Glowing Jigs for Ice Fishing

News & Tips: Glowing Jigs for Ice Fishing

When preparing your ice tackle for upcoming ice fishing adventures, choosing what color of jig to pack is a difficult decision no matter what type of fish you plan to pursue. Similar to other types of fishing, ice fishing has certain color schemes that produce bites more consistently than others. Some of the main factors that determine what will work best and when is water and light conditions. Tailoring your tackle to environmental conditions is a good place to start when fishing new waters, but adding specialty tackle such as glowing jigs to your arsenal can give you the upper hand with finicky fish.

Glowing Jigs
Glowing jigs come in a wide variety of shapes and glowing colors. Make sure you have a couple each to keep the fish happy.

Glowing jigs can be used throughout the entire ice season, no matter what the days conditions are like, and they can be especially useful tool when the bite has disappeared. The best time to switch to these radiant jigs is when there is snow covering the ice or when cloudy ice produces low light or dark conditions. Glowing jigs are also terrific for fishing in and around thick structure or deeper water ledges where they can be seen from a good distance and have the ability to excite even the most lackadaisical fish.

Using the Fishing Jigs

Like their name states, glowing jigs glow in low light or dark conditions. In order to get jigs to produce their tell-tale glow, the jig head is coated with a phosphorescent paint that needs to be charged by light for a short length of time. This charging can be done in two ways: The first way is to hold or leave the jigs out in direct sunlight. If it is overcast or you are planning on fishing at night another option is to use an artificial light source.

To charge using sunlight, place your jigs on top of your ice shelter in plain view of the sun while

Cabela's Wide-Bottom Thermal Hub Ice Shelter
Check out Cabela's Wide-Bottom Thermal Hub Ice Shelter.

you are fishing. However a small battery operated LED light is a good quick way to charge these jigs before action as well. Every time you pull your jig up to check your bait it doesn't hurt to give it a quick charge.

LED lights come in three different bulb colors: white, blue and ultra violet. The ultra violet bulb will give your glowing jigs the most bang for the buck. While not completely necessary, it is a good idea to charge your jigs as much as possible. Ideally, anglers should strive to charge their jigs about every other time they are pulled from the water or whenever the bites mysteriously stop coming. Although it might not be solely related to a fresh charge, it seems like bites from fish happen immediately after the jig is recharged and dropped back into the water.

Glowing jigs can be substituted at any time for regular jigs with many different jigging or dead drifting techniques. If you have had success in the past with regular ice tackle, your set-up can only be improved by the glowing properties of these lures.

Tipping Your Jigs

Glowing jigs — like all ice fishing jigs — can be tipped with whatever baits are most productive in your respective waters. Glowing jigs coupled to live baits, such as wax worms, leaf worms and night crawlers, are ideal for fishing small aggressive species like bluegills, trout and bass. Large live baits like crappie minnows, fat head and sucker minnows can also be used with glowing jigs enticing large toothy critters like walleye, lake trout and northern pike into biting down aggressively. Artificially prepared baits, such as Powerbait, Crappie Nibble or Gulp are all good options to use with your glowing jigs. The soft glow from the jigs will draw fish near, while the artificial bait's powerful scents help get picky fish to bite. Additionally, if you get on a school of active fish, then tipping your glowing jig with a soft plastic twister tail can produce many aggressive strikes from fish.

Suggested Glowing Jigs to Carry

Style of Jig Hook Size Color
(Glowing Base Coat)
Target Species
Football Jigs #8, #10 Green/Chartreuse, Orange/Chartreuse Sunfish, Bluegill, Perch, Crappie
Minnows Jigs #2 to #6 Pearl/Red, Green/Chartreuse Crappies, Walleye, Bass, Trout
Teardrop Jigs #10, #12 Pearl/Pink, Orange/Chartreuse Crappie
Glowing Grub Jigs #10, #12 Green/Chartreuse, Orange/Chartreuse Crappie, Perch, Sunfish, Bass, Trout
Moon Jigs #8, #10 Pearl/Red, Green/Chartreuse Crappie, Sunfish, Bluegill, Perch, Bass, Trout
Ant Jigs #8 Green/Chartreuse, Orange/Chartreuse Crappie, Bluegill, Sunfish, Perch


For avid ice anglers, the value of a glowing ice jig cannot be understated. The bottom line is that these special jigs help you catch more and bigger fish no matter what species you are actively targeting. The easier the fish can find your bait, the better your chances are that they will eat it. If nothing else, hopefully the soft glow at least peaks the fishes interest enough to bring it in for a second look at what you are offering. So the next time you head out to your favorite frozen pond, don't forget to pack a few glowing jigs. You will not be disappointed.