Ice Fishing Experiences from Coast to Coast

Don't Let a Frozen Lake Keep You From Fishing

Image Caption: Ice fishing can be a great way to get out of the house or RV during the winter. (Image from Getty)

The weather at the start of each new year for much of the country can be, well, kind of depressing. It’s dark. It’s cold. And, aside from an errant warm day, it’s mostly inhospitable.

During this time, we often fantasize about the warmer months to come where we can go on hikes, swim in lakes, and have campfires on the beach. However, these early months of the year don’t deserve to be written off or relegated to indoor activities. Instead, venture out with a possible new hobby that is tailored to this time of year, one that takes a popular warm-weather hobby and remixes it for the cold and chill of the winter. That activity? Ice fishing.

Ice fishing is more than just getting buzzed on cheap beer while standing over a hole in a lake. In fact, in the more than 2,000 years since the first person carved out a hole in a sheet of ice in search of a meal down below, it has evolved into a prime winter excursion and industry that generates a buzz of its very own.

Ice fishing isn’t as easy as dropping a line in your local creek or lake, though. It requires specialized equipment, knowledge of the area, and increased safety precautions. So, if you want to break out of your cabin fever with the chill of ice fishing, don’t go it alone. Check out one of these six ice fishing experiences that will walk you through ice fishing from breaking out onto the ice to reeling in that perfect fish.

Rod’s Alaskan Guide Service –Alaska

No one should be surprised that Alaska is a mecca of sorts for ice fishing. It meets all the requirements for the sport –plenty of untouched wilderness, an abundance of lakes that freeze over, and, of course, consistent winter temps in the double-digit negatives.

Rod’s Alaskan Guide Service will take you on a one-of-a-kind guided ice fishing tour. Your reservation will include a heated, mobile cabin with an electric and wood-burning stove. A licensed guide will help you find the best “fishing hole” and your reservation also includes reindeer sausages, hot cocoa, bottled water, and fish cleaning for when you reel in the big one. Depending on when you visit, you’ll also enjoy a nightly show in the sky courtesy of the aurora borealis – free of charge.

Learn more about Rod’s Alaskan Guide Service and reserve your ice fishing experience today.

Sportsman’s Lodges – Minnesota

With more than 10,000 lakes located within its borders, Minnesota is the go-to place for ice fishing and Sportsman’s Lodges are one of the best ice fishing guides. With three locations across the state, you can choose the one that is most convenient for you.

Their Minnesota Ice Fishing Trips Adventure is a far cry from what the first ice fishing experience must have been like. Your reservation nets you a heated fish house, transportation to and from your location, and everything you need for fishing including bait jigs and sticks. As an added bonus, they’ll even clean your caught fish and deliver them to your room or cabin and the end of the day.

Learn more about Sportsman’s Lodges and reserve your ice fishing experience today.

Northwood Outfitters – Maine

Maine has a lot more to offer than lobsters and duck boots from L.L.Bean – including its swaths of wilderness filled with lakes waiting to be tapped into for an unforgettable ice fishing experience. Northwood Outfitters located in Greenville Maine is proof of that. No matter if you’ve been fishing all your life or this will be your first time, Northwood is ready to welcome you.

Their one or two-day ice fishing guides take place in the largest forest in the eastern United States on the shores of Moosehead Lake, Maine’s largest. You can choose from guided or self-guided tours and customize as much or as little of your experience as you choose. Along with ice fishing, you can also try your hand at other popular wintertime activities including snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and basically anything involving snow.

Learn more about Northwood Outfitters and reserve your ice fishing experience today.

An ice house on a lake

Getting out on the ice can be one of the best experiences you’ll have all winter. (Image from Unsplash)

Ice Fish Colorado – Colorado

It seems that there’s nothing Colorado doesn’t offer in the way of outdoor exploration. It’s the perfect place to do so much and you better believe ice fishing is near the top of that list. Ice Fish Colorado is prepared to provide you with a quintessential ice fishing experience. They have eight locations to choose from and two kinds of trips – action or trophy.

The area is home to a variety of fish including Lake Trout, Northern Pike Brown Trout, and Rainbow Trout – all exceeding 20” in length. Each trip lasts six hours and comes with ice huts, heaters, augers, fish finders, and more. Plus, you’ll get a snowmobile ride to and from your ice fishing destination. If six hours seems like too much time on a frozen lake, they even offer half days at some of their locations.

Learn more about Ice Fish Colorado and reserve your ice fishing experience today.

Woodland Resort – North Dakota

Chances are if you know anything about North Dakota you know that in the winter it gets cold. Very cold. This may not be a plus for much, but for ice fishing, it’s as big a plus as you can find. And Woodland Resort, located in Devils Lake, North Dakota, takes advantage of this every season with their ice fishing expeditions. Geared to the more experienced ice fishers, their packages don’t have guides.

They do, however, have an experienced crew more than willing to impart some advice on how to get the fish to bite. Your package will include a stay at their comfortable lodge, transportation to and from the pre-heated fish house (complete with a pre-drilled hole), and, of course, bait and other must-have fishing equipment.

Learn more about Woodland Resort and reserve your ice fishing experience today.

The Fly Rod Shop – Vermont

Maple syrup isn’t the only natural resource found in abundance in Vermont. They also have plenty of fish ready to reel in all winter long! To get your share, reserve an ice fishing tour with The Fly Rod Shop, located in Stowe. Choose between a four or six-hour tour with parties of up to five accommodated.

Your guide will show you special techniques for hooking fish and take you to different bodies of water to target a variety of species of fish including brown and rainbow trout, yellow perch, and more. They’ll also provide all the necessary gear and equipment. You just make sure to wear some warm clothing and maybe a camera to capture the moment the first fish is caught.

Learn more about The Fly Rod Shop and reserve your ice fishing experience today.

Each of these ice fishing experiences provides a lot for their guests, but you’ll still need to ensure some basics for yourself like a license to fish in that state, the right apparel for the less than balmy temps, and any other personal care products you’ll need—sunglasses, sunscreen, snacks, etc. You don’t want to be in the middle of a frozen lake when you’ve realized you’ve forgotten something you need! Also, ice fishing is far from a solitary sport. Invite your family, your friends, and have fun with it!

Ice fishing may be a bit colder than traditional fishing, but it’s a lot more adventurous and fun, and with it your winter will be anything but boring and spent largely indoors. Enjoy the serenity of the untapped wilderness and the fun and adventure of ice fishing—chances are you’ll get hooked on it the minute you hook your first fish.

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