Popular Ice Fishing Lakes In New Hampshire
Guide to favorite fish species at top ice fishing lakes in the state.
The best ice fishing lakes in NH include Lake Winnipesaukee, Lake Sunapee and Newfound Lake. The most popular species through the ice, across the state, include trout, perch and bass. 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 New Hampshire, offering anglers a unique and exciting way to pursue various fish species. The state's frozen lakes and ponds provide excellent opportunities for ice fishing enthusiasts. Some of the common fish species sought after during the winter months include yellow perch, black crappie, chain pickerel, northern pike, and even trout in select locations. These species are known to be active under the ice, providing anglers with the chance to experience the thrill of ice fishing.
Anglers employ different methods and techniques when ice fishing in New Hampshire. Tip-ups are a popular choice, which are devices set up on the ice with baited lines that trigger a flag when a fish bites. This allows anglers to monitor multiple holes simultaneously. Ice fishing rods are also commonly used, typically shorter in length to accommodate the confined space on the ice. These rods are paired with small jigs, spoons, or baited hooks to entice fish into biting. Augers or ice drills are essential tools to create holes in the ice for fishing, allowing anglers to access the water beneath.
Safety is of utmost importance when engaging in ice fishing. It is crucial to check the ice thickness before venturing out. A minimum of four inches of solid ice is generally recommended for safe foot travel, while six to eight inches are required for snowmobiles or ATVs. Ice thickness can vary, so caution and awareness are essential. Additionally, it is advised to wear appropriate clothing and footwear to stay warm and dry. Ice picks, a safety rope, and a life jacket should be carried for added security. It is always wise to fish with a partner and inform others about your plans, ensuring someone knows your location and expected return time.
New Hampshire's winter wonderland provides ample opportunities for ice fishing enthusiasts to enjoy the sport while pursuing a variety of fish species. By employing the right methods, adhering to safety guidelines, and staying informed about ice conditions, anglers can have a safe and enjoyable ice fishing experience in the beautiful frozen landscapes of the state.
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.
Big Pea Porridge Pond
Martin Meadow Pond
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 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.
Click here for a New Hampshire Fishing License.
New Hampshire Map
States with notable ice fishing.