Any angler worth their salt knows that certain fish are attracted to certain types of bait. If you are using something that they are not attracted to, you are going to have a harder time catching the fish you want. Understandably, then, you need to find the best fishing baits to have any success out on the ice.
Worms, jigs, spoons, crankbaits, and plugs are all excellent types of baits for ice fishing. If you want to catch certain types of fish, though, be sure to use the right bait for the right species. It also helps to use baits that are well-reviewed and proven to work.
If you’re unsure which baits to use, keep reading to learn about 5 of the best baits for each of these categories:
We’ll walk you through their pros and cons and explain which fish they’re best suited for. Stop fishing with the wrong baits when you could be hauling in fish after fish (up to the limit of course).
Why You Need the Right Bait to Make Ice Fishing Easier
If you want to make ice fishing easier, you need to use the right bait. Some baits work better than others so it’s important to know what to use if you want to catch fish. Of course, you could use natural baits, such as minnows, but by sticking with artificial baits, you can save money and have greater success.
Artificial ice fishing baits are generally more consistent in their performance and easier to use than natural baits. You can rig them up in a variety of ways to make them fit your needs. Best of all, though, they’re more durable and can last longer in the icy-cold depths of the water. The trick is to find the right types of bait and the best brands.
How to Choose the Right Baits for Ice Fishing
Now that you know why quality fishing baits matter, let’s quickly go over what you should look for. Consider the following points as you start shopping:
- Fish species – Different fish prefer different types of bait. Consider what you want to catch and buy the appropriate bait from there.
- Rigging – The type of rig you use can affect your fishing technique. Some styles, such as spoons, require a unique set of skills to use effectively so be sure to pick a bait that you know how to use.
- Special qualities – Consider if you need special qualities, such as glow-in-the-dark paint, reflective eyes, or special swimming patterns. Higher quality lures will likely land you higher quality fish.
All of our top picks blend these features to create what we’ve determined to be the best ice fishing lures on the market. Check out our picks for the 5 best ice fishing baits and try them out for yourself!
1. ZWMing Ice Fishing Jigs
Jigs are a type of lure usually made of lead or other materials with a hook on the end. They are often used to catch panfish, bass, and trout and are easier to use than other types of bait. For quality ice fishing jigs, we recommend the ZWMing ice fishing jig set.
- 🐟6 different shape of ice fishing jigs, include balance jig, insect shape lead jig head, total 25pcs in one plastic box
- 🐟Lead body coated with vivid pattern, bright fish scales, more realistic, can reflect light from all angles
- 🐟Hook is very sharp and durable, made of high quality carbon steel, solid built, help you catch more fish
- 🐟Life-like swimming action lure is effective in freshwater and saltwater fishing,target fish for crappies, sunfish, trout, walleyes, bass, perch etc
- 🐟Enjoy your fishing tour with ZWMING ice fishing lures,some of these jigs can glow in dark, great ice jigs for fishing lovers. 24h friendly customer service and email support, any problem please feel free to contact us
It includes 25 jigs in 6 unique shapes, including various insects and minnows. The jigs’ internal lead bodies are coated with realistic reflective patterns to help lure in fish before they’re caught on the sharp carbon-steel hooks.
- Large set of 25 jigs
- Reflective coatings and life-like swimming movements to attract fish
- Glow in the dark paint
- Not suitable for larger fish
- Contain lead
2. Bink’s Spoons’ Ice Spoons with Chain Dropper Hooks
As their name suggests, spoons are a type of lure that’s shaped like a spoon. They’re typically made from metal and have a large hook on one end. Spoon lures are usually used to catch crappie, bass, trout, and pike. Thanks to their unique shape and reflective qualities, they are a top choice for anglers trying to catch fish at a distance.
- Perfect for verticle or horizontal jigging
- Can also be used for ripping
- The ultimate jigging spoon
- For spoon specifications visit https://www;binkspoons;com/pages/spoon-specs
Our top pick for ice fishing spoons is Bink’s Spoons’ Ice Spoons. These small ice spoons weigh just ¼ oz and are designed to resemble a small minnow. They feature a short chain dropper hook that’s more durable than standard dropper hooks. This bait is perfect for luring bass, panfish, muskellunge, and perch.
- Comes in 22 different reflective colors and patterns
- Easy to use
- Small and lightweight
- Not ideal for catching large fish
- Made from lead
3. Z-Viber Micro Ultra-Light Crankbaits
Crankbaits are a special type of lure made from plastic or wood with a single hook on the end. They’re designed with a large, curved body that displaces water as they move, creating a lot of noise and drawing in larger fish. To effectively use crankbaits, you’ll have to master the right speed and action but, once you have, you can effectively catch bass and trout.
- Micro Size 0.6" (1.5cm) - 1/16oz
- Rattling System For Subtle Attractive Noise
- Tight Vibrations
- Tungsten Weight Incorporated For Faster Drop
- Use it as a Jig or a Lure.
If you’re looking for quality crankbaits, we recommend checking out Z-Viber Micro Ultra-Light crankbaits. Compared to other baits, they’re incredibly small, weighing just 1/16 oz, making them easier to carry and rig up. They feature a rattle system to increase tight vibrations and are painted to closely mimic the appearance of a small minnow.
- Crappie, Trout, Perch, Walleye, Bass, Bluegill and other type of Panfish
- Includes both a bait holder and treble hook
- Painted with a lifelike 3D holographic eye
- Designed with a tungsten weight to help the bait drop
- More expensive for an individual bait
4. Salmo Chubby Darter
Plugs are a unique type of fishing bait specifically designed to mimic the look of a baitfish. They’re usually shinier in color and include two or three hooks as opposed to the single hook found on the types of baits listed above. Also, compared to other types of bait, ice fishing plugs are rigged vertically.
For a top-quality ice fishing plug lure, we chose the Salmo Chubby Darter. This is a legendary fishing lure known for its slow sink rate and ability to catch larger bass and pike. It features two treble hooks and is painted in a realistic design meant to mimic a small perch.
- Well-reviewed and proven to effectively catch larger fish
- Includes two hooks
- Mimics life-like underwater swimming patterns
- Heavier than other options
- Only made in 6 design patterns
5. Beoccudo Trout Lures
The last bait we’re recommending is a standard worm bait. Worms are a tried and true bait used in a wide variety of fishing styles. They’re made from a combination of plastic and rubber with a single hook on the end. Although less effective than other baits, they’re excellent for catching panfish, bass, and trout.
Beoccudo Trout Lures are specifically designed to catch trout. The complete set includes 60 different 2.36-inch rubber worms colored red, yellow, green, and neon, as well as ten 1g jig hooks. The worms are designed to be soft and flexible, making them more durable than other baits.
- Can survive multiple uses
- Suitable for catching larger trout
- Set includes everything you need to start fishing
- Mainly designed for catching trout, not other species
- Only 1 color glows in the dark
If you want to start landing bigger catches, you need to use the right ice fishing baits. Check out our top 5 products and remember to consider which fish you want to catch, which rigs you know how to use, and whether you need special design features. These three factors will determine how much success you have.