Best Places To Ice Fish In The US
Whether you are a novice or a seasoned professional, the US offers up a plethora of places for the ice fishing fanatic. Whether your preference is a large lake or you want to discover somewhere more intimate to cast your line, we’re about to reveal the 10 Best Places To Ice Fish In The US. Fishing outdoors in the winter months brings with it a whole new set of challenges and rewards. It provides an opportunity to be at one with nature in a more adventurous setting. How frozen really is that lake you’re sat on top of? It also serves up the tantalizing possibility of catching perch, trout, and salmon. So grab that ice fishing auger and your thermals as we prepare to serve up the hot spots so to speak when it comes to ice fishing.
1. Silver Lake, California
It may well be in the proverbial golden state, known for its sunshine, but this spot is a popular location for ice fishing. Its especially appreciated as a spot that can deliver up large hauls. It’s not unheard of for anglers to land a mackinaw trout that’s over 30 inches long and weighs up to 12 points. The downside is that it’s not easily accessible as it sits at over 7,000 feet and the surrounding areas haven’t yet been adequately developed. That’s the beauty of this fishing spot though, and for those of you courageous enough to make the trip there, the spoils are plenty.
2. Lakes Of The Woods, Minnesota And Canada
Claiming to be the walleye capital of the world, our next top spot has been commercialized, so you’re unlikely to be alone out there fishing, but that can be a good thing from a safety perspective. Lake of the Woods is located in Minnesota and also into Ontario and Manitoba and connects the Great Lakes. One thing you can be sure of is a first-rate fishing experience. With everything from pike to bass, jumbo perch to crappie, whitefish and yes, that walleye on offer. The area also offers plenty of ice fishing shelters as well as comfortable accommodation. If you opt to bunk down for the night in one of the pre-heated fish houses, you may even be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the spectacular Northern Lights.
3. Lake Champlain, Vermont
The region of Vermont is known for its wonderful hospitality, but it’s also just as good at serving up excellent ice fishing conditions all the way through till mid-March. There’s a healthy variety of fishing on offer with species including white and yellow perch salmon, like as well as walleye and lake trout. The season opens in January, and there are plenty of ice fishing shelters to rent. You can even go for a cabin featuring an optional wood stove for when you need to stave off that winter chill.
4. Lake Simcoe, Ontario
Lake Simcoe is a real hot spot for ice fishing. It also happens to be the place where the Canadian Ice Fishing Championships take place so that says plenty about the quality of fishing you can experience. The downside is that such a popular spot is likely to get busy, especially from January onwards. It’s possible to fish seven days a week with both deep and shallow water fishing available. You can also choose to rent out a hot box hut or even an ice bungalow. The whole shoreline is peppered with fishing outfitters, cabins, and charters. It’s especially popular for its large perch.
5. Devils Lake, North Dakota
You really can’t go wrong with a spot of ice fishing at Devils Lake. There are a whopping 100,000 acres of frozen water just waiting for you to explore. The tourism board is proud of the fishing on offer. There sure are plenty of large and healthy species to catch — everything from walleye to jumbo perch as well as large-sized pike. You need to buy a license with prices starting at around $150 a day including your own fishing guide. We have it on good authority that particularly bountiful areas to fish include Minnewaukan Flats, Cactus Point as well as Rocky Point.
6. Lake Washington, Minnesota
This is a popular destination for many Minnesotan based anglers and serves up ample opportunities to catch a variety of species during those winter months. Lake Washington is one of Minnesota’s largest lakes at just under 1500 acres and has a maximum depth of 50 feet. When it comes to fish, you can find big bass, yellow perch, yellow and black bullhead as well as bigmouth buffalo.
7. Fort Peck Reservoir, Montana
With over 1500 miles of shoreline and depths that stretch as far as 200 feet in places, this is huge and can deliver up that ideal intimate fishing experience. A real back to nature, secluded spot that’s definitely worth the trip. It’s a day’s drive from any major city, but this remoteness adds to the sense of adventure and rush of adrenalin. When you get there, you won’t be disappointed with at least 50 species of fish swimming in the reservoir. There’s everything from pike to trout, sauger to walleye. Some of the fishing conditions are challenging, though ultimately rewarding, so it’s perhaps not best suited for the novice. You should definitely back that ice fishing auger, and a depth sonar would be a good shout too.
8. Strawberry Reserve, Utah
Situated about 25 miles outside of Heber City, this spot in Utah offers excellent and easily accessible ice fishing from January through to March. The reservoir sits in a valley surrounded by mountains and offers up cutthroat and trout as well as many other species.
9. Birch Lake, Alaska
It’s referred to as one of the “Big Three,” and it’s recognized as being an ideal spot for novice ice fishers as there’s a bountiful array of catchable fish including rainbow trout and coho salmon. The Alaska Department of Natural Resources also recommends this as being an ideal place to bring children too and introducing them safely to the thrill of winter ice fishing. This is one spot where you really can make fishing a family affair.
10. Antero Reserve, Colorado
This isn’t going to be the spot you pick if you want to get away from it all and experience peace and quiet. The reservoir is a popular spot and can get particularly busy during the winter weekend months. However, there’s plenty of trophy-sized fish on offer, which makes it a tempting and tantalizing prospect. Expect to land freshwater shrimp and rainbow trout as well as all kokanee salmon.