Ice Fishing

Vermont Ice Fishing

VT Winter Fishing On Frozen Ponds & Lakes

VTfishing2Vermont offers some great lakes for beginners and casual ice-fishing enthusiasts who want easy access to both the lake and other activities and attractions. Vermont also has some incredible lakes for serious, experienced anglers who are willing to snowmobile for miles in order to find the best spot. You may also want to consider the type of fish you want to catch. Salmon, northern pike, brook trout, and lake trout (also called togue) are all plentiful if you know where to look. Ask us about VT Ice Fishing or share your Vermont fish tales. To feature your business, contact us.

Vermont Ice Fishing



When late fall clamps an icy lid over Vermont lakes and waterways, some anglers put their fishing gear away for the winter. However, an increasing number of Vermont outdoor enthusiasts are leaving the comforts of home and poking holes through the ice. Some anglers claim that fishing strikes come faster in the wintertime.

Ice FishingThe same fish that are sought in the summertime do, of course, lurk beneath the ice during the winter (though not all fish bite then), and the eating is every bit as good (some say better). Tackle, ice augers, clothing, and ice-fishing shanties have reached sophisticated proportions in dealing with the only known enemies of the wintertime Vermont angler: ice and cold.

Tip-ups are devices that signal when there is angling activity on your line. Designs vary, but the essential feature is a flag that “tips up” when a fish strikes. A tip-up consists of crossed bars approximately the size of a large tire wrench. One bar spans a fishing hole; the other bar—with a reel and small flag at opposite ends—dunks vertically into the water.

Equipment. From the buckets, sleds, shelters, heaters and other trappings strewn around ice anglers on a frozen Vermont lake, it is clear that equipment plays an important role in ice fishing. But it’s not the amount of equipment nor its complexity and cost that make for an effective ice-fishing outfit. More important is how the equipment fits the fishing style of the angler using it. Veteran ice anglers understand that, and no two of them are ever equipped exactly alike.

Ice Fishing Shack, Ice Fishing Shanty, Bob HouseThe only equipment about which anglers totally agree is clothing and boots, and anyone out on the ice in the wrong attire pays dearly in discomfort. The single most important item in an ice fishing wardrobe is footwear. Poorly shod feet pressed onto the ice will soon chill. Insulated rubber boots, or boots with separate, thick felt liners, are the best insurance against cold feet. Boots should fit loose enough to accommodate extra socks and to allow maximum blood circulation.

Good headgear is particularly important when ice fishing. Up to 80 percent of the heat lost on a cold day leaves the body from the head and neck. A wool cap or parka hood can provide comfort when you feel a chill, and if you’re on the verge of breaking into a sweat, you can cool off merely by exposing your head.

Gloves are also needed, although the importance placed on them varies among anglers. Some wear light gloves inside mittens and do all but the most delicate knot tying and hook baiting with the gloves on. Others wear bulky, loose-fitting mittens and put them aside to do most tasks. Some anglers use gloves only when lugging gear long distances, keeping their hands stuffed deep inside warm pockets the rest of the time. If you need gloves on the ice, take two pairs in case the first pair gets lost or wet.

Getting started in ice fishing is easy. You need only a couple of inexpensive, lightly-rigged jigging poles (2- to 4-pound test for panfish, 6- to 8-pound for walleye), a few jigs and lures, small bobbers, split-shot, live bait such as minnows or waxworms, a bucket to transport gear and to sit on, an ice auger, and ice-skimmer.Ice fishing vacations

An ideal way for a novice to try his or her hand at this sport is to hook up with a resort that runs its own ice-fishing operation. They will have shanties located in productive spots and can give you the latest on what fish are biting, and which ice fishing tactics are working best.

If you want to go it alone, some basic tips will help. There are three Vermont ice-fishing seasons: first ice, mid-winter, and last ice. Many anglers believe first ice is the most productive, as fish are actively feeding, often still in shallow water. But first ice also can be dangerous. Never go out on any lake unless you’re sure the ice is safe.

In mid-winter, weeds along the shore die, and fish tend to move deeper. As light diminishes and temperatures plummet, feeding tends to slow. But if you can locate schools of crappies, perch or walleye in pockets of deep water, vigorous jigging and the right lures can bring success.

