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How To Find Only The Most Effective Lures For Catching Big Walleye   by Bob Fiesthumel

Another nice walleye.  

Walking down any fishing aisle in any store front across America can be mind numbing. There are so many lure choices. The fact is there are more lures designed to catch fishermen than there are to catch fish. Design and color seem to be the primary criteria for many engineers of fishing lures, when in fact color and design are only one component to effective lure engineering. Whether producing a crankbait, jig, spinner or jigging spoon one must consider a number of factors. Imitation is always important but design is not limited to paint and pattern.

The bait-fish eye plays a critical role in the predator / prey underwater relationship. Numerous studies on freshwater fish show that walleyes focus on the eye of the prey and normally attack from below and or behind. Crankbaits and jigs alike now have added crystalline eyes which make the target fish more attractive to predators. More exaggerated glow eyes can have a significant impact on strike ratio in stained or cloudy water.  These new eye imitations provide a walleye a more realistic target to key on when sizing up their prey. They also indicate to the marauder walleye which end to attack and swallow first. The eye make-up is an important factor when picking out effective lures. Look for lures with the crystalline eyes or oversized glow eyes. They will be more effective.


The next very important factor is sound or vibration. Studies have shown that vibration is one of the most important attractants for predatory walleye.  Water is an ideal medium for the transmission of sound. The speed of sound in air is approximately 330 meters per second compared to approximately 1500 meters per second in water.  Yes, sound is an astounding 5 times faster in water.  This speed can be altered depending on the salinity, temperature and water depth, but the efficiency of sound travel in water cannot be discounted.  Because water is such an efficient transmitter of sound, walleyes have adapted to use sound as a tool for locating food.  They hear through ear bones, called otoliths, which vibrate when sound waves pass through the walleye. Walleye also have a lateral line along each side of their body which picks up water movement. The lateral line helps a predatory walleye find and capture food and avoid enemies. The walleyeís lateral lines are extremely sensitive allowing them to tell where a sound/vibration is coming from.

Now this does not necessarily mean you want to go out and purchase lures with loud rattles or unnatural sounds.   It is a much safer bet to rely on vibration alone.   Vibration creates a natural sound in underwater environments and is unlikely to cause any alarm for feeding walleye.  Walleye can hear the swimming motions of lures ó even the smallest jig.  For cranks and spinner baits careful engineering and design must always take into account the vibration factor and its allure to predatory walleyes.   Common sense also plays a factor.   A deep cup Colorado blade is going to have more vibration than a regular cup.   The contour of the deep cup blade results in more water displacement, causing greater vibration patterns.   Flat edges on a crankbait for instance will provide more water resistance than a rounded form creating more vibration.   Always evaluate your lures and choose those with a configuration that is consistent with more water displacement or vibration.

And letís not forget about the size and contour of the lure.  The general rule is the bigger the walleye the larger the target of prey.   But walleye wonít take on a target that has too much mass or depth.   They like food sources that are contoured for easy head first swallowing.  Lures that are longer and thinner with a thinner contour at the head have more chance of triggering strikes than lures with heavier profiles.   Add some natural shape along with the thinner, longer profile and you quite possibly have a winner.

Most lures on the market rely on pattern and color factors more so than presentation. They look good to the fishermen but donít present the wounded or dying baitfish action to the predatory walleye. This fluttering action requires precision in weight distribution, angle and configuration. Here the action of the spoon is more critical than the color and pattern design. It is simply difficult to imitate the fluttering action of a wounded baitfish and the fish sense it.  Such movement triggers a walleyes predatory instinct because walleye are not conditioned to be wary of a fish demonstrating such movement.  Itís like ringing the dinner bell when walleye see this fluttering dance.  It can create many more primal strikes.

The last piece of this sometimes confusing puzzle is presentation. You can have the best lure on the market and if youíre not presenting it properly to the predatory walleye your success will be minimal. Proper presentation should be prepared by any serious lure engineer and offered to customers wanting to catch more fish. If presentation tactics are not offered as part of the package, one should be wary of purchasing the lure. The only presentation these lure manufacturers may be concerned with is the store presentation to you the fisherman.

Yes itís difficult to know what lures work most effectively. We at PK Lures only carry lures that are known producers. We are constantly doing our homework researching and testing new products to weed out the poor imitations and only carry lures proven to catch more and bigger walleye. We not only the carry the name brand, proven products but we are also on the lookout for the new lures that are relatively unknown to the market, yet more effective at catching walleye.  Finally, we put significant effort behind instructing all of our customers on how to properly use any of our products to get the best results. We know your presentation is critical to your success. You can visit us at PK Lures





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