4 of the Best Places to Ice Fish

Whether you appreciate the solitude that comes with being one of the few anglers out on a frozen lake at sunset or just look forward to uninterrupted time spent with friends and family in an ice shanty atmosphere, there are a few things to appreciate about winter — ice fishing is one of them.

ice fishing perch

Not sure where to ice fish or which lakes will offer the best ice fishing experience? Well, maybe I can help you narrow down your options. Here are four of the best places in the U.S. to go ice fishing based on a random survey I conducted with several of my Northern fishing friends.

  1. Lake Winnebago, Wisconsin. Since Lake Winnebago is the largest inland lake in the state of Wisconsin, there are plenty of places to drill a hole and try your luck. The lake has high populations of walleye, perch, white bass and sturgeon (the self-sustaining sturgeon population in this lake is rated as one of the best in North America) so it is a favorite spot of anglers throughout the nation. One of the most important tips to remember when planning an ice fishing trip on Lake Winnebago or any lake, is to check with the local fishing guides and marinas regarding the ice conditions so that they can alert you of any areas to avoid for safety reasons.

  2. Saginaw Bay, Michigan. Saginaw Bay consists of 1,143 square miles of water within Lake Huron on the eastern side of Michigan. Known for being a great walleye fishery, the best months for ice fishing are generally December through mid-March depending on weather and ice conditions. Since they are large, open expanses of water, ice shanties are a good idea to offer protection from the wind.

  3. Lake Washington, Minnesota. Lake Washington is a popular weekend ice fishing destination among anglers who live in Minneapolis since the lake is located just about one hour west of the city. The 1,487-acre lake is one of the largest in southern Minnesota and is a great spot to take kids ice fishing for crappie.

  4. Devil’s Lake, North Dakota. Devil's Lake is located approximately 91 miles west of Grand Forks, North Dakota and covers just over 330 square miles. Perch, walleye and northern pike are three of the most commonly targeted species during ice fishing season on Devil's Lake. Many anglers plan winter trips to Devil's Lake because of the exceptional opportunities it provides for catching trophy perch through the ice.

kristin lee pike

If you are a fan of ice fishing, where do you prefer to set up your shanty? Is there a lake that isn't included in this list that you would recommend? If so, be sure to share it on the TakeMeFishing.org Facebook Page by commenting on the link to this post.

Photo Credits: Daniel Kenney (perch photo) and Upnorth Media Productions (northern pike photo)

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.