Ready or not, ice fishing season is here! Ice fishing is a chilly — and thrilling — adventure. Pack your boots and sweaters, because we’re not talking warm-weather summer fishing anymore.
If you are on the hunt for the best ice fishing locations, look no further. We’ve put together a list of the top five best ice fishing locations, all located in the good ol’ US of A.
1. Best of the Best Ice Fishing Locations: Lake of the Woods, Minnesota
Lake of the Woods is located on the US-Canada border, making it accessible by both countries. It is the second-largest freshwater lake that exists within the boundaries of the US.
Lake of the Woods is a very popular ice fishing destination and there are many resorts in the area. The lake teems with walleye, northern pike, perch, whitefish, lake trout, and more.
2. Devil’s Lake, North Dakota
Devil’s Lake used to be the most popular ice fishing destination in the US by far but experienced a slump in recent years. However, this is one of the ice fishing locations coming back better than ever!
Devil’s Lake is popular for the sheer size of the fish that can be caught beneath the ice. Visiting fishermen are often surprised by the impressive size of their catch.
Devil’s Lake is not a spot for beginners — it’s made for the most hearty and adventurous of anglers.
3. Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan is among the most popular ice fishing locations because it is easily accessible by several different states. The lake borders Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana.
Plus, because Lake Michigan is well populated year round, there are many amenities nearby. Marinas, bays, harbors, and more are plentiful along the shores. Hopeful ice fishermen will find plenty of places to stay.
Lake Michigan offers the chance to catch worthy finds like salmon, trout, and more. Whether you’re looking for a prizewinner or something to cook up for dinner, Lake Michigan is a desirable spot to go ice fishing.
Another popular ice fishing location in the US is Colorado. The Rocky Mountains provide some beautiful — and freezing — spots to carry out this adventurous sport.
The Antero Reservoir — located about 100 miles from Denver — offers an extremely diverse population of trout. Most anglers go for the large rainbow trout, but many other species can be caught there too.
Chambers Lake is another popular spot in Colorado for ice fishing. Expect to find a large population of Kokanee salmon here, in addition to trout and other cold-water fish.
Plus, the natural beauty of Colorado offers mountains and ski slopes for those who want to add more than just fishing to this season’s winter trip.
5. Lake Winnebago, Wisconsin
Lake Winnebago is popular among winter ice fishing locations because it is home to a variety of fish. Anglers here expect to reel in walleye, perch, and more from beneath the lake’s icy waters.
Perhaps the most exciting catch, however, is the mighty sturgeon. Wisconsin’s annual sturgeon-spearing season draws thousands of anglers to the shores of Lake Winnebago.
The process is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. First, the fisherman must use a special ice saw to cut a square in the ice. He then sits in a “spearing house” to wait for the huge, prehistoric-looking fish to swim by and then he lunges! Sturgeon over 100 pounds are held up as a prize every season.