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This week's Feature Blog

Summer Time is High Action Time

Fishing 411 TV

Mark Romanack

When it comes to walleye plugs, summer time is the right time to be fishing with high action crankbaits. Most walleye anglers are pretty much stuck on the idea they need to be using minnow diving style baits to catch these cagy fish. It’s true that at certain times of year, the minnow diving category of crankbait is lights out for walleye. It’s also true that in the warm weather months, walleye react especially well to a completely different style of crankbait I like to call the high action wobblers.

High action plugs often deliver explosive strikes from walleye. This walleye literally inhaled a Mag Lip 3.5!


High action wobbling crankbaits are typically short, stocky built baits that feature a wide wobble, noisy rattles and these baits excel at higher trolling speeds. The Storm Wiggle Wart and Hot n Tot series of crankbaits are classics that fit this category perfectly. Both of these baits have a great reputation for producing walleye when the water temperatures are 60 degrees and warmer.

The new kid on the block when it comes to high action wobblers would be the Mag Lip produced by Yakima Bait Company. The Mag Lip isn’t a new bait, but it’s new to most walleye anglers. Mag Lip was designed by legendary lure designer Buzz Ramsey as a cold water plug for salmon, steelhead and trout fishing applications.

The Fishing 411 TV crew has used the Mag Lip to target cold water species countless times in recent years. Species we’ve caught on video with the Mag Lip includes chinook and coho salmon, steelhead, brown trout and lake trout. To that list you can now add walleye.

Mag Lip is especially deadly on walleye. These baits come in a host of sizes, but the 3.5 size is hands down the one walleye anglers will find best suited to their trolling needs. On 10 pound test monofilament the Mag Lip 3.5 will dive to 22 feet. If you need to go deeper, simply adding a two ounce Snap Weight will get the Mag Lip down as deep as 40 feet!


High action plugs do their thing best at faster trolling speeds. A good rule of thumb is to troll from 2.0 to 2.5 MPH when using these plugs. The faster trolling speed not only increases the action of these lures, it creates a situation where in walleye need to make a reactionary strike decision. When crankbaits are trolled at slower speeds, walleye will often follow a bait, but not strike at it. Faster trolling speeds force walleyes to “eat” or “go fish” because the bait will disappear into the gloom quickly.

The author has used the Mag Lip (a bait designed to catch cold water species) many times on walleye. The rule of thumb is to wait until the water is at least 60 degrees and to troll from 2.0 to 2.5 MPH.


One of the advantages of the Mag Lip series is these lures are currently being produced in over 50 different color patterns. Most manufacturers these days are limiting their stock color options, but Yakima Bait produces these baits in a host of classic colors designed especially for targeting walleye.

A few of our favorite walleye colors in the Mag Lip line include Metallic Silver Clown, Metallic Gold Flame, Metallic Silver Lip Firetiger, Metallic Gold Green Pirate, Metallic Gold Red Lip and Rosemary.

Bright colors seem to produce best on walleye during the summer months. This Metallic Silver Clown is one of the classic colors that produce walleye day in and day out.


When the heat of summer hits, plugs that have a lot of action and can be trolled fast are a sure bet for walleye. Nothing covers water or produces more walleye than these high action plugs.

Editor’s Note:

Mark Romanack is an veteran outdoor writer and the Executive Producer of the Fishing 411 TV series that broadcasts on Sportsman Channel, World Fishing Network and Sportsman Canada. Shows can also be found on the Fishing 411 YouTube channel.


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