Fishing Lakes In Oregon
Guide to favorite fish species at top ice fishing lakes in the state.
The best ice fishing lakes in OR include Diamond Lake, Lake Of The Woods and Prineville Reservoir. The most popular species through the ice, across the state, include trout, salmon 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.
Oregon offers fantastic opportunities for ice fishing during the winter months, providing anglers with a unique and exhilarating fishing experience. Several fish species can be targeted through ice fishing in Oregon's frozen lakes and reservoirs.
One popular fish species to catch through ice fishing in Oregon is trout. Lakes and reservoirs such as Diamond Lake, Fish Lake, and Odell Lake are known for their trout populations. Rainbow trout and lake trout are commonly targeted during the winter months. Anglers often use small jigs, spoons, or bait such as worms or salmon eggs to entice strikes from these trout species.
Yellow perch is another sought-after species for ice anglers in Oregon. Several lakes, including Agency Lake, Willow Lake, and Phillips Reservoir, are known for their perch populations. These fish are attracted to structure and can be found near submerged vegetation or drop-offs. Small jigs tipped with bait or small minnows are effective in enticing perch to bite.
When ice fishing in Oregon, it's essential to prioritize safety. Thick, solid ice is crucial for safe ice fishing. Always check the ice thickness before venturing out onto the frozen water. A minimum ice thickness of four inches is generally considered safe for walking, but it is recommended to have at least six inches of clear ice for ice fishing. It's also important to dress appropriately for the cold weather and wear appropriate gear such as ice cleats and a life jacket.
Drilling holes in the ice is a common method for ice fishing. Anglers use ice augers or ice drills to create holes in the ice, typically ranging from 6 to 10 inches in diameter. Once the hole is drilled, anglers set up their fishing equipment, which may include ice fishing rods, tip-ups, or hand lines. Various baits and lures can be used, depending on the targeted fish species.
Ice fishing shelters or shanties are commonly used to provide protection from the elements. These portable structures provide warmth and shelter while allowing anglers to comfortably fish on the ice for extended periods. They come in various sizes and styles, from simple pop-up shelters to larger, insulated ice houses equipped with heaters and seating.
It's important to familiarize yourself with the fishing regulations and guidelines specific to ice fishing in Oregon. This includes knowing the size and bag limits, fishing seasons, and any specific rules or restrictions for the body of water you're fishing. Following these regulations helps maintain the health and sustainability of the fish populations and ensures a safe and enjoyable ice fishing experience in Oregon's winter wonderland.
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.
Lake Of The Woods
Thief Valley Reservoir
Wolf Creek Reservoir
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 Oregon Fishing License.
States with notable ice fishing.