How To Buy The Best Ice Fishing Lures – The Definitive Guide

Best Ice Fishing Lures

The key to being successful out on the ice is to take the right lures with you.

Of course, this is a much more delicate process than you can imagine as it requires a lot of understanding regarding lures.

You should know what the best ice fishing lures and ice rods for the job are, as well as which ones are ideal for specific conditions and species.

In this article, you will find that all of this and more are tackled:

Best Ice Fishing Lures

The Importance of Choosing Special Lures for Ice Fishing

Now, one of the things that you may be wondering about is why you need to be specific about the lures that you are using for ice fishing. Well, while there are various factors at play here, it really just comes down to the movement of the lure.

When ice fishing, particularly early on in the season, visibility is quite clear which means that fish are better equipped to distinguish the movement of the lure. So, if you are able to manipulate the lure in a way that makes it look more appealing to that specific fish, you increase your chance of catching it.

Of course, not every lure behaves in the same way.

This is why you have to choose a lure that is easy to move in a certain way when you are attempting to catch a particular species. Thus, you have to decide on lures that will move in a certain manner when fishing in a closed-off area.

Types of Ice Fishing Lures

As you are probably aware there are dozens or more types of lures that you can choose from. Here, however, I will walk you through the best possible options for ice fishing:

Vertical Jigs

This type of lure is positioned vertically in the water, with the hook eye at the top of the lure and the actual at the bottom.

This jig works best with the lift-fall system and has been known to attract quite a few fish with this movement. While this jig works quite well with live bait, you should look for rattle versions if you wish to use it by itself. It should be noted that these jigs don’t show up well on sonar when they are stationary but can be picked up when they are moving.

Swimming Lures

This type of lure is also known as horizontal jigs as they take up a horizontal position in the water.

There are numerous benefits to using swimming lures. For one thing, they have fast sink rates which makes them ideal for fishing at a greater depth where fish may be hiding closer to the bottom. The design of the lure also allows you to try out the ‘pounding technique’ which typically encourages fish to bite. Last but not least, this type of lure shows up on sonar very well. If you are going after panfish or even game fish, you will find horizontal lures quite useful.

Airplane Jigs

These jigs are named as such because they have fins at the end that resemble airplane wings.

Interestingly enough, the newer versions are available without the fins. What makes this jig so useful is the way that it moves when you tug on your line. It spins around in a half-circle which is quite tempting to fish.

The Process of Choosing Lure Colors

There are actually quite a few things that you need to consider before you settle on the color of a lure. These are as follows:

Check The Time of Year

The first thing you will need to think about is what time of the ice fishing season that you are fishing in. If you are either early or late in the season, then snow pack is typically not something that you need to be concerned with. Under these conditions, you can use lures that come in primary colors and aren’t all that bright.

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On the other hand, if you have to contend with gloomy weather conditions or if snow pack is quite dense, luminescent and bright colors will rule the day. The fish can see these more easily in poor lighting conditions and will respond better.

Check For Water Clarity

If the water that you are fishing in is quite clear, usually primary colors that look natural will work best. Try to stick with a jig that has just one color in shades of beige, gray, brown, white, olive, or black. If the water is murky, though, then you can use lures with contrasting colors. You will be rewarded for using lures that are bright or have luminescent colors. A metallic flash can also be useful in such situations. The same rule for murky water applies for darker times of the day like before sunrise, after the sun has set, or if there is cloud cover.

Check For Depth

If you want to catch fish that are lurking far below the surface, you have to think about the way the colors change at this depth. This is all due to the wavelength of light and color. For instance, if you are using a red, yellow, or orange lure, you should be aware that it can begin to look gray after only a few feet. On the other hand, lures in blue-green hues hold up much better. Luminescent colors, however, maintain their original color best of all.

Check For The Level of Aggressiveness with Fish

Fish have different energy levels, depending on the time of year. During the middle of the season, they are going to be quite lethargic and lazy. To attract these fish, you should stick with natural colors. On the other hand, if the fish appear to be aggressive and biting, then flashy, bright colored ones will engage them even more.

