Ice fishing jigs are like candy in a trick-or-treat bowl. Fish, like kids, know what they like best; it is just a matter of presenting it to them in a way they recognize. When choosing ice fishing jigs to entice fish this winter, there are a few things to consider, such as color, pattern, action, weight, and price point. Ice fishing jigs and lures come in all shapes and sizes; and while it's true that many different presentations will attract fish, it makes sense to customize your approach to whatever type of fish you're targeting. This increases your odds of success.
A well-rounded jig box should have goodies for all kinds of panfish, crappie, sunfish, bluegill, walleye, and more, depending on what species will be present in the lake you're fishing. This could include jigheads, of course, but also plastics, spinnerbaits, jigging spoons, and even some custom jigs and spins.
We've got some tried-and-true favorites that we have compiled into this list of the best ice fishing jigs. Each selection stands out from its competitors because it's reliable, easy to use, and is offered at a reasonable price. Toss these into your jig kit, and you'll be good to go on the ice.
1. Laxygo Winter Metal Kit
These tungsten ice jigs hit all the important elements of good ice fishing jigs: They come in a variety of colors, are super versatile, have a life-like swimming action, and are inexpensive. Grub-like jigs work great for a variety of areas and conditions, and you don't really need to overthink it. This package of a dozen comes in at a little more than $1 per jig. No matter how you plan to fish the ice, these are almost always capable of catching a fish. And they aren't exclusive to ice fishing. You can have success year-round with these jigs, whether you're targeting crappie, panfish, walleyes, bass, or perch.
2. Rapala Jigging Rap
The Jigging Rap from Rapala is a classic ice fishing jig that has helped bring a lot of fish to anglers' hands during the cold, frozen months. It's designed to look like a minnow and comes in a variety of colors. Jig it just like you think you should, with a bouncing motion, and get ready for the strike. Fish love the jigging rap. This Rapala has a wide variety of applications, making it a favorite of many anglers. Thanks to its action, it'll essentially swim in circles for you, which is ideal when you're targeting fish suspended under the ice. As a bonus, its balanced, weighted profile gives it the versatility to also crush fish in open water.
3. Dynamic Lures HD
Sometimes, the best ice fishing jig looks a bit different. This color is known as "Ice," but the Dynamic Lures HD Jigging Lure can really work wonders in any pattern. It's one of the most versatile ice fishing lures to ever exist, as a deadly combination of sound and action simply produces results down under the ice where we can't see or hear anything. Meant for a vertical jigging approach, this lure is great for panfish, but its action can also land you plenty of trout.
4. Northland Fishing Tackle Buck-Shot Rattle Spoon
You can't go wrong with a spoon-style jig like the Buck-Shot Rattle Spoon, a favorite of Minnesota and Wisconsin ice anglers. Jig it around underwater structure and you'll see some action, almost guaranteed. Flashes and flutters are complemented by a flawless, built-in rattle that's sure to attract fish from far, far away. Once they're in close enough to strike, they won't be able to resist the lifelike holographic 3D BaitFish Image finish.
5. Clam Outdoors Genz Drop-Kick Jig
Small in stature but big on results, the Genz Drop-Kick Jig was designed, tested, and approved by ice fishing legend Dave Genz. It's made of tungsten and has a drop-kicking motion that rocks your live or plastic bait back and forth. The tungsten is 30 percent heavier than lead, and the 90-degree long-shank jig hook is great for packing larvae. Combine these qualities, and you have yourself a top-notch ice fishing rig.
6. Lindy Quiver Spoon
Lindy has been a long-running name in the fishing biz, and the Quiver Spoon is probably its best-known ice fishing workhorse. The swimming action and impressive flash will attract the most sluggish fish.
It seems as if every time we talk about ice fishing season, it's just beginning, but the fact is that it just doesn't last very long. Virtually any of these baits can be used by themselves or tipped with live bait or dead bait.
When it comes to vertically jigging a lure for winter fishing through a hole in the ice, spoons, spinners, and crankbaits fill the bill quite well. Never give up trying to find out what it is that the fish are after when you find yourself out on the hard water.
Any solid spoon or weighted jig can dredge up most of the sportfish species we target including pike and walleye. The smaller versions sometimes need help getting through the slush in the hole; so in that case, some folks like to reel the jig almost to the rod tip and use it to thrust the bait through the hole before releasing it.
Heavier baits, particularly ones made from tungsten, have a knack for getting down to the bottom faster and creating a lot of bottom-bouncing silt to create the effect of a feeding frenzy. Anyone who has ice fished long enough will know that there's a lot to being successful in some cases, but anybody can do it.
Products featured on Wide Open Spaces are independently selected by our writers and editors. However, when you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.
Enjoy the outdoors?
Sign up for daily stories delivered straight to your inbox.