In most ice fishing locales, tip-ups are normally not as popular for winter walleye fishing as jigging with rod and reel. But make no mistake about it, when rigged correctly, a well placed tip-up can be a deadly presentation for finicky walleyes.
For rigging tip-ups for walleyes we like Berkley’s Tip-Up Line (20 pound test) as the main line, and tie on a small swivel that we use to attach a leader of 8 or 10 pound test Berkley Vanish Fluorocarbon Leader Material. At the business end we tie on a Mustad Double Wide Fine Wire Bait Hook (model 10548R). In the early part of the ice fishing season the walleyes tend to be a bit more aggressive eaters so we will go with a larger #1 size hook and a 4 to 5 inch minnow (like a Sucker Minnow or Chub). The minnow is hooked through the back with the hook parallel to the dorsal fin and the point of the hook facing the head of the minnow. We find this set-up really increases the hooking percentage even over using a treble hook as many anglers prefer on their tip-ups. As the season progresses and the fish get more “finicky”, we will drop down in bait and hook size accordingly.