First, I have to confess that I have never done any scientific experiments to compare Walleye (or other fish species) fishing results using different lures.
In the very beginning of my fishing life, I tried using Daredevle Spoons and Tsunami Spinners because they require little tackle and are very easy to use.
However, I never caught a single Walleye using spoons or spinners. Yes, it could be because at that time I didn’t really know how to present (i.e., speed and rhythm of retrieval, water depth, etc.) the lures to the fish. If you have already fished with spoons and spinners, you may know that what works for attracting fish to bite is the movement and vibration generated by spoons or spinners. And you may also know that fish feed by sight, sound, and/or smell (spinners and spoons don’t have fish attractants or smells on them unless you apply fish attractants by yourself). So, the more you can imitate a real bait fish, the better chance you have to get a bite. What I am saying here is that if you know the right techniques to present a spoon or spinner, of course you can catch fish and be productive. However, it would be the best if the lures you are using requires less skills for presentation (easy to master) and imitates a real bait fish in all aspects: looks real, moves real, smells real, and even tastes real – that’s right, I am talking about soft plastic lures.
Once I switched from hard metal lures (spoons and spinners) to soft plastic lures (swimmers), I caught a 50 cm (20 inches) Walleye in my first trip to my usual fishing spot after the switch. You know what? Not only did I catch my first Walleye, but also I had less snags because soft plastic lures need just one single hook on a drop-shot rig (my favorite fishing rig). Since then, I have been using soft plastic lures happily.
Here are some benefits/advantages of using soft plastic lures (e.g., earthworms, grubs, nymph, minnows, leeches, bloodworms, and so forth):
- Soft plastic lures imitate real live baits in all aspects: looks, movements, smells, and tastes.
- They come with a great variety of choice: all sorts of minnows, worms, aquatic insects, you name it. So, you can match your lures with the natural baits of your target game fish. And often, fish attractants are built-in with these soft plastic lures.
- It’s very easy to switch lures: you just need to un-hook and hook again; no need to re-tie your entire rig.
- When used together with drop-shot rig, you can cast-and-retrieve, jigging vertically, cast-and-finesse presentation, and more. So, it’s very versatile and you have minimal snags, which means less hassle and more quality time fishing and hence catching more fish.
- Soft plastic lure is durable and easier to handle and cheaper than the real things (if you buy them from tackle stores).
Read also here about some fishing tips and 7 soft plastic lures that I carry regularly.
Below are some pictures and videos of Walleye caught on soft plastic lure (mostly Berkeley Powerbait).
Walleye fishing with soft plastic lure (yellow Powerbait Earthworm) on North Saskatchewan River June 2013
So, I am concluding that the best lure, based on my own experience only, for catching Walleye (and other fish species) is soft plastic lure. So, whether you are a beginner or a savvy fishermen / fisherwomen, you definitely need to try soft plastic lures and drop-shot rig, I am sure you’ll love it!
Berkley Powerbait Grub swimming_Walleye Fishing lure demonstration
Walleye Fishing techniques: jigging with soft plastic lure (Berkeley Powerbait Grub)
How to make a simple, cheap, and effective fish stringer. This youtube video features twisted mason line, perfection knot, improved clinch knot, and a piece of metal wire.