Last ice brings new weed growth along shorelines, as well as more warmth and light, so fish tend to move back toward shallower water. In all three seasons, it helps to know something about a lakes bottom structure. Sporting goods stores carry detailed maps of many lakes. If you know a lake from fishing it in warm weather, apply that knowledge to your winter fishing.

Ice fisherman, Vermont ice FishingIs the Ice safe? Even though you may be eager to enjoy ice fishing, beware! Ice can be dangerous. Here are some hints on determining ice safety.

*Lakes rarely freeze uniformly. Early and late in the season, ice that’s safe in the morning may be dangerous by afternoon.

*Prolonged frigid weather makes for safe, thick ice. Use an auger to test ice. At least four inches of clear, blue ice is probably safe for lone anglers and small groups of people in most conditions.

*Single, unbroken pressure cracks in the ice are probably safe to cross, but stay away from areas where cracks meet or intersect.

*Be extra careful where water levels vary, as in rivers, streams, inlets, outlets, coves, eddies, and springs. Moving water erodes ice from beneath, as does wind pushing water under ice.

*Avoid areas with “stick-ups.” Protruding logs, brush, plants, and docks absorb heat from the sun, thereby weakening the surrounding ice.

What’s the Best Ice Fishing Line? Ice fish, New England Ice FishingTechnological advancements have created many “perfect” ice lines. None, however, is perfect for everything. Superlines, those braided polyethylene wonders, are perfect for walleyes in deep water, but only in some situations (not at minus 30F). Superlines are also less than perfect for hard-fighting fish, because fishhooks tend to rip out.

Where to Ice Fish. Vermont offers a number of productive destinations for the ice angler. Try Great and Little Averill Ponds near Averill; Lake Bomoseen near Castleton; Caspian Lake near Greensboro; Chittenden Reservoir near Chittenden; Lake Dunmore, near Salisbury; Eden Lake, near Eden; Harriman Reservoir near Wilmington; Island Pond near Island Pond, Vermont; Maidstone Lake, near Maidstone; Lac Memphremagog, near Newport; Shadow Lake, near Glover; Waterbury Reservoir, near Waterbury; Lake Fairlee, near Fairlee; and my personal favorite, Green River Reservoir, near Centerville.

A winter ice-angling mainstay in Vermont traditionally has been perch. The trick in perch fishing is to find a “hot” hole. In any perch area, there are always certain spots that produce the best. I won’t spend much time at a hole unless bites are coming fast. Keep moving and drilling new holes until you hit a bonanza. I’m also partial to certain lures. For some reason, colors like green or red are tops in shallow water. Silver seems to be best in deep water. Persons planning to ice fish in Vermont should check the rules governing the specific waters he or she plans to visit. Those rules can be found at local bait and tackle shops.

Ice FishingInitially, perhaps, a novice may find ice fishing simply an intriguing pastime to occupy long winter days. But once a person has mastered the essential skills, which is not difficult to do, an angler will find it an excellent way to enhance the dinner table. It all adds up to an extended fishing season and gives another dimension to Vermont’s winter sports scene. For additional information about Vermont ice fishing write to Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, 111 West Street, Essex Junction, VT 05452.

– Mary Syrett

Good Luck Fishing in Vermont!

