Ice fishing for trout is excellent, and while it is a smaller niche in the ice fishing realm, it has grown in popularity in recent years.
There are some great lures on the market for trout these days, and in this post, we will discuss our top lure picks for catching trout through the ice.
The Best Ice Fishing Lures for Trout by Category
Best Ice Fishing Spoons for Trout
Manufactured today by the Bay de Noc lure company, the Swedish Pimple was first devised over half a century ago by two brothers in Sweden.
The lure quickly proved to be a fish-catching machine for a wide number of species, and being popular among ice anglers to this day is a testament to its' effectiveness.
When vertical fishing the Swedish pimple, you can create a deadly wiggling and fluttering action that perfectly mimics a dead fish and is just begging to be eaten by any trout that gets the spoon in its sights.
The Swedish Pimple comes in an eye-boggling number of colors and is offered in multiple sizes.
This lure is one of the best ice fishing lures for trout that there is.
- Great color selection
- Time tested design
- Easy to use
The Macho Minnow is a very innovative lure design coming from northland tackle, and when it comes to ice fishing presentations, Northland tackle is one of the best.
Using the Macho Minnow with a "Lift-Fall" approach will cause the bait to fall with an erratic tumbling and darting fashion creating the appearance of a distressed or wounded baitfish.
The Kicker tail will also make a slight clicking or clacking noise to call out to any nearby fish while also producing some nice flash.
The macho minnow also comes with great holographic film color patterns, which is the best of both worlds, creating both flash and color.
The lure ice fishing lure also comes in a variety of sizes, and the colors are just too good to pass up.
- Great colors
- Holographic designs
- Amazing action
Best Ice Fishing Jigs for Trout
The Rapala jigging rap is undoubtedly one of the best multi-species ice fishing lures ever devised.
Not only will it slay perch, crappie, walleye, pike, and bass, but it also will absolutely hammer trout in the right conditions.
This ice-fishing lure has great action when you use subtle rod taps. Subtle rod taps will create a rise and fall action coupled with swimming action in a circular pattern, and it really does make the lure come alive and drive trout wild.
Snaps of the rod upward will cause the bait to rip vertically and slowly fall while corkscrewing until the slack is gone, and this can be particularly effective when the trout are aggressive.
And as with most lures made by Rapala, there's quite a large selection of color pattern choices from colorful to natural.
- Works great for any predatory fish
- Great colors and fish patterns
- Amazing action for a vertical jigging lure
Skirted jigs can be a great option when ice fishing trout.
The little nipper bucktail jig is a great jig made by a company that has specialized in jig presentations for decades.
The feathers are tied and glued to ensure they stay on the jig for an extended period of time, and they also come in some excellent colors.
The feathers also work better in cold water and maintain a great pulsing action when other lures like soft plastics stiffen up and lose action in the cold water.
This is a great finesse presentation when the bite is tough, and trout aren't cooperating with other lure types.
- Finesse bait
- Feathers have great breathing action underwater
- Great color choices
Best Ice Fishing Soft Plastics for Trout fishing
The Berkley GULP! Minnow has been the go-to soft plastic presentation for anglers of many different species for years.
The GULP! minnow is also one of the best artificial bait imitations out there and, at times can even outperform live bait, making it one of the best ice fishing lures for trout.
The unique scent that is used to infuse these baits really triggers species like trout, and in certain ice fishing situations, can mean the difference between getting strikes and not.
The GULP! minnow comes in a variety of colors as well as sizes, with 2.5, 3, and 5-inch sizes choices.
- Deadly attractant infused into bait
- Just as good as live bait in many cases
- Great colors
Not too many anglers think of using baits that are designed for open-water fishing to catch trout while ice fishing.
The Moxi was designed as a walleye presentation to be used via vertical jigging or casting, but the Moxi can actually be used for ice fishing as well, and a trout will have no issue eating it.
The Moxi can be vertically jigged at any depth, and with the right jig heads, it is an excellent option for ice fishing for trout in places like rivers that feature moderate currents.
The ribbed body of the Moxi was built for vibration, and any movement by the bait in the water sends out more natural vibration than other soft plastics of the same size.
- Great design that promotes natural vibration
- Great for ice fishing on rivers
- It can be used with a wide variety of jigs
Best Ice Fishing Spawn Lure for Trout
Using egg imitations is also an excellent presentation for trout fishing through the ice.
Fireballs are a very convincing and natural presentation of actual roe when it comes to appearance, taste, and smell.
The fireballs are super soft and really do look exactly like the real thing.
The Pautzke fireballs also come in a variety of colors and flavors, including species-specific colors like coho, chinook, and brown trout, among other colors like purple, red, chartreuse, gold, and red glitter.
The flavors available consist of anise, garlic, and shrimp.
- Nearly impossible to distinguish from real fish roe
- Species-specific and bright colors
- Multiple scents/flavors
There is no imitating when it comes to the Atlas spawn sacs, and that is because they consist of real salmon roe.
The sacs are great for trout ice fishing while using fishing aids like the automatic fisherman, tip ups, or dead stick fishing.
The Atlas spawn sacks come in two different colors, red and pink, and some can be purchased with small color styrofoam roe imitations added to the sacks to allow for buoyancy.
Not only are these great ice fishing lures for trout, but like many of the lures on this list, they can be used in trout fishing year-round.
- Real salmon roe sacks
- Great for passive fishing tactics
- Two different color choices
The sac attack is soft plastic spawn sac imitations that are very easy to handle and work with.
Simply throw it on a single hook like you would any other soft plastic lure and start fishing.
The soft plastic egg clusters look like the real deal in the water and are infused with a great fish-attracting scent.
The sac attack comes in 4 colors which include orange or natural, chartreuse, pink, and red.
- Great Artificial spawn sac imitation
- Multiple colors to choose
- Scent infused
Ice Fishing with Lures for Trout: FAQs
How to Find Trout Under the Ice
Ice fishing for trout is a niche form of ice fishing.
Trout aren’t as widespread as other species like pike, bass, walleye, or panfish.
Once you find a river or lake that features trout, the most simple way to find where they are is to start exploring.
Exploring stretches of rivers is easier than lakes, especially rivers that have a heavy trout presence, and these are usually tributaries of the great lakes.
On lakes with deep water, which is characteristic of most trout lakes, sonar units like the Garmin Panoptix are a great tool to quickly eliminate areas that don’t have fish, as well as help spot trout easily.
What Type of Lures Does Trout Like?
Trout feed mainly on baitfish in the winter, so baitfish imitations are always going to do the job.
Other lures, like large insect imitations, can also work at this time.
Most anglers use real fish roe in spawn sacs or imitations like beads or the Pautzke fireballs to catch trout while ice fishing.
What Color Attracts Fish the Most?
Color choice depends on many factors, including water clarity and sky conditions, but you will also find that certain colors are just preferred more than others on any given day.
Baitfish imitating lures with silver flash that mimic species like shiners will work great, but some days bright colors will work better.
The easiest way to determine what color you should use is to experiment on the water and try multiple colors throughout the day.
What Lure Presentation Works Best?
When ice fishing for trout, the best presentations used are typically roe or baitfish imitations, and live bait is usually the best option, but at times when the fish are particularly aggressive, minnow imitating lures can work wonders.
Actual roe and spawn imitations always work and are what most anglers use throughout the season.
Final Thoughts on Ice Fishing Lures for Trout
Ice fishing for trout is a blast, and if you live in an area where you have waters with trout, you should definitely be giving it a shot.
There are many ice fishing lures on the market that will work for this species, and the more you go on the ice and experiment, the faster you will learn what works best for you and the bodies of water you fish on.
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