Fall Crankbait Shapes

By Lance Valentine

Fall is a great time to chase trophy walleye, and trolling crankbaits is one of the best ways to catch fall monsters. Picking the right crankbait for fall walleye trolling is an important step in maximizing your success for trophy fall walleye. Let’s look at some factors to help you pick the best shape for fall walleye trolling.

First, it is important to know what type of bait the walleye you are targeting are feeding on. Knowing this starts you on the process of picking the right shape. Smelt and shiners are longer and skinnier, while shad are a “thicker” bait fish. Your lure choice should reflect this to be most effective.

Second, in fall most bait has reached maximum size, so focus on using larger baits. Don’t be afraid to go “too big” with your selection, too big is definitely better than too small. Remember, it is fall and walleye are feeding up to get through the winter, help with egg development and have enough energy to get through spawning. Walleye are thinking about efficient feeding, and large baits and lures are much more efficient than smaller bait.

Third, lure action is an important factor when picking the best crankbait for fall walleye fishing. Action is a function of lure size, shape, speed and bill shape. Once you have the right shape and size to match what the walleye are feeding on, experiment using lures with different actions until the fish tell you the best option for the day. Here are a few of my favorite crankbaits for fall walleye fishing.

1) Long mino baits with a big bill: Deep Bandit, Flicker Mino 11, Reef Runner 800, Deep Husky Jerk 14

2) Long mino baits with a small bill: Smithwick P10, Reef Runner 700, Storm Thunderstik

3) Shad baits: WNC Reaper, Rapala Super Shad Rap, Rapala Tail Dancer 11

Be sure to have a good selection of crankbaits with different sizes, shapes and actions for trophy fall walleye. Pay attention to getting those three factors right before worrying about the right color and you will catch more trophy walleye this fall!

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