You can’t have success ice fishing on a lake if you don’t catch any fish! Until you have mastered patterns of the fish, ice fishing on a lake may involve moving a lot! New to ice fishing? Check out our ice fishing guide for beginners! When you have a skid house, moving is simple. Depending on what species you are ice fishing for and what time of the season it is, your location will change. Check out these tips and tricks where you should fish when ice fishing on a lake.
Time of year
If the season has just begun, start ice fishing on a lake where fish feed when the water is open. The fish will not relocate until mid-winter. As the water gets colder from mid to late winter, the fish move deeper to stay warmer.
When drilling holes and using a fish finder or underwater camera, keep your eye out for weeds and structure. They provide an excellent hiding spot for fish and contain sources of prey. Other things to look for when ice fishing are drop-offs, points, and humps. Fish are located by drop-offs for safety, an easy escape into deeper & warmer water. Also, the landscape underwater near points and humps is very similar to drop-offs, offering fish the same benefits. You will likely find schools of fish on points and humps.
When targeting a specific species depth is key. These are the best depths to try when ice fishing.
Walleye: 30ft-40ft (mid-day) 10ft-25ft (evening)
Northern Pike: 3ft-15ft
Still can’t find the fish? Check with a local bait shop as they frequently share tips and tricks! If you happen to find a good location for ice fishing on a lake, make sure to mark the coordinates on your GPS, fish finder, or phone. We can’t promise, but the fish may be in the same spot when you come back!