Ice fishing is a challenging yet enjoyable way to continue to fish even during the coldest months of the year. If you prefer ice fishing live bait, the biggest difficulty is breaking through the ice and dropping your lines. Live bait is great, but there are no guarantees it’ll attract fish. Beyond that, ice fishing becomes incredibly boring giving the angler little to do but wait for the strike. Jigging, however, can keep you active while out on the ice. If you want to jig, using the right ice fishing jigs will make all the difference. Below are some of the best ice fishing jigs you can use to lure in fish and get a strike.
Ice Fishing Jigs Every Angler Should Use in 2018 – Ice Fishing Jig Kits
If you’re just starting out with ice fishing, it’s a good idea to get familiar with all the items you’ll need. Check out our list of essential ice fishing equipment needed to get started. You can also find our picks for the best ice fishing gear of 2017 if you’d like to see what worked well last season.
For jigging, it’s hard to know for sure exactly which one will work the best without trying a bunch, so I prefer to buy my jigs in bulk. That way I can minimize the risk of losing a hot jig and not having a replacement handy. Also, if one jig may not be working, I can try a different color or pattern or presentation to see if that works better. Having options is always better than not, so I recommend picking up some ice fishing jig kits, especially if you’re starting out and not exactly sure what works in your area. Below are just a few kits I’d recommend you pick up right away.
I like this kit a lot because it’s quality made, it’s super affordable, and it’s not just one jig head type with all different colors. You actually get several different designs and colors giving you many different choices for color combinations. Versatility is what you should expect with a kit and this one gives you that and then some. Celsius is a brand that specializes in ice fishing equipment and they make quality stuff. Pair any of these jigs with a grub or high action worm and you should have no problem quickly figuring out what works in your body of water.
Find out from local anglers what colors tend to work below the ice. Not every color in this kit will be a winner for you, but you may find more success if you’re fishing for any species. This is a multi-species kit, so while the green and red jighead may be great for bass, it may be a complete dud if you’re fishing for lake trout. That’s not to say they won’t work, because the beauty of a kit like this is you can try nearly unlimited types of color combinations until you find what works really well. And with the different sizes and shapes to each head, the action will be slightly different head to head and that variance may be the reason a fish strikes.
Krazywolf has put out an awesome collection of jig heads in this kit and the best part for me is that they glow in the dark! Most fish are near the surface to within the first 10-20 feet when you’re ice fishing, but that doesn’t mean visibility is high. During those early morning or late evening fishing trips, it’s helpful to have some glow in the dark jigs to really attract the sight fish in. These kits vary in quantity, with as few as 25 to as many as 45. They are all shipped with various jig heads, sizes, shapes, and colors, so you’ll never have too many or too few of your favorite jig.
When I ice fish or even during the spring and summer, fish for lake trout and salmon I’ve been told by local anglers the best thing I can do to enhance my presentation is to buy strips of glow in the dark tape to add to my lures. That glow in the water just brings those fish right in when seemingly everything else isn’t working. Try these jig heads out when you’re next on the ice and let us know how they work. I’m sure you’ll find if your buddies are struggling with regular jigs you will have a better day.
These jigs are pretty cool. Goture Ice Fishing Jigs are lifelike jigs made to appear like multiple baitfish. I’ve seen this type of bait before with the Livetarget Baitball. It’s certainly unique and effective so this kind of principle should be tried in ice fishing. The kit comes with four patterns, all designed to catch walleye. Even if you’re not a walleye angler, you can still try your luck with these baits. The way to fish these are the same as any other jig, but you don’t get the same action qualities that you would necessarily with a live action softtail.
It would be my preference to pair one of these with a small worm or live minnow to help bring in some of the bigger fish in the area. The paint finishes on these lures are incredible and for a reasonable price you will have four tried and true jigs that are capable of bringing in trophy fish at any time you use them.
Ice Fishing Jigs Every Angler Should Use in 2018 – Ice Fishing Jigs
Maybe you’re not interested in buying a kit, or you already have several jig heads but you’re looking to add to your collection with one here or there. That’s fine. I know what you’re looking for. Check out these awesome jigs and see if any of them work for you!
These are really nice jigs. First, doesn’t that lure look like a whitewalker from Game of Thrones? That’s just super cool. Anyway, these lures are slim and balanced to jig and flutter in the water as you want them to. They’re equipped with super sharp #10 size hooks to ensure a nice hook set. They’re offered in several different colors so be sure to check out the amazon listing for Dynamic Lures HD to find the one or ones you want to use!
If you do find you love your Dynamic Lures HD, you can also save them for your summer tacklebox. They’re great swimbaits and there’s a really good video showing you just how effective they are on a steady retrieve. Check it out! The angler took the hooks off so the fish could bite freely without getting caught.
The Northland Forage Minnow is not quite a spoon but it works similarly. This jig is thicker than a typical spoon, more shaped like a fish than a spoon but it has similar properties. It flutters to an extent when jigged and dances around a little to widen your strike area when jigging. These are good jigs when fish are relying on their sight. They’re extremely lifelike and if they catch a little sun they reflect nicely in the water.
I’d absolutely modify these with some glow in the dark tape. You can certainly use these and fish successfully with them as is, but adding some different colored glow tape would just enhance the presentation and give the fish a real reason to check it out.
The VMC Tingler is an interesting spoon. It’s shaped like cut bait almost, and it really works interestingly. There’s a cool video that you can watch below of the tingler in action, but essentially it widens your strike cone a great deal from traditional jigs. It flutters greatly which gives it an action you just can’t find on other jigs. Offered in several different colors, I highly recommend you give the Tingler a try.
Ice Fishing Jigs Every Angler Should Use in 2018 – Tungsten Ice Jig
One last note about ice fishing jigs. Almost every angler I encounter when out fishing has a deep appreciation for and is committed to protecting the ponds, rivers, and lakes we fish on every day. There has been a move that has gone on for years to use less lead-based products when fishing. Jig heads seem to be the last step in a completely lead-free fishing experience.
Please be mindful of your local and state regulations are when it comes to using lead-based lures. Some states have outright banned leaded products, where others are taking a more gradual approach. Whenever possible, try to pick tungsten ice jigs rather than traditional lead jigs, especially if you have regulations preventing you from using them. Tungsten is not as toxic (and most likely still legal) and will help protect the waters we all enjoy when ice fishing so we can continue to fish those waters year after year.
Ice Fishing Jigs Every Angler Should Use in 208 – Making Your Own
Finally, if all else fails, you can certainly try your hand at making your own ice fishing jigs. There are molding kits, videos and documentation all over the web that will show you exactly how to make your own jigs. Traditionally these were only possible to be done at home using lead, so double check your state laws regarding the use of lead to see if you can. Otherwise there are some great forums around that have really interesting ideas for lead substitutes. I’ve linked them below so check them out if you’re interested in making your own jigs.
Another great advantage to making your own jigs is if you come up with one that works better than anything store bought, you can continue to produce them on your own knowing other anglers won’t have the same lures you do. Just another way you can separate yourself from your competitors on the ice! Tight lines!