What Are The Top 5 States For Ice Fishing? And One Bonus State

What are the top 5 states for ice fishing? Here is our guide, with a BONUS state thrown in!

top states for ice fishing
What Are The Top 5 States For Ice Fishing? Here Are The Choices

If you're an avid fisherman, then you know that wintertime doesn't have to mean the end of your favorite hobby. Ice fishing is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and catch some fish, even when the temperatures are low. But where should you go to get the best ice fishing experience? Here are the top 5 states for ice fishing, not necessarily ranked in order, according to our experts.


Minnesota is well-known for its lakes, and there are plenty of them to choose from if you're looking for good ice fishing. In fact, Minnesota is home to over 10,000 lakes, so you're sure to find one that suits your needs. Winter in Minnesota can be long and cold, but you can find great fishing on Minnetonka, Gull, Red Lake, Vermilion, Leech Lake and Mille Lacs, as well as the thousands of smaller lakes and ponds.  And if you're lucky while you're out on the ice, you might even catch a glimpse of the northern lights.


Wisconsin is another excellent state for ice fishing. Like Minnesota, Wisconsin is home to thousands of lakes, including Lake Winnebago, which is the largest inland lake in the state. The area around Green Bay offers some of the best ice fishing available in the US, with many large walleyes being caught consistently year after year.  Fishing isn't the only thing Wisconsin has to offer—the state also boasts some of the best snowmobiling trails in the country. So if you're looking for a winter wonderland vacation spot, Wisconsin should be at the top of your list.


Michigan is yet another Midwestern state with great ice fishing opportunities.  Michigan is the 11th most populous state with a population of almost 10 million people, according to Worldpopulationreview.com.  In addition to its many lakes, Michigan also has access to three Great Lakes—Lake Huron and Lake Michigan on the west and east side, and Lake Erie on the southeast corner of the state. If you're looking for a challenges, these vast bodies of water offer some of the best freshwater fishing in the world. But beware—the conditions can be very dangerous if you're not careful. Make sure to check the weather forecasts and ice thickness before venturing out onto frozen waters.


If you're looking for a truly unique ice fishing experience, Alaska is the place to go. Ice fishing in Alaska isn't for the faint of heart—temperatures can dip as low as -60 degrees Fahrenheit! But if you're up for the challenge, you'll be rewarded with some of the best catches of your life. Salmon and trout are just some of the kinds of fish you can expect to find in Alaska's rivers and streams. And dressing warmly should be the first thing on your checklist for ice fishing in Alaska.

North Dakota

Ice fishing is a popular pastime in North Dakota. During the colder winter months, residents and visitors alike head to the state's many frozen lakes to catch walleye, pike, panfish, and catfish. You'll see hundreds of ice shacks set up by anglers on the ice so they can stay warm while waiting for bites. Appropriate safety gear should always be worn when ice fishing, including a life jacket and floatation device. It's also important to ensure the ice thickness is safe before venturing out - at least four inches of solid ice is required for one person on foot. North Dakota has some great spots for ice fishing, but one of the most popular is Devil's Lake in the eastern part of the state.

Today there are great ice fishing opportunities on Devil's Lake, but it's truly unique. You may be jigging off of the bottom on what used to be a road!

Devils Lake is a unique body of water because it's fed by only rainwater and runoff. With no rivers to carry its waters anywhere else, this means that when there are heavy rains the lake level temporarily skyrockets before eventually coming back down again; but sometimes people don't know how quickly things can change. For example: during the late 1800s there was steamboat mail delivery between towns now served via postal trucks.

Today there are great ice fishing opportunities on Devil's Lake, but it's truly unique.  You may be jigging off of the bottom on what used to be a road!

Our  Bonus - New Hampshire

We're adding a bonus to our top 5 list, and that's New Hampshire, which offers breathtaking views along with excellent ice fishing opportunities. New Hampshire's Lakes Region is a popular spot for tourists in all seasons, but it's especially beautiful in wintertime. And while New Hampshire might not have as many lakes as some of the other states on this list, it more than makes up for it with its stunning mountain scenery. So if you're looking for a picturesque place to go ice fishing, New Hampshire should be at the top of your list.

The Top States For Ice Fishing - Final Thoughts:

These are just a few of the great states for ice fishing—but wherever you decide to go, make sure you dress warmly and check the conditions before venturing out onto frozen waters. There are also many professional guides and outfitters who can help visitors make the most of their ice fishing experience.  Ice fishing is also a great way to meet new people -  there's always someone willing to chat, and you never know what kind of friends you'll make.

Cheers to the great outdoors,

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