The TACKLE TECH Report: Ice Fishing Pros Reveal Favorite Baits, Previously Off the Radar
Only on the tournament ice fishing scene can a singular cooperative lure brand lay claim such a decisive statement: The most successful ice lures of all time.
From the beginning, it was clear FISKAS Wolfram jigs were different—the first tiny, heavy tungsten ice lures available in North America. Little Atom microplastics similarly showed anglers for the first time what was possible when soft, malleable materials were hand-poured in miniature molds and impregnated with special scents.
So it was, with limited quantities of the jig-plastics pairings in hand, Phil and Jeff Morse started winning early ‘Trap Attack’ events with regularity. The Morses paired FISKAS Wolfram Jigs with Little Atom Nuggies to win the first North American Ice Fishing Circuit (NAIFC) Championship in 2004.
Recognizing the efficacy of the two elite though obscure ice brands during early hardwater competition, Jamie and Carmin Olson began selling FISKAS and Little Atom baits out of their van in 2001. Demand was so great before and after these local ice derbies that anglers gladly endured long lines to buy the good stuff from Olson’s then-travelling lure show, in parking lots or right out on t
he frozen lake.
In the years since, FISKAS Wolfram Jigs and Little Atom microplastics have combined to win at least six NAIFC Championships—more than any other lure— including titles in 2004, 2005, 2008, 2012, 2013 and 2015. Following years in which local ace anglers kept the lures’ success largely under wraps, several FISKAS-Little Atom ice pros have finally agreed to talk.
Chicago based Tony Boshold, a two-time NAIFC Champ and World Ice Fishing gold medalist name-drops a few choice nuggets: “All these years later, word on the street is still legit: Give me a 5-mm glow FISKAS Wolfram Jig with a pearl-glow Little Atom Jumbo Wedgee and I’ll whale on big crappies all day, anywhere. Or for big palm-stretcher bluegills, slide a red-glow Wedgee on the same exact jig.
“Another super secret agent combo is a Little Atom Shmoe Spoon with a Little Atom Wedgee or Skimpie, threaded onto the hook in an L-shape. Fishes horizontally and vertically—I call it vertizontal— at the same time. It’s crazy deadly for mammoth panfish.”
Ice fishing pioneer Phil Morse fished his first Little Atom Plastics in 1998. “I was travelling to a lot of the early Trap Attack tournaments throughout the Upper Midwest and started hearing whispers about these amazing tiny plastics. Found out the baits the anglers were hiding in their boxes were Little Atom Wedgees—the basis for all microplastics since. It was and remains the greatest micro soft plastic bait ever created.”
Morse calls out his sacred jig-plastic pairings: “No doubt, It’s a 3- or 4-mm FISKAS Epoxy Jig in E71 Glow School Bus Yellow or E61 Glow. Add a Little Atom Nuggie and you’ve got a fish-catching, money-winning combo on any body of water. One other real gem is a size 10 or 12 Little Atom Purist fished on a loop knot. Color doesn’t’ matter, so long as it’s brown,” Morse laughs. “Yeah, brown!”
Morse’s son Jeff, an ex-Cabela’s staffer, recalls the day he showed FISKAS Wolfram Jigs to tackle buyers at the fishing superstore. “When Jamie Olson opened his case of jigs, it was one of those wow moments—the beginning of a whole new generation of tungsten ice lures.
“Like my dad, I’m a big fan of a 3-mm FISKAS Epoxy Jig in the glow-school bus color,” notes Jeff Morse. “Tell you a secret, though. In tough bites, a
FISKAS Metallic Wolfram Antz in the AN98 gold pattern is an absolute fish-catcher. Tip either jig with a Little Atom Nuggie or Duppie and you’ll out-fish your buddies nine times out of ten. Also, don’t be afraid to downsize to 2.5-mm jigs with 1-pound test ASSO New Micron 3, a super strong, fluorocarbon coated line.”
Another family of exceptional ice anglers, Captain Matt Strong and his wife Laura discovered FISKAS-Little Atom products seven years ago, now crafting their own brand of “Ice Strong” titanium spring bobbers. A Lake Michigan charter captain and Upper Peninsula ice fishing guide, Strong divulges his two favorite panfish pairings. “For big bluegills, a FISKAS Wolfram Handpainted jig in blue-face glow (HP51) is money, plain and simple. The same FISKAS jig in pink-face glow (HP50) with a glow-red Little Atom Nuggie has crushed so many big crappies that the combo is tied to at least one rod all the time.”
“When you’ve got the best, purest tungsten, the finest, most durable paint finishes and the highest-grade sticky-sharp hooks all in one ice jig,” notes Boshold, “it’s pretty obvious why the all best anglers continue to trust FISKAS.
“Add up all the championships and other tournament wins, and you see why FISKAS Wolfram Jigs and Little Atom microplastics are without question the money-winningest ice lures of all time. Even though a lot of imitators are out there now, the final word on who’s got the best stuff has never changed— most of the best tournament anglers gladly fish these baits, regardless of who sponsors them.”
Acknowledged as the finest one-stop-shop for premium, cutting-edge ice products, YourBobbersDown.com continues to bolster its product line with elite items. Beyond FISKAS and Little-Atom lures, Olson has added popular J&S Plastics, ASSO technical fishing line and Fiskas Balances. Select complementary products such as Jonttu palm rods, C9 Scent Formula, Cold Snap Products, Ice-Strong Titanium Spring Bobbers and Bug Luggage jig boxes put the good stuff within the reach of all anglers.