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Jiggin Freak
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Hair jigs work great through the ice but neither of those materials would be my first choice. IMO - Bucktail is more for cold water walleye and smallies... marabou is for warm water crappie. Kip tail (calf tail) is my favorite for ice jigs. You can make some nice simple ice jigs with a single hackle feather also. Leave a short section for the tail then palmer wrap the rest up near the jig head.

That said, I have 1 small lake I know has some giant crappie that fishes different than most places. The average crappie are huge though. I have made some light weight heads with a long and sparse bucktail tie that I use almost exclusively there. They work in the right circumstance.

Whatever you tie.... tie it sparse. Never had much luck with big full ties through the ice. They don't sink very good either.

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Kip tail (calf tail) is my favorite for ice jigs. You can make some nice simple ice jigs with a single hackle feather also.
Hey Attica - do you have any examples from some of your collection? Not sure if you got any photos or anything. Curious on what these look like. I'm assuming you hand tied them yourself.
 

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Rooster, have tried hair, but stick to micro plastics..takes a while to get confidece to fish them, but once you do..you will never have buy live bait agin. was on my lake yesterday(Hillsdale) 3inch, just messing around and caught about 15, no monsters yet but they smacked that rubber on Tunstens
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm a big fan of the little atoms & Berkley 1" minnows on the ice. But, I've been doing well with hair jigs all year. Just want to give it a try on the ice. I'm going to get some kip tail, tie-up some ugly jigs, and give them a try.
 

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My latest InFisherman had an article on “micro” baits when the fishing get tough. Some great pics of the authors faves. He had tiny(down to 1/80 oz.) jigheads with 1/2” of MARIBOU tails tied to them-he says, “just enough to cover the hook”, and that(his opinion) No Live Bait is ever needed(feels the slight quiver/shiver of the ‘bou is all it takes to get big, finicky panfish to attack! I only use maribou on panfish jigs(hard and soft fishing) and this guy’s endorsement was very well received. And yes, he mentioned “tiny” plastics on a plain(micro) jig head as his backup plan. He never uses line higher than “quality” 2# test when micro fishing. The ones in the pic on the right are my versions, top is 1/80oz , bottom is 1/64)
Window Toy Glass Plastic Transparent material
 

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Tip: If you’ve never checked out Meijer’s fishing dept, do it. They have a much different selection of jigs than most if the other places. Some great plain(painted) “micro“ heads(many plain without* the “tie collars”). Another tip, tieing tungstens(normal “knot at the eyelet”) leaves them hanging at abt an angle of 30 degrees), running the line “thru“ the ‘hook point’ side(don’t tie yet) back along the head and tie a snell knot on hook shank right behind the head. This configuration gets them to hang nearly “horizontal”! The snell knot helps keep plastics snug to the head as well. You’re welcome.
 

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Tip: If you’ve never checked out Meijer’s fishing dept, do it. The have a much different selection of jigs than most if the other places. Some great plain(painted) “micro“ heads(many plain without* the “tie collars”). Another tip, tieing tungstens(normal “knot at the eyelet”) leaves them hanging at abt an angle of 30 degrees), running the line “thru“ the ‘hook point’ side(don’t tie yet) back along the head and tie a snell knot on hook shank right behind the head. This configuration gets them to hang nearly “horizontal”! The snell knot helps keep plastics snug to the head as well. You’re welcome.
Great idea on the snell knot, I never thought of that one! Clever!
 

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Also, anyone use full size (software size) jigs for crappie on the ice?
I’ve never tried the larger(what I’d refer to as soft water) jigs while ice fishing. The vertical nature of ice fishing is much different from how you present jigs to crappie in soft water. They get to scrutinize them longer and IMO ice fishing is more a “finesse” technique/bite vs. say the “reaction” bite(the jig moving rather hastily) in soft water. I’m sure they’d work occasionally but ice-cold-water fish are for the most part, “lethargic”, or at least, somewhat. I think they’d be much more interested in a “smaller morsel” than a mouthfull!
 

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just 1 more cast!!!
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Believe it or not.... Bobby Garlands with 1/32-1/8 jig head depending on how deep they are will absolutely catch plenty of crappie if there are active under the ice. I've had exceptional crappie trips catching over 30 on the same plastic. Drop it down and stop right above them, twitch it slowly pulling it up away from them. The feeders will race up and smack it hard. Especially in stained water.
 

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Hi, Ken. Personally, I stopped using minnows for crappie maybe 50 years ago when I met an old guy named Tom Arthur who worked at Goodyear when I hired in there. He was one of the best crappie fishermen in the Portage Lakes at the time and he gave a few of his crappie jigs made with chenille bodies and maribou feather tails(fished slowly under a “Heater“ style weighted bobber) and taught me how to fan cast to locate a hungry school and “tear them up”. I continue to use those(and variations) to this day-Pure Crappie Magic! Walmart and some bait shops sell versions of those jigs in 10 packs which work fairly well. Yellow and white were Tom’s favorite colors by the way. The one in my avatar picture was my PB(15.5” black) was caught at Wft on one. Micro versions(for me), over the years, have been good thru the ice as mentioned previously.
 

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Time to fish!
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I use microplastics on a hot bite. Just got the molds to pour micro round heads to tie some jigs. I also have the molds to pour the tear drop pinmans but have to get the hooks. But got some tungsten tear drops 2 to 4mm from china and powder coated them. I am set for my lifetime lol.
 
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