There is a certain kind of rugged serenity that characterizes the places known for the best ice fishing in the world. Whether it’s the sound of fresh snow crunching under your boots or the subtle bite of a winter panfish, ice fishing is an experience every angler should enjoy at least once.
If this is your first time deciding where to catch ice fish, consider one of the most famous hard water destinations. Learn about six places considered the best fishing spots in the world
• Lake of the Woods – Ontario, Manitoba, and Minnesota. Lake of the Woods is considered by many skilled anglers to be one of the best places to fish for walleye through the ice. Given that this glacial lake has over 14,500 islands, there is no shortage of structure. Take a medium weight rod along with a couple of spoons or jigs and head to the south shore of the lake. You will soon understand why many anglers believe it is the best ice fishing in the world.
• Lake Gogebic – Michigan. This location on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is known as one of the best lakes for jumbo yellow perch. Not sure where to fish on Lake Gogebic? Start at either the north or south end of the lake. You may want to use small spiked drop devices or wax worms to tempt the panfish to bite during the winter months.
• Devil’s Lake – North Dakota. Devil’s Lake is the largest natural body of water in the state of North Dakota and is considered to be one of the best ice fishermen in the world as it produces high numbers of walleye, pike and white perch in winter. If you want to target pikeperch, your best luck fishing is early morning and late afternoon. Try vertical fixtures, but be sure to vary the amount of time your fixture will remain immobile.
• Kangerlussuaq Fjord – Greenland. If you want to know where to ice-fish against a dramatic backdrop of towering cliffs, take an Arctic excursion to Kangerlussuaq Fjord in central-western Greenland. This is one of the best ice fishing spots in the world for an extreme fishing adventure. Catch char through the ice during the day, then take the opportunity to observe the Northern Lights at night.
• Lake Simcoe – Ontario. Drive less than an hour north of Toronto and you’ll arrive at Lake Simcoe, known as one of the best winter fisheries in all of North America. You can quickly learn where to fish for popular winter species like yellow bass, lake trout, pike and whitefish on this lake by renting an ice fishing hut from one of the many outfitters on Simcoe’s shores.
• Lena River – Siberia, Russia. You can ice-fish for species like perch or roach on the world’s eleventh longest river when you’re ready to hop on a plane to Siberia. Ice fishing tours organized by Yakutsk, the capital of the Sakha Republic, are organized between November and April. Just make sure you pack lots of layers as the average January temperature is around -37.5 ° F.
Which of these six destinations is first on your ice fishing bucket list? Get a few more ice fishing tips by visiting our ice fishing pages, and don’t forget to purchase your fishing license online for travel within the US before you set off.
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Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, advocate of sport fishing for women, IGFA world record holder and freshwater guide in southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has been featured 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.