If you are looking for a few more tips on choosing lure colors, check out this video:

The Top Ice Fishing Lures

These are some reviews from the best ice fishing lures available:

Dynamic Lures HD Ice Fishing Lure

Dynamic Lures HD Ice Fishing Lure | 2.00 Inch 0.20 Oz |...
  • Versatile Ice Fishing Lure
  • Hollow Construction - Perfect Combination of Sound and Action
  • Rapid and Responsive Sinking Action
  • Optimally weighted to attract and land stubborn fish

If you are looking for a well-rounded vertical jig, the Dynamic Lures HD fishing lure certainly fits the bill. What’s particularly great about this jig is the fact that it uses sight as well as sound to lure the fish in. The jig boasts a hollow construction which rattles while jigging. The benefit of this is that you don’t have to use live bait if you don’t want to, as the sound adds additional appeal to the lure. I had a lot of luck with using this lure at greater depths. It sinks really fast but doesn’t flutter too much while it does so which always helps.

This is the type of jig that you can use in all kinds of weather as it gives off a glow. Best of all, you don’t have to wait until it is dark for the jig to give off light as it works just as well during the daytime. This makes it quite useful for when the weather is simply overcast instead of dark. The one point where this jig fails a bit is with the colors. There are some great, natural options but fewer brightly colored options. So, these may be less appropriate at depths, for more aggressive fish.

What we don't like
  • Disappointing color range

Rapala Jigging Rap 05 Fishing Lure

Rapala Jigging Rap 05 Fishing Lure (Perch)
  • Minnow Profile
  • Balanced Design
  • Environmental Zinc Weighted
  • Standard and Glow Color
  • Single Reversed Hooks

The first thing that you should know about this fishing lure is that it isn’t specifically categorized as an ice fishing lure. This doesn’t stop it from being one of the most effective lures available on the market. Actually, you will be hard-pressed to er all-weather fishing lure, period. What I like about this jig is that when it is cast under the ice, it actually moves around in slow circles. This movement and the size of the lure had the crappies absolutely nipping at the jig. This is also a good choice for fishing early or late in the winter season, in open water.

The minnow profile also helps to reel in the predators, particularly those who like to swim in schools typically. The movement and the colors of the fish are tempting enough even for larger gamefish. The Rapala Jigging Rap is available in both natural and glow colors. So, you get a couple to make sure that you are covered for all occasions. The color, in combination with the yo-yo movement that you can get while jigging, means that this is a lure that works well close to the bottom of lakes as well. The only real complaint regarding this lure is the quality. The fin at the end has a tendency to break off if you don’t handle it very carefully.

What we like
  • Great for all kinds of fish, including gamefish
  • Circular movement
  • Natural and glow colors
What we don't like
  • Poor quality fins

Krazywolf Glow Ice Fishing Kit

Krazywolf 45 Pieces Glow in Dark Ice Fishing Jig Kit
  • 45 pieces jig assortment featuring mutiple sizes, colors, and shapes.Glow in dark.
  • Multi-specie, multi-use jigs for nearly any day on the ice
  • Great for beginner ice fishermen,perfect gift
  • Enjoy catching fish even in the coldest of conditions
  • General ice thickness guidelines caution:Under 4" - STAY OFF,4" - Ice fishing or other activities on...

As I have probably made clear by now, there is just one lure that can fit all situations. This is especially true for ice fishing when the weather conditions can change from one hour to the next. What I value about this kit is that you will be prepared for most situations that will arise when you are out ice fishing. While all the jigs glow, they come in various colors and shapes so that they appeal to a wider range of fish. For instance, you have the more natural hued ones that can be used closer to the surface while the strong glow makes it ideal for fishing after dark or under a snow pack.

The variation in size also makes these a great option for different fish. I found that they were good for perch and crappies, in particular. The larger sized ones may even bag you a couple of gamefish like walleyes. There isn’t actually too much to complain about these lures. However, it would be more helpful if a few of them were made out of plastic instead of lead so that the movement would look a little more natural.

What we like
  • Lots of choice
  • Good, long lasting glow
  • Can catch larger variety of fish
What we don't like
  • Some lures could use more flexibility

Eagle Claw Glow Ice Kit

Eagle Claw Glow Ice Kit
  • 19 per retail
  • Glow ICE Kit
  • 16 Assorted Glow jigs, 1 Jeg Eye Tool
  • 1 Mini flashlight w/4 Extra Batteries

The Eagle Claw Glow ice kit is advertised as being a ready to fish kit but I would recommend this for beginners over any other angler. These jigs certainly do as they claim with the glow being good for overcast conditions and snow packs. Also, if you prefer smaller fishing lures and are looking to catch panfish, these jigs will actually come in quite handy. You are unlikely to be successful with any larger, though. The other advantage is that the hooks are incredibly sharp so when I did get a bite, I found that the fish remained on the hook.

