When you are fishing perch, crappies, or gills through the ice it’s good to be semi organized and you could see I got a lot of tackle into small spaces. I use these compact Plano boxes to store all my jigs and panfish spoons in one spot. I’ve got my punch jigs and my punch flies, but sometimes they want a mud bug or forage minnow spoons and I have those in here too.
When it comes to rigging plastics, finding the right jig is very important. Especially when you are on the ice matching the jig to your plastic is key. When I say matching I don’t necessarily mean color. It’s the size that is more important and making sure you are getting the most action out of your plastic.
One plastic I really love using a skeleton minnow made by Northland Tackle. It really fits well agains’t your jig head and I also like it because it looks just like a blood worm. It’s got a ring worm head in the little fork tail really fragile bait but fragile baits really move around in the water.
When I rig it up I like to snip the point off of it because I want it to snug up to the back of the jig head. It’s fairly user-friendly you just want to make sure you don’t hook the tail. You want the tail to be able to quiver and float freely in the water.
This bait works great when you are targeting perch, crappies and big gills. I will say this though if there are small gills in the area, they tend to rip the tail off the plastic so keep that in mind.
When fishing is real tough I have another trick I will use when rigging the skeleton minnow. Its called the collar. What I do is I’ll take a waxxie and thread it up the hook, before I put on the plastic. Then I will string on the plastic like normal and the wax worm acts as a collar giving your bait a little more meat and scent.
Just remember to keep it simple and use they tricks and tips to help you land more panfish this winter.