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Popular Ice Fishing Lakes In Kansas

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Guide to the favorite fish species at top ice fishing lakes in the state.

By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

Ice fishing

The purpose of this page is to share basic information about the best ice fishing lakes in the state, plus the species found in each lake. The best ice fishing lakes in KS include Glen Elder Reservoir and Eureka City Lake. The most popular species through the ice, across the state, include largemouth bass, white crappie and bluegill. See a list of lakes and species below.

Ice fishing is as basic as fishing gets. During winter, it is popular here in the state. Aside from the tools one uses to create a hole in the ice, all other gear is very basic. A simple rod, reel, line and hook or lure is all you need. Lures, live bait and prepared bait are options, depending on the fish species in the lake or pond.

Ice fishing is a popular winter activity in Kansas, offering anglers the opportunity to pursue a variety of fish species in frozen lakes and reservoirs. While ice fishing in Kansas may not be as widely known as in colder regions, it still provides a unique and rewarding fishing experience.

Ice Fishing Tips & Techniques Video

Common fish species targeted during ice fishing in Kansas include yellow perch, crappie, bluegill, and walleye. These species tend to congregate near underwater structures and can often be found in deeper areas of the lakes. Anglers set up their ice fishing shelters or huts over these areas and use specialized ice fishing gear and techniques to catch fish through the ice.

Ice fishing methods in Kansas typically involve using small jigs, spoons, or baited hooks tipped with live bait, such as waxworms or minnows. Anglers often employ a "jigging" technique, which involves subtly moving the bait up and down to entice fish to bite. It's important to adjust your presentation and experiment with different colors and sizes of lures to match the fish's preferences on any given day.

Safety is a crucial aspect of ice fishing in Kansas. Before venturing onto the ice, anglers should ensure that the ice is thick enough to support their weight. A minimum ice thickness of four inches is generally considered safe for walking, while vehicles require even thicker ice. It's essential to check ice conditions regularly and be aware of changing weather patterns, as warmer temperatures or strong winds can weaken the ice.

Wearing appropriate clothing and having the right equipment is vital for staying warm and safe during ice fishing trips. Layered clothing, including thermal base layers, insulating mid-layers, and a waterproof outer shell, helps protect against the cold. It's also crucial to have ice picks or ice claws for self-rescue in case of falling through the ice and a life jacket for added safety.

Anglers should always go ice fishing with a partner or in groups and inform someone of their planned location and return time. It's also recommended to carry safety equipment, such as a throw rope or flotation device, for emergency situations.

By following safety guidelines and employing effective ice fishing methods, anglers in Kansas can enjoy the thrill of ice fishing while targeting a variety of fish species. It's important to stay informed about current ice conditions, practice caution, and prioritize safety to ensure a successful and enjoyable ice fishing experience.

Fishing Boats For Rent In Kansas

Top Ice Fishing Lakes & Species

There are numerous places to go ice fishing in the state. Here are a list of some of the proven, best destinations.

Cowley State Fishing Lake

Largemouth bass Bluegill Redear Sunfish

Eureka City Lake

Largemouth bass White crappie Saugeye Bluegill Green Sunfish

Glen Elder Reservoir

White crappie White Bass

Lake Olathe

Largemouth bass White crappie Saugeye Bluegill

Scott State Lake

Saugeye Bluegill

Waconda Lake

Largemouth bass Channel catfish White crappie Walleye Bluegill White Bass

Wilson Lake

Largemouth bass White crappie Walleye Redear Sunfish

Click the images for species details.

This is a great way to get the kids to go outdoors in winter, connect with nature and learn to fish. The first consideration when attempting to go ice fishing, is safety. Make sure the ice is safe, and that you are prepared should an accident occur. Dress to stay warm - it's better to remove extra jackets than be cold and miserable. Be aware that the ice can be slippery, and falls can be dangerous.

Click here for ice fishing basics, including details on finding the best place to fish, tips for cutting a hole, basic tackle, bait, lures, depths to fish, safety, shanty's, tents and huts.

Best ice fishing method for crappie, bluegill, perch and sunfish

Horizontal jigs and spoon-type baits are the go-to baits for crappie, either tipped with a minnow, wax worm or prepared baits often triggers more bites. Jigs work better close to the bottom, spoons tend to work better higher in the water column. If options allow, 15 to 30 feet is the most common depth. Adjust as necessary. See additional info on ice fishing for crappie, perch and sunfish.

Best ice fishing method for walleye

Four basic lures are all you need. Ice jigs are minnow shaped with a tail that causes them to fall in a circular patter. Drop them to the desired depth (often to the bottom), then lift the bait a few feet to let it fall on slack line. Spoons: Metal slabs in chrome or a wide array of colors are used to jig up-and-down mimicking a dying baitfish. Lipless crankbaits: Fish like a spoon. Jigs: Use slightly larger jigs than for crappie, preferably with a flashing blade attached. Tip with live bait and let it sit, up a ways from the bottom typically 1 to 3 feet. A general tip is to always keep your bait off the bottom, one to 5 feet is an ideal place to start. Additional information about ice fishing for walleye.

Best ice fishing method for bass

Bass are often found closer to the shoreline than schooling fish. Fish the same as other species, using a bit larger baits and slightly heavier line. Be prepared to battle using your drag if you hook a big one. Additional information about ice fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass.

Best ice fishing method for catfish

Fishing techniques mirror those for bass and crappie. More emphasis is places on added baits (minnows, worms, prepared bait), and location can be very important. Find a ledge or point that is in 20 foot range on top, dropping to 30 feet or more directly off the side. See more information on ice fishing for catfish.

Click here for a Kansas Fishing License.

Kansas Map


States with notable ice fishing.

AZ Ice Fishing CA Ice Fishing CO Ice Fishing CT Ice Fishing IA Ice Fishing ID Ice Fishing IL Ice Fishing IN Ice Fishing
KS Ice Fishing MA Ice Fishing MD Ice Fishing ME Ice Fishing MI Ice Fishing MN Ice Fishing MT Ice Fishing ND Ice Fishing
NE Ice Fishing NH Ice Fishing NJ Ice Fishing NM Ice Fishing NV Ice Fishing NY Ice Fishing OH Ice Fishing OR Ice Fishing
PA Ice Fishing RI Ice Fishing SD Ice Fishing UT Ice Fishing VT Ice Fishing WA Ice Fishing WI Ice Fishing WY Ice Fishing