Best Lakes for Ice Fishing in North America from Best Lakes for Ice Fishing in North America

Best Lakes for Ice Fishing in North America

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Best Lakes for Ice Fishing in North America

People living in the South may be surprised to find out that ice fishing is a fascination for many anglers in the North. It is a combination of beautiful, calm surrounding and adrenaline-inducing adventure. Ice fishing is an exciting outdoor winter recreation. The idea of pulling a giant perch through a hole in the ice, beneath which there is nothing but water, is quite thrilling. You will have stories to tell at the dinner table for years to come – especially if the ice cracks and you become stranded.

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Lake Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Lake Winnipeg, one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world, is the place to be when the deep freeze strikes. You will undoubtedly catch trophy greenback walleye, some may even be over 10 pounds. The vast lake –running about 250 miles north to south – has become very popular over the last few years. The fishing is in the southern lake basin.

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Silver Lake, California

This is one of the best spots in the Golden State for ice fishing, especially if you are on the lookout for trout that are more than 20 inches long. Some lucky anglers may catch a mackinaw trout that is more than 12 pounds and 30 inches long. You can also expect to catch brook and cutthroat. Access to the lake is not as easy – it’s at more than 7,000 feet – and the area surrounding it is not very developed.

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Lake Champlain, Vermont

This is, possibly along Lake Caspian, Vermont’s premier fishing destination. No two days will be alike at the 120-mile long lake, part of which belong to New York and Canada, where you can catch different fish every day including salmon, lake trout, northern pike, yellow perch, white perch, walleye, and crappie, according to VT Fish and Wildlife. The ice fishing season continues through mid-March.

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Devils Lake, North Dakota

Devils Lake has over 100,000 acres of frozen water to ice fish; it’s the best location for the adventurous hobby in the state. It is about 125,000 acres and teeming with huge perch and walleye. Some of the best spots along the lake for fishing are Rocky Point, Cactus Point, and Minnewaukan Flats. Many guides offer ice fishing packages that usually cost $150 per person per day.

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Lake Simcoe, Ontario, Canada

This is where the Canadian Ice Fishing Championship takes places. The shallow lake, famous for its large perch, is the most popular fishing location in southern Ontario. Once it freezes it gets filled with ice huts, snowmobiles, ATVs, and many ice anglers – you can easily forget you are actually standing on water.

Fort Peck Reservoir, Montana

The reservoir is also a good choice if you like to avoid crowds of anglers. This is not an ice fishing hot spot because there are no big cities nearby. The shortest trip to the magnificent reservoir will take about a day. The experience is worth your efforts. You will catch trophy walleye, pike, trout, northern pike, and sauger, which are in abundance.

Photo Modified: Flickr / Brad Greenlee / CC BY 4.0

Lake Washington, Minnesota

The 1,487 acre lake is about 50 feet deep at its deepest point. Hundreds of fishermen go there every winter season to catch bigmouth buffalo, crappie, black bullhead, bluegill, largemouth bass, northern pike, walleye, yellow bullhead, and yellow perch. Many locals go ice fishing in the lake because of its proximity to Minneapolis.

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Strawberry Reservoir, Utah

Lake Erie is great for giant walleyes and perch. The Catawba Island State Park and Camp Perry, the Ohio National Guard facility west of Port Clinton, are top locations for accessing the ice. The prime spots to catch walleye are just about in 20 to 30 feet of water. This is where the fish get ready for the spring spawning season in March and April. Weekend crowds sometimes reach 4,000 anglers.

Strawberry Reservoir, Utah

It lies in an open mountain valley about 25 miles southeast of Heber City Strawberry Valley and offers a range of fishing opportunities from catch and release fishing in the streams, to trophy cutthroat and rainbow fishing on the reservoir, mostly known in the winter for its abundance of trout. The best time to go is between January and March. The bays and coves are usually the prime spots to set up baits.

Photo Modified: Flickr / steveandtwyla / CC BY 4.0

Lake of the Woods, Canada

Ice fishing is truly exceptional at Lake of the Woods, one of Canada’s best known locations for this kind of fishing. Anglers go to catch walleye, pike, sauger, jumbo perch, bass, whitefish, muskie, and crappie. The lake is the second largest freshwater lake that is at least partially located in the U.S., after the Great Lakes. You can choose between dozens of fishing resorts in the vicinity.

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Lake Winnebago, Wisconsin

The lake, which is the largest in Wisconsin, is the top ice fishing destination in the Badger State. A lot of anglers go in the winter for the annual sturgeon spearing season. (The traditional winter spearing season in 2004 produced a sturgeon weighing in at 188 lbs.) Many fishermen also go for walleye, perch, and white bass fishing.

Oneidea Lake, New York

Oneida Lake, located 10 miles north of Syracuse, is the largest lake lying wholly within New York State. It is spread over about 51,000 acres. It is also known as the Walleye Lake in the state. A favorite spot to set up is Big Bay where fishermen can also find huge schools of smallmouth, largemouth bass, perch, and crappie.

Photo Modified: Flickr / Randen Pederson/ CC BY 4.0

Lake Gogebic, Michigan

Lake Gogebic in the winter is like a dream come true for every ice fisherman. The lake is best known for its renowned perch. The lake is located in Michigan’s vast Upper Peninsula. There are 10 inches or more of ice covering the lake. Anglers should be using snowmobiles because parts of the lake have slush under the snow.

Photo Modified: Flickr / Just Me/ CC BY 4.0

Cold Lake, Alberta/Saskatchewan, Canada

Cold Lake, one of the deepest lakes in the region, is definitely one of Alberta’s best ice fishing locations. Expect to catch lake trout that are about 15 pounds. Other giant fish such as jumbo perch, big pike, walleye and whitefish also await. The best time to go ice fishing is usually February and March. The lake can take longer to freeze because it’s so big.

Best Lakes for Ice Fishing in North America