Walleye lures can often catch fish just as well as live bait, but you just can’t beat live bait early in the season when you need to fish slow. The action, scent, and flash that a live minnow puts off in cold water is often second to none right after ice out when water temps hover below 40 degrees, or during an off bite. But be picky about bait size. In clean water, select the small minnows in your bucket. For dirty water, select the larger minnows; they’re hardier and provide more vibration in the water, which allows lurking walleyes to easily key in. To that point, don’t be afraid to try rigs with and without a stinger hook. Some days they work, some days they don’t, and you just know what day it will be until you experiment.