One of the most important aspects of ice fishing is jigging, which involves using a hook attached to an artificial lure to catch fish through the ice. In this guide, we will discuss the basics of how to jig when ice fishing.
What is Ice Fish Jigging?
Ice Fishing Jigging is a luring technique that involves using a fishing rod to mimic the movement of a live baitfish. The jig, which is a small weight with a hook attached, is placed at the end of the line and used to create a vertical motion in the water, under the ice. The end goal is obviously to attract fish to the bait.
Jigging When Ice Fishing Steps
The first step in jigging is to select the right equipment. When choosing a fishing rod, you must consider the type of fish you are targeting, as well as the depth of the water. For shallow water fishing, a light rod with a fast action is recommended. This will allow you to make quick, short movements that mimic the movement of a live baitfish. For deeper water fishing, (such as the middle of a deep frozen lake) a medium to heavy rod with a slower action is recommended.
The size of your jig should be similar to the size of the baitfish in the area you’re fishing in, as fish are more likely to bite if they believe the bait is a native, live fish. Make sure to choose a jig color based on which color your target fish is attracted to.
Basic Ice Fishing Jig Technique
Once you have your equipment, it’s time to start ice jigging.
- Drop the jig to the bottom of the hole and wait for a few seconds to let the jig settle.
- Then, lift the rod slowly and steadily, causing the jig to move up in the water.
- As the jig moves up, pause for a moment and then drop the rod quickly, causing the jig to fall back to the bottom. This process should be repeated several times, with the speed and height of the jig’s motion varying depending on the type of fish you’re aiming for.
Lift and Drop Jigging
Another effective jigging technique is called the “Lift and Drop” method. To use this technique, lift the rod slowly and steadily, causing the jig to move up in the water. As the jig reaches the desired height, drop the rod quickly, causing the jig to fall back to the bottom. I recommend using this technique when fishing in deeper water, as the quick drop will create a vibration in the water that will attract fish to the bait.
It is important to pay attention to the line when ice fish jigging, as it can provide valuable information about the presence of fish. If the line starts to move, a fish has likely taken the bait. To set the hook, lift the rod quickly and firmly, pulling the hook into the fish’s mouth. Once the hook is set, reel in the line slowly and steadily, keeping the rod bent at a 45-degree angle.
RELATED: How to Find Fish When Ice Fishing
My Recommendation for Ice Fishing Jigs
As a seasoned ice fisherman, I can say that the ThkFish Ice Fishing Jigs Kit is an excellent option for anglers looking for a variety of sizes, colors, and shapes in their ice fishing lures. The 50-piece set includes 5 different types of jigs, each with a realistic swimming action that makes them irresistible to a wide range of fish species, including walleyes, bluegills, panfish, perch, sunfish, pike, and crappies, among others. The various sizes, natural colors, and luminous patterns, along with the barbed hook tip design, make it easier to achieve a higher hook-up rate.
I like the raised fin attachment and high-fidelity paint coating on these jigs; some of them even glow in the dark, which is a great feature that helps to attract fish from deeper/darker spots. The fact that these jigs can be used in both freshwater and saltwater is an added bonus. These ice fishing jigs are durable and sharp, ensuring that the hook tip will penetrate the upper jaw of the target fish quickly. The plastic box that the jigs come in is convenient for storage and easy to carry, making it a solid option for ice anglers on the go.
Ice Fishing Jigging Improves with Practice
Jigging is an important practice in ice fishing, as it allows you to mimic the movement of a live baitfish and attract fish to the bait. By selecting the right equipment, following proper technique, and paying attention to the line, you can successfully jig when ice fishing. With patience and practice, I’m confident that you can eventually master this process and attract loads of fish!