Brett McComas

Top 10 hard-bodied jigging baits for walleye

The ultimate reaction bite — and one of the most enjoyable ways to catch a walleye — is snappin’ a hard-bodied jigging bait and letting it crash back down into bottom. Here’s some of our favorites, and more importantly, what makes each one unique:

1. Rapala Jigging Rap:

The OG of hard-bodied jigging baits! Can be pitched, dragged, or vertically fished. Here’s what Al “you-might-have-heard-of-him” Lindner has to say about his all-time favorite walleye bait:

> “When everybody else is whining about how bad the bite is…I put a Jigging Rap on and catch 30 or 40 walleyes in the middle of the afternoon.”

Doesn’t matter if it’s the middle of the summer, sunny, or glass calm, it straight up catches ’em!

2. Moonshine Shiver Minnow:

Darts and glides like other jigging baits, but what makes it different is how it rolls over on the drop — like baitfish do — with a bit of slack. Some prefer it’s nose-forward design (with no front hook) for pitching and casting to walleyes. Gotta say they absolutely nailed the colors!

3. Northland Puppet Minnow:

Can get it in high-vis, optically-brightened UV colors for those of you feeshin’ stained water. ‘Nuff said! IMO it fishes a bit lighter and more “glidey” (slightly less erratic) makin’ it shine in colder water, or up shallow in snaggier stuff.

4. Rapala Snap Rap:

Made to compliment the Jigging Rap, not replace it. It has wider wings that grab a little extra water to lift and glide more. They also track a little straighter, whereas the Jigging Rap darts off in different directions a touch easier.

5. Lunkerhunt Straight Up Jig:

Great on pressured fish and big smart ones! The realistic patterns allow you to slow the bait way down when there’s a fish staring at it, without scaring ’em off.

6. Custom Jigs & Spins Rotating Power Minnow:

No need for a barrel swivel…the RPM’s eyelet swivels to drastically reduce line-twist. Has a super-wide glide and is designed to keep it from snagging itself.

7. Rapala Flat Jig:

River rats: It’s 80% heavier than a similar length Jigging Rap, making it THE option for heavy current or ultra-deep water.

It’s a little different look in shallow water too ‘cuz it’s way less “darty” than the original Jigging Rap. Can get it to glide 4-8′ out to the sides with a slightly longer pause between rips.

8. Phantom Lures Tilly

Love the colors, internal rattle, no-hook front (for snaggy areas and so it doesn’t get hung up on the bottom of the ice) and has a reeeeally nice gliding action that covers a ton of real estate. Can now get the Tilly in a big 1-oz (3.5″) size if you wanna go donkey huntin’!

These next couple are sorta in a category of their own…but because of the way you fish ’em, felt they needed to be included in this list. Get your creative juices flowin’:

9. Berkley Snap Jig

It’s a winged jighead — with a gliding/darting action — that lets you swap out the body with your favorite plastics to change up the color/action/profile.

Does NOT have a treble hook, so can be fished super shallow and right up in the weeds. Walleye pro Korey Sprengel likes matching it with a 3″ Pro Twitchtail Minnow (top) or 3″ Pro Jig Worm (bottom):

10. Someday Isle Tackle Water Puppet

Takes some practice, but you can work it like a puppet: Make it dart off and swing in a pendulum or figure-8 motion. Mix and match different plastic tails (or minnows) on the back to change the look/action.

Here’s a vid playing ’round with a 1/8-oz Water Puppet paired with the tail off a YUM Genie worm. Could sit and tinker with different combos all day long in the tank. Also gotta love that they’re made in the USA.

Bonus: Storage Hack

Boxes like the Clam Deluxe Spoon Box or the Plano Spoon Boxes are 3″ to 3.25″ tall and will hold Jigging Raps up to the #7 size. Haven’t tried the 7080-20 Plano Spoon Box yet, but it’s 5.25″ tall, so we’d guess the #9 Jigging Raps would fit too:

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