Guide To Popular Ice Fishing Lakes In Maine
Favorite fish species at top ice fishing lakes in the state.
The best ice fishing lakes in ME include Moosehead Lake, Sebago Lake and East Grand Lake. The most popular species through the ice, across the state, include trout, perch and pike. 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.
Maine Ice Fishing is a beloved winter pastime for many anglers, offering a unique and exciting way to fish during the frozen months. Popular fish species targeted during ice fishing include lake trout (togue), brook trout, landlocked salmon, northern pike, and perch. These cold-water species are known for their fighting spirit and tasty fillets, making ice fishing a rewarding experience.
Anglers use various methods to catch fish through the ice. Ice fishing traps, also known as tip-ups, are a common tool. These devices have a flag that pops up when a fish takes the bait, alerting the angler to a potential catch. Ice fishing rods and reels are also used, especially for jigging or setting up a deadstick rig with live bait or artificial lures. Flashers and fish finders are valuable tools that help locate fish under the ice and determine their depth.
Safety is paramount in ice fishing due to the cold and potentially hazardous conditions. Before venturing out, anglers should ensure that the ice is safe and thick enough to support their weight. They should also carry ice picks, a rope, and a life jacket for added safety, especially when fishing on larger bodies of water. It's essential to dress warmly in layers and wear insulated, waterproof boots and gloves. Additionally, having a shelter or ice shanty provides protection from the wind and cold temperatures during the long hours on the ice.
Maine offers various lakes and ponds for ice fishing, each with its own unique charm and fishing opportunities. Many anglers frequent lakes like Moosehead Lake, Sebago Lake, and Rangeley Lake for their abundant fish populations and breathtaking winter scenery.
Overall, ice fishing in Maine is an exciting and rewarding winter activity that brings anglers closer to nature and provides the chance to catch some impressive fish. However, anglers should always prioritize safety and preparation to ensure a successful and enjoyable ice fishing experience.
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.
Great East Lake
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.
Ice Fishing Tips & Techniques Video
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 trout
Trout focus on small forage fish in winter, so baits that flash silver - jigs or spoons, do well in attracting trout. Dual rods, where legal, are very effective. One rod with a jig/live bait set up on a tip-up, the second with a spoon fished up and down pretty aggressively. See more detail about ice fishing for trout.
Best ice fishing method for pike and musky
Live bait, shiners and sunfish, are a great way to attract these big fellahs, assuming local law allows their use. Heavier line, steel leaders, bigger hooks and stronger tip-ups are in order. See more information on ice fishing for pike and musky.
Click here for a Maine Fishing License.
States with notable ice fishing.