Bait and Lures

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

ICE FISHING BAIT & LURES

Both live or artificial bait will work for ice fishing.

For your small ice fishing lures, add some jigs and flies to your ice fishing gear. 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 ice fishing live bait, try wax worms (bee moth larva), 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 also works with artificial ice fishing bait. If you do not want to use live bait, try plastic ice fishing lures. Plastic ice fishing lures come in a variety of colors and shapes and are most often made to resemble worms.

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 among the best ice fishing lures.

Sources:
USA Ice Fishing Team
Michigan Department of Natural Resources