Why Does Trolling Crankbaits For Walleye Work So Well?

August 6, 2020

There are numerous ways to catch walleye in Door County and across Green Bay. Jigging shiver minnows, ripping raps are great ways to get walleye near the bottom looking for a meal on wind driven rock piles. If you want to attract bigger fish with a hard-hitting bite, trolling crankbaits for walleye in Door County is a great choice.

Crankbaits are not only a proven method for catching big and beautiful walleye in Green Bay, but they also provide a natural action and moving target. This results in another method of catching suspended fish, which adds another technique to the toolbox.

What makes these so effective when it comes to catching walleye on Green Bay? What are the different types of crankbaits and how exactly are they used? Your friendly guides at Green Bay Trophy Fishing explain.

Why Are Crankbaits Great For Catching Walleye?

Crankbaits are one of the best methods to attract and catch large walleye. Crankbaits imitate smaller fish with a wobbling action that they just can’t resist. Walleye hit crankbaits with such force, it may take the rod right out of your hand.

There are several different crankbaits, each with different depths and actions. They include deep diving, shallow diving, floating, lipless and much more. Your Door County walleye fishing guide can help you select which one will work the best based on what’s been hot lately.

How To Troll For Walleye With Crankbaits?

A challenge some anglers have when trolling Green Bay is it’s big water and covering as much real estate as possible is important. Luckily, someone thought of a way to disperse more lines to cover more ground. They are called planer boards and they were made with trolling crankbaits in mind. Planer boards allow you to control the depth of your crankbait at any distance up to 150 feet behind the boat.

Planer boards increase the area the lures cover while avoiding getting hooked on weeds or rocks.

What To Consider When Using Crankbaits?


Crankbaits are an effective way to fish both in shallow areas and at depth. Deep running crankbaits for walleye go down to 12 feet or deeper. Smaller bills and shallow divers cover depths of zero to eight feet deep.  

Water Temperatures 

This has a lot to do with the time of year. In the spring, walleyes are lethargic and it will require a slow-rolling crankbait to get them out of their cold water daze. In the summer and into early fall, when water temperatures are at their highest, more aggressive crankbaits will spark a reactionary strike.


Crankbaits are very effective around rock piles and weed edges when walleye are at the height of their predatory nature. In July and August, they are even effective over sand and mudflats in shallow water.

What Speed Should You Troll For Walleye?

The speed at which you should troll for walleye depends on various factors, including the water temperature, the depth of the water, the type of lure or bait being used, and the activity level of the fish.

As a general rule of thumb, many anglers prefer to troll for walleye at a speed of around 1.5 to 2.5 miles per hour. However, this can vary depending on the conditions.

If the water is colder, you may want to troll at a slower speed, closer to 1 mile per hour. Conversely, if the water is warmer, you may want to increase your trolling speed up to 3 miles per hour.

It’s also important to consider the depth at which you are fishing. If you are fishing in shallow water, you may want to troll at a slower speed to avoid spooking the fish. In deeper water, you may need to troll faster to keep your bait or lure at the right depth.

Ultimately, the best trolling speed for walleye will depend on a combination of these factors, as well as your own experience and fishing preferences. It’s always a good idea to experiment with different speeds and techniques to find what works best in a particular situation.

What Are The Best Crankbaits For Walleye In Green Bay?

The list is endless and it depends on who you ask.  There is a wide variety of brands. A few of our favorites that work on Green Bay are Berkley Flicker Minnow, Rapala Husky Jerk, Smithwick Rattling Rouges and Salmo Hornets.

Fish Like A Local With Green Bay Trophy Fishing

For 25 years Green Bay Trophy Fishing has guided and provided helpful information to anglers in and around Door County. We are some of the most experienced fishing guides in Green Bay and pride ourselves on being experts on everything related to fishing in the area.

If you are interested in booking a walleye fishing charter, you can view our rates or contact us here.

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