7 Best Ice Fishing Destinations in the U.S.


If you are a fishing enthusiast that is not the type of person that lets the cold weather keep him/her away from his/her hobbies and away from great fishing gear, you are most probably searching for the best ice fishing spots out there. Because we are well aware that finding this type of information online does not come without its difficulties, we have decided to lend you a helping hand.

Therefore, after doing the legwork on your behalf, we have put together a list of destinations that you should take a good look at before deciding on a place and making the necessary arrangements.


Lake of the Woods

If you ask any professional fishermen what is the best ice fishing lake in Minnesota, they are more than surely going to direct you to Lake of the Woods. Known for being a great location to aim for crappie, walleyes, northern pike and saugers, Lake of the Woods is clearly a destination that shouldn’t be missed.

The winter fishing season starts in December and ends in March. If you are planning a getaway with your friends and you are worried about finding accommodation, you should know that the locals offer fishing houses for rent. Also, once you get there you can always hire a professional guide that can point you to the best spots and, if needed, initiate you in the art of ice fishing.


Lake Winnipeg

Located in Manitoba, Lake Winnipeg is one of the best-regarded places where one can go to if he/she wants to fish walleye during the winter. In fact, this body of water is considered a great place to cast for “greenback” walleyes, a type of fish that can be effortlessly caught by using rattle baits.

As a plus, the lake is rich in sizeable fish that are not difficult to catch, a reason why all novices in this sport should definitely consider it. Moreover, the average size of a walleye that can be fished here is of about 24-26”.

Although the lake is pretty wide, if you want to try your strengths by tackling a difficult location it is best that you choose the southern part of Lake Winnipeg, more precisely near the mouth of Red River. Still, if you pick this location, you should come equipped with high-quality gear that can withstand the abuse.


Devils Lake

If you live near North Dakota, you should necessarily try out the Devils Lake. Here, you can cast your rod in hopes of fishing perch, walleye, and northern pike.  One of the biggest advantages of the location is the fact that it provides fishers with a prolonged winter season.

Moreover, this lake is home to numerous types of fish that reach trophy-like dimensions. As a plus, this lake is known as a reputable perch fishery where one can actually catch a 15-16” walleye. Similarly, the lake is filled with freshwater shrimp.

If you are in need of help in order to get the gist out of the overall experience, you can always pay for both accommodation and guiding. If you decide to do so, you will be supplied with a heated portable fish house, holes will be professionally drilled for you multiple rods and the additional equipment and bait. Even more so, a guide will be with while you are fishing.


Leech Lake

Another popular destination that might interest you is Leech Lake, in Minnesota. According to the specialists, this lake contains a great walleye fishery that is worth one’s money and attention. Likewise, some other species that one can aim for while here include perch, panfish, and burbot.

Additionally, if you are a fan of fishing during the night, here you can catch some quality, sizeable eelpout. Similarly to the previous location that we have presented priory, if you decide to come and fish here you can rent accommodation and hire a guide that can help you be on your best game.


Bay of Quinte

If you’ve been wondering where can one do the best ice fishing in Ontario, the answer is Bay of Quinte. Situated in the northern part of Lake Ontario, this bay is overflowing in giant walleyes that weigh over 14 lbs.

What is more, the location should be on your top list due to the fact that it is not frequented by many fishermen. Thus, by settling for this destination, you won’t have to worry about the competition.

If you decide to come here, you should check out the following areas: the Hay Bay, the Bellville Bay, the Telegraph Narrows and the Trenton Bay. Other similar locations in Ontario are Lake Simcoe, Rainy Lake or Dryberry Lake.


Lake Erie

With great numbers of trophy-sized fish, Lake Erie is another location that professional fishermen warmly recommend. However, the main disadvantage that might not allow you to enjoy its rich basin is the fact that this lake does not always freeze over. However, in the years when this happens, it might be a good idea to give it a chance. Here you can try your luck while fishing for some heavy walleye.

If you still have some extra days on your hand, you can always take a trip to the Presque Isle Bay that is located nearby. Once you get here, you can test your telescopic fishing rod angling for 12-13’ crappies, bluegills or perch.  Surely, you won’t be able to top this memorable trip anytime soon!


The Bays and Harbors of Lake Michigan

If you regularly spend time on/near Lake Michigan, chances are that you’ve heard about the opportunities that its bays and harbors can offer you. For example, the Bay of Green Bay is overflowing in walleyes that weigh over 20 pounds as well as thanks to its rich number of whitefish.

If you decide to come here, keep in mind that the best time to fish walleyes is during low-light. Still, if you want to try your skills with some whitefish, it might be better to target them during the day.

The Milwaukee Harbor is another location that should interest you, particularly because this is a good spot where you can fish sizeable steelhead and brown trout during the winter. Nevertheless, the Chicago Harbors are great if you intend to angle for some perch.


Additional suggestions

Before you pack your gear to go ice fishing, it is crucial that you go online and search for some basic tips and tricks that can help you have a great experience. For example, you should search for info about baits, about how to drill holes and about how you should use your equipment correctly.  

Even more so, it is essential that you know how to recognize the signs of hypothermia as this type of information might turn out to be the most valuable. Also, make sure that you know what you should do in case one of your fishing buddies falls into the water.

Additionally, while out fishing, be sure that you bring a cellphone with you so that you can call for help in case of trouble. Moreover, you should always have an additional set of warm clothes with you at all times.



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