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Ice Fishing Walleyes: Why Upsize Baits

There’s a tendency in ice fishing to downsize baits to smaller versions of what you’d typically use during the open-water period. Experienced guides like Brad Hawthorne advise that this can be a big mistake, especially when it comes to early ice walleyes. *Product listing at the bottom.

We caught up with Brad on Minnesota’s famed Mille Lacs Lake to test his theory. Brad shares his reasoning on why bigger baits in the 3- to 4-inch range, such as the #9 Jigging Rap, are among his top picks through the ice. A couple of quality fish later, and Brad had us reconsidering some of our bias toward the use of smaller baits.