If you’re serious about getting bit, you want to use the best lures you can.
It’s always smart to stick to proven companies that consistently produce solid fish-catching baits. A great example is Northland Fishing Tackle. They are located right in the heart of Minnesota and have been producing high quality lures for north country anglers for since the ’70s. Their baits are trusted by walleye pros and guides alike.
Here are a few Northland bait combinations that are absolutely killer for early season walleye action in our neck of the woods:
The Fire-Ball® Jig and shiner is an absolutely deadly combination when it comes to jigging for spring walleye. This long-time Northland favorite has a short shanked hook perfect for hooking minnows through the head and mouth. It also has an attachment point that allows you to add a Sting’r Hook which improves your hooking percentage on short striking walleyes. Fish will be up shallow this time of year so 1/16 oz. and 1/8 oz. are going to be the top two sizes.
The Whistler Jig® has been a staple of walleye fishermen throughout the years but now it’s looking better than ever. Our New UV Whistler Jig® will be a hot one this opener. The flash and vibration of the spinning blade along with the optically brightened UV patterns help this jig stand out to fish! UV finishes have been a tournament secret for years and will definitely help you put more fish in the boat this opener. With walleyes being in shallow, you’re going to want to stick with the smaller sizes such as an 1/8 oz. and 1/4 oz.
Plastics are a deadly but underutilized technique for walleye. With post spawn fish up shallow the New Impulse® Core Swimbait paired with a Slurp!® Jig Head is a great choice for opener! We suggest casting and retrieving this bait up in shallow water with 1/8 oz. and 1/4 oz. jigs. While doing this, jig or pause this bait to trigger strikes. Base the size you choose on the forage in your lake but starting right in the middle with the 3.5″ is what we suggest.
The Swim’n Grub has been a longtime favorite for early season walleye anglers. Pair it with a premium hooked jig such as the RZ Jig and you have yourself a great way to put walleyes in the boat. This technique shines in spawning locations such as rivers, outside river mouths, and gravel shorelines, but don’t be afraid to cast it on your other favorite spots. Bright colors are great for catching the eye of those unpressed fish. Base your jig selection on key factors like depth and current. We suggest jigs from 1/8 oz. to 1/4 oz.
If your heading out for that evening bite, being rigged up with a slip bobber and leech is a great idea. This technique is known to put a lot of fish in the boat. It’s a simple way to fish and is great if you have a crowd or fishing with young kids. We rig our slip bobber set ups with a Slip-Knot Stop. Slide a small bead onto your line below the stop. Then we put on our Lite-Bite Slip Bobber. Fish one to two feet off the bottom with a spit shot and a #4 Super-Glo Attractor Hook. Tip your hook with a live leech and sit back and wait for that bobber to go down. Around opener this technique shines in the evening in 5 to 10 feet of water.
Get stories and tutorials on fishing delivered to your inbox weekly