5 Fantastic Places to Go Winter Ice Fishing in Alaska

By Debbie Hanson

Feb 21, 2024

Places to go winter ice fishing in Alaska. Best spots in south central Alaska for ice fishing, top family ice fishing spots in Alaska, ice fishing for trout

While you need to have the right mindset for winter ice fishing in Alaska, the rewards make it worth braving the chilly temperatures and limited number of daylight hours. Many of the state’s interior freshwater lakes are filled with fish species such as arctic char, rainbow trout, arctic grayling, northern pike, and landlocked salmon. If you want to plan a trip to go winter freshwater fishing in Alaska, consider focusing on the south central part of the state where there are more than 180 stocked lakes.

1. Jewel Lake, Anchorage

Jewel Lake, at Jewel Lake Park in Anchorage, is an ideal lake for families and beginners who want to try ice fishing. The 26-acre lake is stocked annually with landlocked salmon, rainbow trout, and arctic char. Jigs tipped with shrimp usually work best when it comes to getting the fish to bite through the ice at Jewel Lake.


2. Lakes of Mat-Su Valley, Anchorage

The Matanuska – Susitna Valley starts about 35 miles north of Anchorage and is home to approximately 80 roadside lakes. These lakes are stocked with landlocked salmon, arctic grayling, arctic char and rainbow trout each year – the consistent stocking schedule contributes to fun ice fishing experiences for kids and families.

3. DeLong Lake, Anchorage

If you want to ice fish in a beautiful setting that’s not far from the Anchorage Airport, consider planning an ice fishing trip to Delong Lake. The lake is a favorite among locals for ice fishing because of the abundant trout populations and wooded shorelines.

4. Chena Lake, Fairbanks

During the winter months, Chena Lake is a favorite destination for locals and visitors alike. The 260-acre lake is stocked with rainbow trout, silver salmon, and arctic char. The Lake Park at Chena Lake Recreation Area rents out three ice fishing houses by the day (the rentals even come with a bundle of firewood for the woodstove and pre-drilled ice holes).


5. Birch Lake, Fairbanks

Birch Lake State Recreation Site is approximately 57 miles southeast of Fairbanks, but offers excellent ice fishing for rainbow trout, king salmon, silver salmon, grayling, arctic char, and northern pike. The variety of fish species make this a fantastic destination for novice ice anglers. Ice fishing huts are available for rent in the winter. As a bonus, Birch Lake is a great place to see the Northern Lights or admire picturesque backdrop views of snow-capped mountains.


In preparation to go winter ice fishing in Alaska, be sure to read up on ice fishing safety and remember that the use of use of live bait in freshwaters of Alaska is not permitted.

Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit shefishes2.com or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.