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Soft Plastics for Walleye

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For targeting summertime walleyes with artificial lures, start with swimbaits. We're familiar with swimbaits in the walleye world, but now there are specific shapes, sizes, and plastics designed particularly for walleye. Consider the Northland Eye Candy; walleyes have sharp teeth and gills, so we need durable materials that withstand numerous catches, cast after cast. With swimbait fishing, you have a variety of head sizes and body shapes to choose from. Once dialed in, you usually won't need to change it throughout the day.

Next is the jig crawler, which pairs a crawler with your jig in a Ned rig style, but with a longer worm designed for walleye fishing. The Eye Candy worm has a paddle tail that wags when you swim it, enticing walleyes to bite when it hits the bottom or when the tail wiggles as you lift it.

Moving to jerk minnows, another Eye Candy bait, you'll notice the trend here is gear specifically made for walleye. Match the jig color with the plastic and choose a long shank hook that sits further back in the bait for erratic movement, increasing your chances of hooking a walleye.

These three baits should make you successful on any body of water in Minnesota for walleye. For bass, particularly smallmouth, a tube style bait with a football head jig is effective. Many anglers slow-roll a football jig to imitate a crawfish along the bottom. Integrating a football head into your walleye fishing can also improve your catch rate for both bass and walleye.

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