Did You Know About These 5 Ice Fishing Health Benefits?

By Debbie Hanson

Jan 17, 2024

Five ice fishing health benefits. Physical, mental perks of ice fishing beyond the excitement of reeling in a catch to cardiovascular health, reduced stress, more.

Ice fishing is more than just a winter hobby or pastime. Do you know about some of the ice fishing health benefits? Learn about the physical and mental perks of ice fishing that go beyond the excitement of reeling in a catch.


Ice Fishing Physical Benefits

Once winter arrives, ice fishing can be a great way to get fresh air and stay active during a time of year when outdoor exercise opportunities can be limited.


• Ice fishing can contribute to your cardiovascular health. Walking through the snow and ice on the way to your favorite ice fishing hole can be a great form of cardiovascular exercise. Activities like hauling your fishing gear and drilling holes in the ice with an auger can also get your heart rate up.


• Can provide you with a healthy meal. Fish is a low-fat source of protein that may help to lower blood cholesterol. In addition, fish may lower the risk of heart disease-related deaths and obesity. Fatty, cold-water fish like tuna, salmon, sardines, mackerel, and lake trout are sources of beneficial nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for heart and brain health.


• As far as ice fishing and well-being go, fresh air and sunlight can increase circulation, provide your body with vitamin D, boost your immune system, and help contribute to a healthy sleep cycle.


Ice Fishing Mental Benefits

According to a 2011 U.S. Fish and Wildlife study, nearly 2 million anglers go ice fishing every year and there’s no doubt that this number has grown significantly higher in recent years. More and more anglers are realizing the positive mental health benefits that come from spending time hard water fishing.


• The mental health benefits of ice fishing include reducing stress, improving mood, and increasing overall well-being. Being out in nature while surrounded by a serene winter landscape can be a very relaxing experience.


• Spending uninterrupted time with friends and family outdoors can lead to better relationships too. Ice fishing creates the opportunity to spend time with friends and family or make new connections with other anglers. The mental health benefits of strong relationships include lower rates of anxiety and depression, higher self-esteem, greater empathy, and more trusting and cooperative relationships.


Given the proven physical and mental benefits of ice fishing, this winter is a great time to get outdoors and try it. Read up on ice fishing gear, ice fishing safety, and find a friend to go along with you.

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.