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  #1  
Old 06-15-2021, 01:32 PM
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Default Plastics for walleyes

I've always been a live bait guy, but I'd really like to try plastics. Any pointers or suggestions?
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  #2  
Old 06-15-2021, 01:52 PM
RJR RJR is online now
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Props to you for going out of your comfort zone and trying plastics.

For walleyes, I'd argue that you can cover pretty much everything plastic related with just 2 types, that being paddle tails and split-tail/fluke style minnows.

In terms of size, anything in that 3" to 4" range is perfect. That size range will catch you lots, but also the occasional big fish. Fish this on 1/8-1/4oz jig heads, depending on depth. Maybe move up to 3/8oz if the wind is ripping or you're fishing deeper.
For colour, I just try to match the hatch/forage. If your fish feed on shiners, ciscos, whitefish, smelt, etc. then whites/silvers/blues work real nice. Feed on crayfish, try browns/oranges. If perch are on the menu, try black and gold, or any perch pattern that is offered.

Good paddletails:
- Bfishn Pulse-R (or moxi)
- Keitech (Easy shiner or swing impact)
- Berkley Ripple Shad

Good split-tail minnows:
- Berkley Gulp Minnow or Pro Twitchtail minnow
- zoom fluke

Keep in mind you need to fish plastics way faster than you do live bait. That's one of the biggest mistakes I see people make - they try to fish a jig/plastic super slow like they do a jig/leech or jig/minnow. Fishing plastics is pretty much always a reaction bite, so the fish attack it to kill it. You want to keep that bait moving constantly while maintaining close proximity to the bottom and occasionally touching bottom. Don't be scared to throw in some snaps or rips on your retrieve.


RJR
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  #3  
Old 06-15-2021, 04:28 PM
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RJR just about said it all. You can also do a straight retrieve so long as the plastic has good tail action and a bit of roll. I’m particularly fond of that over thick weeds when you can also stop the retrieve and let it fall at the edge.
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  #4  
Old 06-15-2021, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RJR View Post
Props to you for going out of your comfort zone and trying plastics.

For walleyes, I'd argue that you can cover pretty much everything plastic related with just 2 types, that being paddle tails and split-tail/fluke style minnows.

In terms of size, anything in that 3" to 4" range is perfect. That size range will catch you lots, but also the occasional big fish. Fish this on 1/8-1/4oz jig heads, depending on depth. Maybe move up to 3/8oz if the wind is ripping or you're fishing deeper.
For colour, I just try to match the hatch/forage. If your fish feed on shiners, ciscos, whitefish, smelt, etc. then whites/silvers/blues work real nice. Feed on crayfish, try browns/oranges. If perch are on the menu, try black and gold, or any perch pattern that is offered.

Good paddletails:
- Bfishn Pulse-R (or moxi)
- Keitech (Easy shiner or swing impact)
- Berkley Ripple Shad

Good split-tail minnows:
- Berkley Gulp Minnow or Pro Twitchtail minnow
- zoom fluke

Keep in mind you need to fish plastics way faster than you do live bait. That's one of the biggest mistakes I see people make - they try to fish a jig/plastic super slow like they do a jig/leech or jig/minnow. Fishing plastics is pretty much always a reaction bite, so the fish attack it to kill it. You want to keep that bait moving constantly while maintaining close proximity to the bottom and occasionally touching bottom. Don't be scared to throw in some snaps or rips on your retrieve.


RJR
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  #5  
Old 06-15-2021, 07:00 PM
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There's an awful lot of good plastics available. I'm also fond of the pulse-r and moxie but there are many choices out there and many of them are <$.50 per bait.
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Old 06-15-2021, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kzoofisher View Post
There's an awful lot of good plastics available. I'm also fond of the pulse-r and moxie but there are many choices out there and many of them are <$.50 per bait.
I use a lot of Z-man for walleye, smallmouth and largemouth. VERY tough yet very soft. 1 bait might last the entire day.
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  #7  
Old 06-16-2021, 06:03 AM
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When I fish plastic Ring-worms are my go to. I prefer the B-Fish-N brand but I expect most styles would work. Red/cherry and purple bodies with white / pearl curly tails. Others colors work but these always seem to perform well for me.

What I have found with soft plastic is often my catch rate won't be as fast when there is a hot live bait bite, but generally speaking for what ever reason the size of fish run larger, some of my nicer walleye's have come on soft plastic.

Admittedly I rarely start with soft plastic, but I have certainly spent the entire day just throwing a crank bait and using soft plastic with good success. Since I typically have very easy access to live bait I like to have some leeches in season and minnows or crawlers if bottom bouncing in the boat. On a hot bite soft plastic or pitching a wally diver is hard to beat. If the bottom allows it a 3/8 ounce cast master snapped off the bottom back to the boat can be a walleye killer.

Good sense to always have some plastic in the boat you have confidence in. Along with all your other tools. and the trusty slip bobber. ; )
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  #8  
Old 06-16-2021, 07:15 AM
Bill Krejca Bill Krejca is offline
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Counter to maybe others' experiences, I have had good success using plastics while vertical fishing. I have not had the good luck which many relate to using the "tail waggers" which others apparently have. The waggers definitely need to be fished while either trolling or with a fairly constant retrieve while casting. I believe vertical fishing of plastic requires a somewhat more finesse rod action, imitating the mini-actions which a wounded minnow would go through, normally ruling out wild gyrations and swift movements, unlike that displayed by a half dead small fish. As always, it is amazing how different approaches to reaching a common goal can be satisfactorily mutually achieved. Again, the common cliché, "why it is called fishing, not catching"!

Bill
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  #9  
Old 06-16-2021, 01:49 PM
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How do you fish?

For jigging:

Can't go wrong with 3" and 4" grubs in white. That is usually my go-to.

I often use paddletail and fluke style plastics as well.

As for colors:

1) White
2) Bright
3) Natural

Will cover all your bases. I prefer colors that contrast as well (e.g, pink/white, pink/chartreuse, pink/yellow, purple/chartreuse, black/white etc..).

If you are pulling spinners or slo-death rigs, I usually use crawlers, but sometimes go with plastic worms and occasionally a fluke. The pinched crawler and Gulp Fry (not the Gulp Alive version) from Berkley are great for slo-death. I am not a huge Gulp fan (dries out too fast, liquid is nasty), but I have not seen anything better to replace those two products for this purpose.

edit: Just a note on Z-Man brand plastics. It is made from a very different plastic material that will react with other plastics. So, you want to keep them separate and in the package.
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  #10  
Old 06-17-2021, 03:33 AM
Gary Korsgaden Gary Korsgaden is offline
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This information is awesome from all of you....thank you
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