deeper water right next to these. It gives them an excellent ambush opportunity to attack prey fish in the shallows, and it’s where they’ll be expecting to find food.

A good ice fishing fish finder is also beneficial for locating fish.

Try Different Techniques

If a lure isn’t working, try a different one. Be sure to try different actions as well. Walleye don’t always go after big darting motions, so before you give up, not need to slow it down. Sometimes they prefer subtle movements, as these can be perceived as easier baitfish to go after.

Use Live Bait When Nothing Is Working

When all else fails, live bait is the best option. Sometimes it’s the only thing that can tempt a walleye into striking. Shad and minnows are great options for throwing on a jig. Call in the fish with typical search lures, and fish an additional dead rod you don’t often jig with live bait for more success.

Questions & Answers

What size lures for ice fishing walleye?

Size #3 to #5 lures are usually the best ones for walleye. Not only are these the right size for their mouths, but they’re the same size as the fish’s normal prey. Walleye primarily feed on minnows, shad, and perch, so using lures in that size range and paint jobs are typically your best bet to hook them. The natural presentation goes a long way in fishing, especially on cautious fish.

How do you attract walleye to ice fishing?

Jigging lures is the best way to attract walleye to your baits—flashy lures and those that rattle or produce vibration underwater. The fish’s lateral lines sense the vibration from fluttering baits and rattles, and flashes can be seen from far away. So this is a great way to call in the fish even when you aren’t on top of them.

What is the best depth for ice fishing walleye?

Walleye spend most of their time between 15-25 feet depths, right along with transition areas where the water shallows quickly. So drop-offs and humps in the quiet lakes they prefer are perfect places to look for walleye, as they’ll usually be holding in the deeper waters right along those transition edges.

What is the best color lure for walleye?

Not all freshwater has the same colors or clarity. Opt for flashy silver colors in clear water since they most closely resemble the flash minnows give off. In darker or murky water, use bright colors like chartreuse and hot pink to make your lures easier for walleye to locate. Flashy silvers and dull colors are hard to find in stained water.