Ice Fishing Equipment Sale

  • NATURAL LONG-LASTING HEAT - Odorless, Disposable, Single-Use Item, Do Not Apply Directly to The Skin. TSA Approved. No shaking or kneading required
  • TO ACTIVATE - Remove warmer from outer package, shake to activate. Warmer heats up in 15-30 minutes. If heat decreases, expose warmer to air and shake. After use, dispose with regular garbage.
  • MULTIPURPOSE WARMERS - Single use air-activated heat packs that provide everyday warmth and are ideal for keeping your body warm when the temperature gets cold. They’re available in several styles designed for your hands, feet, and body.
  • WHEN TO USE: Tailgating at Events, Outdoor Sporting Events, Hunting & Fishing, Camping & Hiking, Working in The Yard, Jogging or Taking Your Pet for A Walk. Convenient, Compact, Portable
  • WARM THERMAL AIR – Designed to dry your wet boots, shoes, gloves or garments safely overnight with warm thermal air that rises naturally without over drying or shrinking
  • KEEPS SHOES FRESH – Keeping your shoes and boots dry is key to keeping them stink-free. Dry time warm-up (30 mins); damp (8 hours); wet (overnight)
  • SILENT DRY - Safe, Silent, Simple, no motor or moving parts, so quiet you might think it is not actually working, when it is
  • MULTI PURPOSE - The sturdy base allows you to use this dryer with all types of winter boots, work boots, rain boots, tennis shoes, ski boot liners, gloves, hats and accessories safely without over drying
  • TRUSTED BRAND - Includes a 2 Year Warranty
  • MAKE HIKING A COMFORTABLE EXPERIENCE These Merino wool hiking socks are built to provide you with total support and comfort during your hiking trips, no matter the weather. Each pair of these hiking boot socks is ideal for the rugged terrain, allowing these to be great mens or women's hiking socks
  • ITCH FREE MATERIAL These wool hiking socks come blended with nylon to promote a comfortable, itch free experience. Ultra comfortable, these women and mens hiking socks won't cause you to pause in your step to scratch at your foot or readjust the calf height sock
  • KEEP YOUR FEET WARM DURING COLD WINTER HIKES With these hiking socks, women and men alike can enjoy the comfortable warmth that these cozy socks provide. Especially good for the colder months, each winter sock in the pair of men and womens wool socks will keep out the cold and moisture that wintertime often affords
  • SUPERIOR CUSHIONING IN THE FOOTBED These mens and womens hiking socks offer a shaped cushioning in their footbed to promise a more comfortable trek up the mountain. Through the use of these mens wool socks, women and men can enjoy less fatigue and pain in their feet after a long day of hiking in these ladies wool socks
  • SIMPLE TO CARE FOR When you get home, these wool socks mens accessories can be washed easily. Just put these women and mens hiking socks in the wash on cold and these wool socks will be good to go. Two Size Available Small-Medium (Fits Shoe size: Men 5-9.5/ Women 6-10.5) and Medium-Large (Fits Shoe size: Men 9.5–14/Women 11-15)
  • Pull out a block without crashing the stack to win at Jenga
  • Includes 54 Jenga hardwood blocks, stacking sleeve with instructions
  • Simple, solid, and timeless. Each block is three times as long as its width, and one fifth as thick as its length 1.5×2.5×7.5 cm (0.59 in×0.98 in×3.0 in)
  • It takes skill, strategy, and luck. Challenge yourself or play with friends
  • Win by being the last player to remove a block without causing the stack to crash
  • Lightweight and affordable slip-on traction cleats to reduce the risk of falls when walking on snow or ice to work, school, or even to the mailbox
  • Made of abrasion-resistant 1.2 mm steel coils with zinc coating to prevent rust; secured to shoes with durable Polyelastomer outer band
  • Provides 360 degrees of traction on cold surfaces for all-direction stability
  • Highly elastic outer band with heel tab slips easily slips on and off of shoes; perfect for pedestrians, professionals and the elderly
  • Available in four sizes: X-Small (W2.5-6/M1-4.5); Small (W6.5-10, M5-8.5); Medium (W10.5-12.5, M9-11); Large (W13-15, M11.5-13.5)
  • Contains ten (10) 15-stick packs of EXTRA Polar Ice Sugarfree Gum
  • Experience an avalanche of icy and refreshing mint flavor
  • Stock up on your favorite chewing gum with this bulk package
  • Make new friends when you share EXTRA Sugarfree Gum
  • Help keep breath fresh with the long-lasting flavor of EXTRA Polar Ice Chewing Gum
  • One 8.11 oz 100-piece pouch of ICE BREAKERS ICE CUBES Spearmint Sugar Free Chewing Gum
