Brett McComas

6 must-have jigging spoons for hardwater walleyes (BONUS tweaks and hacks!)

by Brett McComas

No doubt there’s a pile of jigging spoons out there…’cuz they straight-up catch fish! You’ve probably already got your faves, so did any of ’em make this list of 6 tried-and-true options that have been putting walleyes topside for years?!

I’m confident this lineup of jigging spoons could pluck walleyes through the ice on any lake, anywhere. Heeeere we go — straight off my ice rods and into this write-up — in no particular order:

1. Lindy Rattl’N Flyer Spoon

Fave size: 1/8-oz

Darts and flies outside the hole to cover a ton of real estate, yet fishes heavy enough for the feel/control you skilled spooners are lookin’ for. Super-loud brass rattles make a different kind of “ting” on its alloy innards. Tie on a “techni-glo red” in dirty water and you won’t look back:

2. VMC Tingler Spoon

Fave size: 3/16-oz

Rattle-bearing jigging spoons have taken over the tackle trays of most walleye-nuts, but don’t forget about those silent options when times get tough. It’s all about the flash and flutter, and the VMC Tingler Spoon’s got ’em going on. Works especially well in clear zeeb-infested water, during a cold-front or on heavily-pressured fish.

I’m a sucker for the bigger 3/16-oz size, but don’t be afraid to drop down to 1/8-oz when the fish are super fussy. #SilentButDeadly

3. Clam Rattlin’ Blade Spoon

Fave size: 1/4-oz

Stainless steel BBs + Pyrex-glass housing = a unique clacking sound that calls ‘em in from waaaay out. Slices through the water and has just enough flutter to seal the deal on picky-eaters:

4. VMC Tumbler Spoon

Fave size: 1/8-oz

Great 1-2 punch in a single bait: can be fished “soft” when there’s slow-moving fish on the graph…or sped up and pounded. Unique “knuckle” bend gives it that tasty tumbling action on the drop, and the small metallic attractor blade adds flash and sound. There’s a reason it’s guide Brad Hawthorne’s all-time favorite spoon….

5. Northland Buck-Shot Spoon

Fave size: 1/8-oz

Really don’t think this OG needs an introduction…it’s literally been ringing the dinner bell since before the Internet was a thing! Noisy brass rattle gift wrapped in holographic or UV finishes, can’t go wrong. There’s something special about that “purple tiger” color — flat-out catches ‘em in clear or stained water. #Dibs

6. PK Spoon

Fave size: 3/8-oz

Every walleye fishermen should own a 3/8-oz PK Spoon — especially in the “red dot glow” color — it’s that good when fished aggressively. I work it just like you would a rattlebait through the ice: Start out high (say 2-3’ off bottom) and run a series of big rips before letting it flutter back down…then rock it in place for 5-ish seconds if it takes that long to get whacked….


1. BONUS: My complete jigging-spoon setup.

For you visual learners….

You don’t (always) need livebait to catch hardwater walleyes…. Ever try using “fake” minnow heads on your jigging spoons? How about adding a feathered- or glow-resin treble hook??

That and waaaay more in this video breaking down my complete jigging-spoon setup. It’s 15-min long, so here’s a “Table of Contents” lol:

0:27 – Top 6 jigging spoons to catch walleyes anywhere
5:05 – 3 🔥 alternatives to live minnow heads
9:06 – Rest of the setup (line, leader, snap, swivel, etc)
11:25 – Longer ice rods are better….
12:18 – My absolute favorite budget-friendly ice reel
13:10 – Braid gives you better spoon control

Or can check the full vid right here:

2. BONUS: Hawthorne’s spoon hacks!

Add an extra split-ring to your jigging spoons.

Here’s a simple but super-effective spoon hack Brad Hawthorne uses to ice more of the fish he sees on his graph. Read the full Joel Nelson write-up here — that also talks about adding blades and swapping out stock hooks for Glow Resin Trebles — but here’s few split-ring tweakin’ excerpts:

> At first I started tinkering with creating some separation in my baits, mostly on account of seeing bites where walleyes focus so heavily on whatever you tip your spoon with.

> Long dropper-chains work well for perch, but are often overkill. Adding just one more split ring — between the existing split ring and hook on most spoons — can dramatically increase the number of fish you’ll convert.

> The action was just incredible [thanks to the] freedom that extra split ring gives the business end of your lure and bait.

> This is a go-to for lethargic fish. With stamped metal spoons that flutter or wobble on the drop [like the VMC Tingler Spoon], the effect can be even more impressive.

> Most of these spoon types have a bend in them, creating that wiggle. Add another split ring to these baits, and you can still get that motion, but dropping on a tighter line causes the same bait to coast off past the edges of the hole…enticing fish that aren’t directly below you.

> Multiply the extra couple of feet you cover off to the sides by the number of holes you cut in a day, and you’re really getting at more fish in the same water. I really like these baits when fishing new areas or scouting.

Lots more info from Joel and Brad on spoon tweaks right here.

When you realize how much $$$ you’ve spent on fishing tackle:

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