Ted Takasaki is one of the top professional walleye anglers in the United States. His career highlights include winning the 1998 PWT Championship and being inducted into the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame. Takasaki’s Lund fishing boat is the 2175 ProV Limited, which he says is the ultimate fishing boat. We asked both Lund pros to name the best walleye lures of all time.
While there are many great walleye fishing lures, these are the five Takasaki says should be in everyone’s tackle box.
- The Rapala Shad Rap (Firetiger, Shad, Blue) is a great lure for both lakes and rivers. Vary the speed whether trolling or casting. Cast to structure, weeds or troll contours along a shoreline.
- The Lindy Fuzz-E-Grub jig was Takasaki’s go-to lure during his 1998 PWT Championship win. He likes the Chartreuse Shad color and uses it to pitch to points, shoreline or weeds. Tipping it with a live crawler or leech makes it extra deadly. Use enough weight to keep it on the bottom.
- A bottom bouncer with a spinner (silver, gold, chartreuse, and purple) is one of his long-time go-to setups. Keep the weight on the bottom and move at approximately 1 to 2 mph.
- The Gamakatsu Spin Bait, while technically not a lure, is a game-changer that incorporates a swivel that permits the hook to spin independently of the leader, imparting action while protecting light lines. Takasaki uses it with a slip sinker and likes to place a colored chartreuse bead or small propeller blade in front of the hook.
- Soft paddletail plastic swim baits in natural shad colors or fluorescents can be cast and worked through weeds and over sunken timber and rocks. The thumping tail creates a vibration that is a fish magnet.
Joel Nelson is a Lund pro who has written many articles and regularly appears on TV fishing shows to pass along his extensive knowledge of walleye fishing gear. He runs a Lund ProV 1875. According to Nelson, these lures have probably caught more fish than any others.
- Rapala Shad Rap is probably the best-selling lure in history and can be trolled or thrown. When you fish for walleye, use natural colors in clear water or chartreuse in stained water. A newer shad-style crankbait Nelson often uses is the Northland Rumble Shad. Use a snap to connect the lure for maximum lure action and ease of changing lures.
- Bottom bouncer with a snell is a deadly summer combo for getting down deep. When going slower, hooking on a leech or nightcrawler will be productive.
- The Rapala Jigging Rap is great for clear, open water or ice fishing. It has an erratic, darting action that triggers a reflexive strike from walleye. Use big quick lifts and let it fall on a slack line.
- Northland Fireball Jigs are the number one, all-time money winner on the PWT and FLW walleye tours. These jigs, paired with plastics, are great in the spring for vertical jigging in river systems. Drop them down fast and bang them on hard bottom rather than gently hopping them.
- Ringworm plastics, 4-6 inches long, are one of the deadliest walleye lures ever. Nelson was advised early in his career by an old-timer, “Use any color you want as long as its chartreuse