Although ice fishing is similar to open water fishing, there is a difference in most of the lures the fisherman uses, and here are the 5 best ice fishing lures. The type of lure needed is determined by the situation and the type of fish you are trying to catch. Using the right lure, with the right color and jigging action, can help you catch more fish. Try different ones to see which one the fish are more attracted to.
- Jigging spoons. This is one of the most popular lures for walleyes in ice fishing. It is a chunk of painted metal (or lead) and it has either a single hook molded into it, or it could have a split ring with a treble hook attached. The Buck-Shot Rattle Spoon is a jigging spoon that has a rattle chamber built into it. The rattle that they give off attracts walleyes to strike and it helps them find the bait especially in stained water. In clear water they come from further away when they hear the rattle. The treble hook with a maggot on two of the hooks or a minnow or minnow head, are often used to attract the fish. You can also dangle maggots on the single hook.
- Airplane jig. The airplane jig has wings that give it a flying action that attracts the fish and makes them strike. The wings also allow the jig to swim as it falls it little half circles. Adding the maggots or the minnow head are also used with this lure.
- Vertical jigs. In a vertical jig, the shank of the hook is parallel to the line. Spoons like JR’s Tackle Flasher Spoons, Scenic Tackle Angel Eye, or the Phelps Glow Spoon are examples of vertical jigs. Depending on the spoon, it will either drop like a rock or flutter. Vertical jigs also come in all kinds of colors, sizes and shapes. Two very productive vertical jigs are The Shrimpo and the Speckled Grub. These lures can also be used with any type of live bait and their plastic finesse body can be matched and mixed with different sizes and colors.
- Horizontal jigs. Swimming lures are horizontal jigs with a shank that runs perpendicular to the line. Examples of horizontal jigs are The Minnow, Pumpkinseed, Ratso and Rat Finkee. Swimming lures come in different sizes and have different actions. They spiral as they hit the water which attracts the fish. When they are jigged, the back end bounces up and down and the head stays still. Horizontal jigs sit parallel to the fish’s body and make it easy for them to inhale the bait. It also puts them in a better hook-set position.
- Floaters or Bobbers. A properly balanced float can act as a strike indicator. It also gives you a second line in the water so you can focus on your jigging. The Iced Buster Bobber is a foam slip bobber which can be cut down to whatever weight you prefer and fine tuned just the way you want it. It is important that the bobber can be pulled down easily with hardly any resistance so when the fish come by to grab the bait they won’t feel anything.