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The main downfall of this kit is probably the quality. While the jigs are well crafted, there are several flaws. For instance, the paint covering the eyelets means that you have to first dislodge it before using it. Also, after using the jigs for a while, I noticed that the glow wasn’t as strong as before which means that there is a good chance that it will continue to fade. If you are looking for quantity over quality though and want something that will do in a pinch, this kit will certainly suffice.

What we like
  • Jigs are brightly colored and glow
  • Several options available
  • Good for small panfish
  • Sharp hooks
What we don't like
  • Poor workmanship

Celsius Ice Panfish Jigs

Get 18% OFF
Celsius Panfish Assorted EC5C-5A Jigs 16 Pieces
  • Package length: 1.524 cm
  • Package width: 6.35 cm
  • Package height: 18.542 cm
  • Product Type: FISHING HOOK

What really stands out about these jigs, for me at least, is that these lures have been really well-designed. They are just the right size for panfish and the colors, particularly the holographic effect really does get them biting. Also, because the glow is activated by light, you can use it anytime during the day too. At the same time, the colors are muted enough to attract the fish closer to the surface, during sunny days and in clear water as well. This is a kit that beginners will enjoy in particular, as it has all that you need.

There are only a few gripes about the jigs. The first is that the eyelet is covered in paint which means that when you try to remove it, there is always a chance that you will chip some of the paint off the jig as well. I would also like to see a greater variety of colors. This kit is quite heavy on the yellows, oranges, and reds which don’t perform so well at greater depths. So, these are best suited for fishing for panfish closer to the surface.

What we like
  • Bright colors and glow that lasts
  • Great for panfish
  • Works well for fishing closer to the surface
What we don't like
  • Finish quality needs to improve
  • Isn’t suitable for greater depths

Goture Ice Fishing Jigs

Goture Ice Fishing Jigs with Treble Hook Single Hook...
  • DURABLE HOOK DESIGN//Durable carbon steel hook for efficiency and longevity.the hook is one of the...
  • BALANCED MINNOW BODY DESIGN//Our fishing lure set is composed of high quality components for...
  • 3D STEREOSCOPIC EYES//Made of epoxy material super-realistic design and 3D holographic color add...
  • UNIQUE DESIGN FOR THE BEST PERFORMANCE//Jigs feature vivid and colorful paint which are attractive...
  • SATISFACTION GUARANTEE// Package include 4 pieces ice fishing lure. Please feel free to contact our...

What stands out about the Goture ice fishing jigs is value for money. The lures are well-built and designed which makes this price completely worthwhile, particularly if you want to compare it to high-end lures. I like all the attention to detail that you get with this lure. The body and fins have been built to mimic a real minnow as much as possible. Due to this, you can forego the use of live bait when fishing with these lures. Even the eyes are made to look like that of a real fish. What’s great is that all of this really does come together and you will find a lot of walleyes, crappies, and perch biting.

There are only a few points of contention with this jig. The first would be the fact that these are all hard bodied lures which means that they lack the flexibility offered by soft lures. The other issue is that the jigs are a bit big which can prove to be tricky to work with. Apart from this, however, there aren’t any complaints. These are the type of jigs that can be enjoyed by all anglers.

What we like
  • Good design and attention to detail
  • Good quality
  • Nice colors
What we don't like


  • Lacks flexibility
  • A bit big

What Is The Best Ice Fishing Lure?

I would crown the Rapala Jigging Rap 05 as the clear winner in this race.

Rapala Jigging Rap 05 Fishing Lure (Perch)
  • Minnow Profile
  • Balanced Design
  • Environmental Zinc Weighted
  • Standard and Glow Color
  • Single Reversed Hooks

What really sets this lure apart is the jigging movement that you can get out of it, including the yo-yo movement. This also increases the versatility of the lure and the many ways that you can use it while you are ice fishing. The minnow design of the jig also ensures that you can do away with live bait completely. The variety of the colors makes it useful for all conditions encountered while ice fishing. The quality of the lure means that you will be able to use it over and over again, to great success.

So there you have it, all of the information regarding ice fishing lures as well as some guidance on what the best options are.

This page was last updated on 2022-08-29. Affiliate links and Product Images are from Amazon PAAPI

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