Published on December 2nd, 2017 | by The Iceman0
The best ice fishing jigs
Jigs are essential pieces of ice fishing equipment. The lures range from the very small to the big and bulky. They come in a wide variety of shapes and colors. They have been used far and wide for many years and the best ice fishing jigs have caught countless fish from North America to Europe.
For some unselective fish, the exact color and shape of the jig might not matter. For others only a particular size and color of jig will work while all others will be ignored. That’s why a lot of ice fisherman carry wide selections of ice fishing jigs.
Some professional ice fishing professionals go as far as creating their own ice fishing jigs complete with expertly placed jewels and specially mixed paints. For most that is more than is necessary. Any of the jigs on this list of the best ice fishing jigs can be easily purchased online and catch fish as soon as they are dropped into the water.
Clam Drop Jig
Tipping a gold colored Clam Drop Jig with one or two maggots give you one of the best ice fishing jig you will find anywhere in the world. Straight out of the box the things catch fish like a charm.
When fishing in wicked cold snaps or over slow moving and finicky fish, a small Clam Drop Jig in gold is almost impossible to beat. At the same time, a gold Drop can be fished fast and loose over aggressive fish to bring in bite after bite.
Although I have mainly chased bluegills and crappies with the Clam Drop Jig, I have also caught plenty of rainbow trout, some chain pickerel, a brown trout and even a sucker on this lure. It works!
Lindy Tungsten Toad
People new to ice fishing might quickly be overwhelmed by the vast variety of ice fishing jigs available. There are enough shapes and colors to leave you looking for days. Sometimes the differences are more meant to catch fisherman than fish. Other times little changes in a shape or color can have a lot of effect.
The Lindy Tungsten Toad looks different from most ice fishing jigs while still retaining a familiar outline. It has a sort of upside down dropped head that resembles a small fish slowly nose diving in a death spiral. That turns fish on.
You can fish the Tungsten Toad like you would any other jig, but I find that it is most effective when jigged vigorously or dropped through the water column. It can also big jigged over heavy weeds and other structure to bring fish up from their hiding places.
I usually tip the Tungsten Toad with a minnow, minnow body or scented artificial like the Gulp Ice Minnow. When it comes to fishing jigs for crappie or working minnows on a jig head it is tough to beat the Tungsten Toad.
VMC Wax Tail Jig
While most ice jigging is done with small jig heads of various shapes and sizes tipped with live bait, sometimes artificials can work just as well, or even better! The VMC Wax Tail Jig proves that point.
This relatively new jig comes with a thin soft plastic body attached to the hook that has a fantastic action in the water. Even moving the jig just a little in the water makes it look like it has come alive.
The VMC Wax Tail Jig has so much lively movement that it can catch fish without any live bait applied at all. Of course I am not above placing a maggot or two on the hook of a Wax Tail Jig if it seems necessary, but a lot of times it is not.
I have caught countless crappies on the Wax Tail Jigs since they came on the scene, and I’ve even hooked into some bass with them too!
Clam Epoxy Drop
When you’re fishing over big flat expanses and targeting scattered fish one option is to use a flashy spoon to bring fish in from afar. But if you’re after light biting panfish, a better option can be to tie on a Clam Epoxy Drop.
There are a lot of jewel tipped ice fishing jigs on the market and most of them work well, but in my experience the Clam version is the best. The glow colors especially shine under the water and seem to have the uncanny ability to call fish to bite like a farmer ringing a bell for his cows.
Epoxy Drops are some of the most expensive ice fishing jigs out there, but since they work so well and contain so many different colors and parts I am willing to shell out the money.
The vast majority of ice fishing jigs and jigheads in general are designed to sit horizontally in the water. There is a reason for that. It’s one of the best presentations you can deliver since most fish and other organisms swim in a more of less horizontal movement under the water.
But some of the aquatic insects that fish feed on under the ice actually move up through the water column, especially when they’re leaving the sediment at the bottom and heading towards the surface. People who fly fish know that well. That’s why they fish emerger patterns. I tend to think that’s why vertical ice fishing jigs also take their fair share of fish.
The Lindy Frostee is probably the most well known if not the best vertical ice fishing jig in existence. You’d be hard pressed to find a better one in any case. They don’t cut corners. The jigs are well made with open eyes and nice sharp hooks. Chartreuse and red white seem to be the best colors in my experience.
K&E Skandia Pelkie
Anyone who is serious about ice fishing knows about K&E. They sell a lot of great products, but there best may be the legendary Skandia Pelkie tungsten ice jig.
A lot of ice jigs look more or less the same, but the more you fish the more you realize that slight differences can make a world of difference. The “SKP” as it is sometimes called is perfectly balanced and built on ultra sharp hooks that bring you hookups on even the lightest of bites. On top of that, there is a little bit of rubber on the base of the hook that helps hold your live bait longer than a bare piece of metal.
Gold is always a popular color for ice fishing lures but in the case of the Skandia the best paint job seems to come in firetiger. You might not think that a striped paint job would have much of an effect when it comes to such a small fishing lure, but in my experience the firetiger Skandia jigs outfish others in almost every situation.
Lindy Ice Worm Jig
The Lindy Ice Worm Jig is a great ice fishing jig with a strange shape. I am not sure how they came with this thing. I used to think they were planning on making the head able to snap off if a lighter jig was required. Whatever the reason they work just as the are, especially for crappies.
To be honest, I don’t know why the Ice Worm Jig appeals so much to crappie. I could lie and make something up, but it should be sufficient to say that crappie really love them no matter the reason. This was really proven to me once when I ran out of minnows over a big school of crappies but yet kept catching fish on untipped pink Ice Worm Jigs for a few more hours. The bites weren’t as fast as they were when I had live bait, but they still kept coming.
You have probably noticed there are a lot of Lindy products on this list. What can I say? They are a well known company with a long history of producing high quality and effective gear for both open and hard water.
Clam Dingle Drop
Over the years some truly bizarre looking ice fishing jigs have come on the market. The Dingle Drop is no exception, but since it’s made by Clam you already know that it has best tested by hardcore ice fisherman.
I carried the Dingle Drop around for quite a while before I actually tied one on. It was a slow, cold day, and I has already been through a lot of other ice jigs. Since I wasn’t getting into any fish I decided to try it out. Boy am I glad I did!
The inactive schools of bluegills I was fishing over all day suddenly woke up and came alive. Within an hour I had caught five or six, which was pretty amazing considering that none of us could get as much as a look from a single fish all morning.
Thinking I might have experienced a fluke, I tied the Dingle Drop on again in other difficult situations and caught fish more often than not. That’s why I am confident about putting the lure on this list of the best ice fishing jigs even though it looks like my grandmothers earrings.
I couldn’t tell you why the Dingle Drop works as good as it does. The only thing I can think is that the little dropper wiggles and moves underwater giving the jig a lot of life and making it look like the types of small aquatic insects that fish like to eat.
On days when any old jig would work there’s really no need to tie on a Dingle Drop. But when you are on fish that won’t hit any of your other jigs, it is a great time to tie one on and give it a little wiggle.
Tungsten is the best
No matter what brand or design of jig you go with, tungsten is nearly always the best material. Tungsten is heavier and denser than lead so you can get a heavier jig in a much smaller package. That means you can drop through the water faster, maneuver the jig with better control and pick up small bites from finicky fish in cold water.
I enjoy going through my ice fishing jigs at the beginning of each season and figuring out what I need to stock up on. I also like to browse the websites and shelves of ice fishing retailers to see what’s new and exciting. If you don’t have the time or motivation for that, you could always pick up a nice tungsten ice fishing jig assortment and have most of your bases covered.