Tips for Using Ice Fishing Jigs
Ice fishing jigs are undoubtedly one of the most important ice fishing lures in an ice fishing tackle box. Understanding the correct method of jigging for freshwater fish in lakes throughout the north is critical in catching the big fish. Incorrectly jigging will result in few if any bites, even if fish are present in the area.
One of the most important things to remember about using ice fishing jigs is that success will rely on the action of the ice fishing lures, the ice fishing bait used on the ice fishing jigs as well as action of the ice fishing jigs to attract the fish. Ice fishing bait is an optional choice, but most ice fishermen use some kind of ice fishing bait, a maggot, larva, pre-scented plastic ice fishing bait or even a bit of fresh or frozen minnow if live ice fishing bait is not available.
The next step is to find the ice fishing jig action that seems to attract the fish. Ice fishing jigs are designed to mimic the action of a bait fishing moving up and down in the water, at about the level that fish are feeding.
Depth finders and a fish locator can be ideal in helping to set the ice fishing jigs at the correct distance off the bottom. The ice fishing jigs should then be bounced about one to two feet off the bottom, with a lag of 20 to 30 seconds between ice fishing jigs. The motion can be more or less pronounced, and it is important to keep varying the ice fishing jig motion until you find the action that starts the fish feeding.
Ice fishing jigs can also be moved from side to side in a method called “thrumming.” To move the ice fishing jigs in a horizontal method, rapidly move the end of the ice fishing rod or the tip of the ice fishing rod back and forth rapidly. By the end of the ice fishing line this will result in a one to three inch sideways movement as well as an up and down bobbing motion. Ice fishing jigs that work well in this presentation are the hard bodied or contoured type ice fishing jigs with a baited hook presentation.
Bobbers can be very effective for depth control of ice fishing jigs. Once you have had a nibble or have landed a fish at one depth, try jigging one or two feet on either side of the ice fishing jig to allow for maximum area coverage. Be sure to stay within the allowed number of ice fishing lines for the body of water that you are fishing.
If you are using ice fishing tip-ups, follow the distance regulations. Most fishing regulations require that anglers must have a clear line of vision with all ice fishing tip-ups in the water.