Bait and Lures

Learn more about the different types of bait and lures used for ice fishing.

Ice Fishing Bait & Lures

For an ice fishing rod, live or artificial bait will work. For your small lures consider jigs or flies. You can try teardrop jigs with horizontal presentation (the hook tip points horizontally in the water column while fishing) or banana jigs with a vertical presentation (the hook tip points vertically in the water column while fishing). For live bait, try wax worms (bee moth larva), or maggots, spikes (fly larvae), wigglers (mayfly larvae) or minnows. You can drop your bait and leave it alone, or you can slowly jig to attract the fish. Jigging is most successful if a lure of any kind is used. If you do not want to use live bait, try plastic lures. Plastic lures come in a variety of colors and shapes and are made to resemble a worm.

For bigger fish, a larger hook with larger live bait like minnows, smelt, salmon eggs or spawn bags is frequently used. If you plan to jig with live bait, spawn bags or salmon eggs are the best option.

Content courtesy of Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Video courtesy of USA Ice Fishing Team