Micro jigs can be an extremely deadly tactic when ice fishing for panfish. These small baits are appealing to most panfish, regardless of their size, and are an easy meal at any time during the day. While there are tons of options to choose from, here are some variables to consider when selecting the proper jig.
Tungsten or lead. For some anglers, there is no option as some northern states have outlawed lead fishing tackle all together. When lead is an option, there are a few things to consider. If you are fishing very shallow water and using a spinning setup, either material can work well. If you are fishing deep water, tungsten jigs will get down quicker and stay down better. Tungsten jigs also work much better when using inline reels due to their increased weight.
Wire thickness and hook size. This is not something typically included in product descriptions or provided by manufacturers. Looking at the hook is very important when selecting micro jigs. When using minnows, larger larvae, or plastics, use a micro jig with a slightly larger hook, like a size 10-14. When using a jig with a tiny piece of plastic or maggots, a size 14 or 16 is adequate. Inspecting the wire of the hook is also important. Having a fine wire hook similar to that found on the Fiskas Hand-Painted Wolfram Tungsten Jigs can improve your hookup ratio.
Weight. This ties in with whether you use lead or tungsten material. Typically, when using larger-sized micro jigs, lead will work fine for most applications. If you are using the smallest jig possible, tungsten usually makes the most sense.
Color. While color is always important when choosing the proper bait, this should be very basic with micro jigs. Stick to what works with normal-sized jigs, like chrome or gold, and your straight, bland colors and faded shades. Excessive detail is unnecessary with such small jigs.
Light line. This may not help with “selecting” the proper ice jig, but this is very crucial to your success while using them. Using a one- to three-pound test can greatly increase your hookups and the amount of fish you catch while using micro jigs. The lighter the line you can get away with and feel comfortable with, the more success you will have when using micro jigs.