The best ice fishing jigs are the ones that catch fish. It is no surprise that the jigs which catch fish all have bright colors or luminescent paint. This makes sense, because of the low-light conditions under the ice. Compared to other fishermen, people who ice fish have it easy when trying to select their terminal tackle. When shopping for ice fishing jigs, you can walk right past the expensive jet divers, cowbells and floating lures of all types. A successful ice fisherman can simply exist on a few basic jigs. In addition to enjoying the frozen lake, ice fishermen have another reason to smile while their jigging away; ice fishing jigs are much cheaper than most summer tackle.
One of the best ice fishing jigs, is the one tied to questionable national pride- the Swedish Pimple. The Swedish Pimple consists of a single-point or treble hook attached with a split ring to a colorful spinner blade with a gleaming, unpainted back. On the painted side, there are lots of bright colors available, but varying patterns of red and white seem to be the most popular. When jigged in the water, the Swedish Pimple's spinner blade creates an oscillating, waving motion that reflects light and attracts fish. The brightly painted colors on the blade help to attract fish, but the flash of the unpainted rear surface of the blade acts like a beacon drawing fish to the jig.
Skin afflictions aside, the next contestant in the best ice fishing jigs is the Dickey Pearl. The Dickey Pearl is a single-point hook with a pea-sized, round blob of white, luminescent plastic just below the hook eye. True to its name, the round piece of plastic resembles a pearl. Between the hook eye and the plastic pearl, are many slivers of rubber threads available in several different colors. A white Dickey Pearl with white rubber threads and a tiny bit of red floss can really attract fish under the ice. The jigging action under the ice causes the threads to move, and the pearl reflects light making curious fish take the bait.
There is still one more ice fishing jig that has to be on the list. These jigs are hard to identify by name, but they can be identified by how they're marketed. Every ice fishing season, retailers who sell to serious ice fishermen buy several foot-tall plastic cones bristling with ice fishing jigs of every color and finish perched on the outside surface of the cone. The cones are made of soft plastic and the points of the jigs pierce the cone while the hook's barbs hold them in place. There is no packaging for these jigs. The buyer merely picks the ones they want off the cone and buys them. The best of these ice fishing jigs have luminescent paint that glows in the dark after exposure to a flashlight's beam. Fishermen charge the jigs with a flashlight beam while fishing in daylight or dark and immediately drop the jig down the ice hole. The glow-in-the-dark paint attracts fish, and the bright colors cause them to bite. The effectiveness of any ice fishing jig can be increased by adding a bit of night crawler, maggot or salmon eggs to the hook.