  • Bring a mint gum cube pack with you to work meetings, presentations and networking events to ensure fresh breath and confidence all day
  • ICE BREAKERS ICE CUBES chewing gum packs are perfect for keeping in backpacks, snack drawers at work and treat cabinets at home
  • Use ICE BREAKERS gum for filling birthday gift bags and back-to-school lunch boxes or bridal and baby shower candy dishes
  • Spearmint cube gum with invigorating, minty cooling crystals, perfect for your Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's Day and Easter candy selections
  • KILLS ROOTS IN SANITARY SEWERS: Roebic FRK-1LB Foaming Root Killer kills roots in sanitary sewers and is recommended for severe recurring root problems
  • FOAMS ON CONTACT: Exclusive Roebic Root Killer formula, which does not contain copper, foams on contact with water to fill the entire pipeline with the root killing agent dichlobenil to inhibit new root growth
  • SAFE FOR ALL PLUMBING: Foaming Root Killer is safe for all types of plumbing and will not harm surrounding trees
  • EASY TO USE: The granular contrate has multiple application methods, including residential sewer lines, and between tree roots and sewer lines
  • REAL RESULTS: Use Foaming Root Killer to maintain your system and help avoid the inconveniences that result from root clogs such as back-ups and surface break outs
  • One 8.11 oz 100-piece pouch of ICE BREAKERS ICE CUBES Peppermint Sugar Free Chewing Gum
  • Bring a mint gum cube pack with you to work meetings, presentations and networking events to ensure fresh breath and confidence all day
  • ICE BREAKERS ICE CUBES gum packs are resealable and perfect for keeping in backpacks, snack drawers at work and treat cabinets at home
  • Use ICE BREAKERS gum for filling birthday gift bags and back-to-school lunch boxes or bridal and baby shower candy dishes
  • Peppermint cube gum with invigorating, minty cooling crystals, perfect for your Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's Day and Easter candy selections
  • One 8.11 oz 100-piece pouch of ICE BREAKERS ICE CUBES ARCTIC GRAPE Sugar Free Chewing Gum
  • Bring a grape-flavored gum pack with you to work meetings, presentations and networking events to ensure fresh breath and confidence all day
  • ICE BREAKERS ICE CUBES cube gum packs are perfect for keeping in backpacks, snack drawers at work and treat cabinets at home
  • Use ICE BREAKERS gum for filling birthday gift bags and back-to-school lunch boxes or bridal and baby shower candy dishes
  • ICE BREAKERS ICE CUBES ARCTIC GRAPE gum with invigorating, fruity cooling crystals, perfect for your Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's Day and Easter candy selections
  • EASY-TO-USE: Splash Kids fishing reel and rod combo is perfect for young anglers featuring a 29-inch fishing pole that floats! This combo features a patented no-tangle design, simple push-button mechanics, and an oversized handle knob making it not only easy to use, but also fun and safe for your kids
  • FIT-TO-FISH: Lightweight and easy-to-use, these combos are made for beginner anglers. The Splash Kids combo is simple, stylish, and size-appropriate for adventurers aged 3-5.  From the bright colors to the durable fiberglass rod with a tangle-free tip. It even floats if your little angler accidentally drops it off the dock. Get into gear with a spincast reel and fishing rod that fits your age, size and style
  • FUN & PRACTICE: Includes a casting plug for ultimate fun on or off the water. Cast in the backyard or on the shore to sharpen up those casting skills, or head straight to the water for more advanced practice. Its moderate action and light power is ideal for targeting everything from panfish to trout and is designed to hold a 4-8-pound line weight and 1/16-1/4 oz lure weights
  • SMOOTH PERFORMANCE: This size 20 spincast reel is constructed with all-metal gears and a 2.6:1 gear ratio for a silky-smooth retrieve. Featuring a QuickSet anti-reverse to stop your handle from moving backward and create a solid hookset in the mouth of a fish when reeling in your catch. The right-hand retrieve is pre-spooled with 6-pound Cajun fishing line so you can start your fishing adventure sooner
  • TRUSTED: Since 1949, Zebco has been inviting people to explore the outdoors. Zebco products are warranted for a period of (1) year from date of original retail purchase against defects in workmanship and/or materials
  • Size 20 spinning reel suited for ice applications
  • Ported aluminum spool
  • Genuine ugly Stik blank with clear tip design
  • Twist-lock reel seat with EVA handles
  • One-piece stainless steel guides
  • Ugly StikGX2 spinning rods
  • 20 size spinning reel with 1 ball bearing
