In precolonial times, ice fishing was practiced for survival over the harsh winter months. Today, it’s a fun way for novice and seasoned fishers alike to hook a few trout, yellow perch, or walleye while enjoying the snowy outdoors—and the lack of mosquitoes!
What is Ice Fishing?
Ice fishing is surprisingly straightforward. You take a rod, which will be much shorter than a traditional fishing rod, and you lower the line down through a hole in the ice. Kids can use tip-ups, which are rods attached to a stick that you can just leave there, without having to hold it. Outdoor centres are great for those new to ice fishing, since they provide equipment and instructions. If you tend to get cold, many sites have heated shelters available for rent.
The ice fishing season starts as soon as the ice on lakes and rivers is thick enough. All depending on the spot, the season generally runs from January to early March.
By the end of May, all that ice is long gone and you can head out on a river or lake for a regular single- or multiday fishing trip.