The Best Ice Fishing Trips in the United States

For anglers, there's nothing quite like sitting in a heated retreat on a frozen lake, eager to see what is biting. However, before you head out onto the ice, it's important to do your research and choose a location that's both safe and likely to give you a good haul. With that in mind, here are some great places in the United States for ice fishing.

Lake Champlain, New York and Vermont: Year-round, Lake Champlain is one of the greatest fishing destinations in the northeastern United States, but it's an especially popular spot for ice fishing. In fact, Vermont loves ice fishing so much that on the last Saturday of January every year, they hold a Free Ice Fishing Day, which means (for one day) you can ice fish in any Vermont waterbody without a fishing license. Some of the most common fish in Lake Champlain include trout, salmon, walleye, and panfish.


The winters in Vermont can be intense, so most RV parks are not open. However, if you’re prepared to brave the cold, there is an RV park near Lake Champlain called the Shelburne Camping Area that is open all year long. One night’s stay with 30–50-amp full hookups costs between $50-54, or $335 for one week.

Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire: Situated in central New Hampshire, Lake Winnipesaukee is another excellent place to go ice fishing. At 72 square miles, this lake is the largest in the state. You will need a New Hampshire fishing license to ice fish on Lake Winnipesaukee, but you can get one online or at any bait-and-tackle shop in the state. Should you ice fish on Lake Winnipesaukee, you can expect to catch rainbow trout, brown trout, landlocked salmon, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and white perch.


In February, you can participate in the Great Meredith Rotary Club’s annual fishing derby and potentially take home thousands of dollars for snagging the largest catch.


Due to the intense winters, it is difficult to find year-round camping in New Hampshire. However, Gunstock Mountain Resort near Lake Winnipesaukee welcomes RVers to their campground from early December through early April.

Lake Erie, Ohio: Looking for walleye? Lake Erie is one of the Five Great Lakes of North America and unsurprisingly, it's also a top spot for ice fishing walleye, although yellow perch and crappie are also common. RVers can camp year-round at Maumee Bay State Park, which is nearby Port Clinton – possibly the best place to access Lake Erie for ice fishing.


Getting your fishing license for Lake Erie can be a bit confusing considering that the lake is shared by Canada, Michigan, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. If you are interested solely in ice fishing on Lake Erie and not the surrounding lakes, you can obtain a permit exclusive to Lake Erie in Pennsylvania. However, Ohio visitors must get a timebound permit from January 1st to April 30th.

These are just a few of the many great places in the United States for ice fishing. Remember to always check local conditions and obtain any necessary permits before heading out onto the ice. And once you are out there, have fun and enjoy the quiet beauty of winter!