  • Ported aluminum spool for lighter weight and added durability
  • EVA handle with twist lock reel seat
  • MODERATE ACTION: 30-inch 1-piece fishing rod combo provides medium power and moderate action making it easier to catch light and medium species including panfish, trout, walleye, and bass
  • EXPERTLY CRAFTED MATERIALS: Durable fiberglass rod blank construction and ultra-tough dial-adjustable drag provide smooth cast and retrieves while cushioned EVA handle reduces discomfort and ensures a sure-grip
  • EFFORTLESS FISHING: Zebco's QuickSet anti-reverse reel stops your handle from moving backward and creates a solid hookset in the mouth of a fish when reeling in your prized catch. It features a powerful right-hand retrieve, patented no-tangle design, and comes pre-spooled with 6-pound Zebco Cajun line
  • SUPERIOR CONSTRUCTION: Premium all-metal gears, a 2.6:1 gear ratio, and dual-ceramic pick-up pins ensure a buttery-smooth retrieve, extended life, and ultra-high abrasion resistance to make every fishing experience a memorable one
  • TRUSTED: Since 1949, Zebco has been inviting people to explore the outdoors. Zebco products are warranted for a period of (1) year from date of original retail purchase against defects in workmanship and/or materials
  • 【High Quality Tip Repair Kit】 Premium stainless steel frame, wear-resistant ceramics ring,40PCS 8Sizes Top Guides ,1oz Epoxy Resin, Brush, Measure Cup, Includes everything needed to repair the guide ring.
  • 【Easy To Use】 Make quick and easy repairs to your rod tips, the tips are easy to put on your rod, just a dab of epoxy ,check top ring and guide ring alignment,and on it goes. Repair your rod quickly and easily. Well made, durable. Quickly replace the tip top on almost any rod, friendly for beginners.
  • 【Multiple Sizes Rod Repair kit】40pcs rod tip repair kits in total with 8 sizes included, sufficient quantity for you to meet your different repairing or modifying fish rod needs,Bring the old equipment back to life, enjoy your fishing.
  • 【 Well Made And Durable】These rod tips are made with high quality material, featured with stainless steel frame and wear-resistant ceramic ring, which makes them corrosion resistant, sturdy and durable.
  • 【Easy To Store Fishing Rod Tips】 Repair your rod quickly and easily wherever you are with the Rod Tip Repair Kit.Keep it in your boat/truck/tackle box, and never miss another minute on the water due to a broken rod tip.Make quick and easy repairs to your tip tops.
  • EASY-TO-USE: Zebco Slingshot spincast reel and fishing rod combo features a 5-foot 6-inch 2-piece durable fiberglass rod and size 30 fishing reel. The rod comes in a fun blue color! The reel features a patented no-tangle design and simple push-button mechanics for ease of use making this reel great for both beginners and experienced anglers
  • ALL-DAY COMFORT: This hard-working fishing rod and reel combo comes with a durable EVA handle to provide anglers with hours of comfort. Its moderate-fast action and medium-light power is ideal for catching medium species such as panfish, trout, walleye or bass and is designed to hold a 6-10 pound line weight and 1/16-3/4 oz lure weights
  • SMOOTH PERFORMANCE: This size 30 spincast reel is constructed with all-metal gears and a 2.8:1 gear ratio for a silky-smooth retrieve. Featuring a dial-adjustable drag and QuickSet anti-reverse to stop your handle from moving backward and create a solid hookset in the mouth of a fish when reeling in your prize catch. The right-hand reel is pre-spooled with 10-pound Zebco fishing line so you can start your fishing adventure sooner
  • EXPERTLY DESIGNED: dependable and designed to last, the Slingshot spincast combo was expertly designed. A great all-purpose fishing set-up, the easy-casting spincast reel is custom-matched to a durable 2-piece Z-Glass rod to help you to reel in the big ones all day long
  • TRUSTED: Since 1949, Zebco has been inviting people to explore the outdoors. Zebco products are warranted for a period of (1) year from date of original retail purchase against defects in workmanship and/or materials

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department publishes an informative Guide to Vermont Fishing that includes a map of Vermont and suggested lakes and streams, as well as designated charts of species found in each body of water. This guide is free and may be obtained wherever Vermont fishing licenses are sold, or by writing to:

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department
103 South Main Street, Waterbury, VT 05671-0501
Phone: 802-241-3700



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