Minnows work great for walleye. Anglers use a variety of minnows to catch walleye, but some of the popular minnows to use are fathead minnows, emerald shiner minnows and golden shiner minnows. Creek chubs, redtail chubs and suckers are also some great bait fish to use for walleye.
Smaller minnows in the 3 to 4 inch range are great for action. Most anglers will go with extra large fathead minnows when using smaller minnows. Smaller chubs, sucker minnows and shiners can also be super effective in this size range. You will catch some bigger walleye with smaller minnows too, but expect to catch mostly smaller walleye.
When you want to target bigger walleye, go with the bigger minnows. The 5 to 6 inch chubs and sucker minnows are perfect for targeting big walleye above 20 inches. You don’t need to go super big either, so don’t feel like you need the huge minnows that are typically used for northern pike and muskie. The 5 to 6 inch minnows will work well for walleye in the 18 to 30 inch range and even bigger.
Carolina Rig & Minnows
This rig is popular for walleye especially when fishing a little deeper and using some bigger minnows. The heavier weights will get the bait down to the bottom, but the extra line allows the bigger minnows some freedom to swim around a bit, which can help attract more bites at times.
Drop Shot Rig & Minnow
The drop shot rig and minnow is one of the best rigs for catching walleye. Use this rig shallow and deep and everywhere in between and if you know how to set up the drop shot rig, you will only use the weight when you get snagged up which saves time compared to using a jighead when fishing in rocky areas.
Jig & Minnow
A jig and minnow is the most popular way to fish for walleye. Make sure to match the correct jig size for the minnow you are using and for the depth you want to fish. Most walleye anglers use a jig and minnow to fish on the bottom or just off the bottom.
Split Shot Rig & Minnow
A split shot rig and minnow is a great setup for targeting walleye in the shallow to mid depth ranges and even for suspended walleye. Use just enough weight to get your minnow down to where the fish are.
Weightless Rig & Minnow
The weightless rig is a good rig for using bigger minnows when walleye move shallow. This could be an early morning or late evening bite where walleye move really shallow to feed. However, it is more common for anglers to use this setup in the spring when walleye move into the shallows. Once water temperatures warm up and late spring or early summer approach, walleye will usually move much deeper and this technique won’t be very effective.
Types of Minnows That Work Well for Walleye