By: Matt Johnson
Plastics are known to be a
proven fish catching tool in
open water, but what about
under the ice? Do plastics only
have a place out in the boat or
by the dock? Ask most modern
ice anglers and you’ll hear
Plastics come in all shapes and
sizes. They come in a palette full
of colors and some even have
impregnated scent. The opportunities for fine tuning your ice
fishing techniques with plastics really has no end. Whether
you’re finesse fishing a pod of bluegills or aggressively
searching for lake trout, plastics can and will catch fish under
There are a variety of plastics available to ice anglers today.
Everything from large Berkley products all the way to tiny
finesse plastics for panfish. Plastics and panfish go hand in
hand during throughout much of the calender year, no doubt
about it, and plastics can imitate much of what panfish feed
on. Tube jigs and twister tails are still holding on as dominant
open water lures for panfish. But what about under the ice?
Larger plastics have their time and place, but under the ice
you want to think smaller. Let’s take a look at some plastics
for winter panfish…
Custom Jigs and Spins makes a line of finesse plastics
designed especially for panfish. The famous Ratso and
Shrimpo combination has been a top producer for a lot of ice
anglers and has earned a place in most tackle arsenals.
Designed with small finesse plastics that are geared towards
triggering panfish of all shapes and sizes into biting when
other baits fail. No need to add bait to these jigs, the finesse
tails will do it on their own. Great for panfish, bass, perch and
even walleyes when using the larger sizes like a size 6. The
new Nuclear Ant by Custom Jigs and Spins has taken a lot of
victims under the ice since it came into the ice fishing scene.
Equipped with a band of four feelers, these jigs are a bluegill’s
worst enemy. A vertical jig with a lot of presence.
Another brand of plastics that I’ve had phenomenal success
with this winter are T-J’s PinPoint PlasTix*. These plastics are
panfish killers, plain and simple! They can be cut down to
match any size panfish jig and the action they give off is
incredible. They are designed for the ultimate finesse ice
angler and have a knack for triggering less than aggressive
fish into biting. They have added anise flavor molded into the
bodies, which gives off a lot of scent and appeal. With a
tantilizing action, these plastics are very soft textured and can
be rigged on both horizontal and vertical jigs. They come in
1-1/4 inch long pieces, but they can be cut down to fit smaller
presentations. Use a smaller piece when finesse fishing for
bluegills or use a whole piece when crappies are devouring
minnows. No need for live-bait.
These are just a couple options for winter time plastics and
there are several other choices out there that can produce
If you haven’t tried targeting panfish under the ice with plastics
then I highly recommend it. Plastics can easily replace
live-bait on some occasions and you will find that plastics can
even trigger a lot of negative fish into biting. The action and
vibration of a quivering finesse tail is mesmerizing and finicky
panfish tend to fall victim to their powers. Plastics are a tool
that I consider to be part of my everyday day arsenal when
out on the ice. Plastics…not just for open water, in fact, they
are heating things up under the ice!!
* T-J’s PinPoint PlasTix are based out of Custer, Wisconsin.
Available colors: Black, Bubblegum, Chartreuse, Electric
Blue, Flo Green, Glow-in-the-Dark, Hot Orange, Hot Pink,
Lavender, Motor Oil, Purple, Raspberry, Red, Root Beer and
Available colors w/ sparkle: Black, Electric Blue, Flo Green,
Motor Oil, Raspberry and Root Beer.
If you are interested in T-J’s plastics then call (715) 341-3290