The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department says anglers are finding good ice fishing on many lakes throughout the state.
Accompanied by the recent warm weather, ice fishing in Vermont has been slow to start. With more seasonal temperatures forecasted, ice conditions should be prime for folks to take advantage of the numerous ice fishing opportunities on ponds and lakes throughout the state. “If you know a little about where to go and how to target some species, ice fishing can be a lot of fun and a great way to spend time with friends and family,” said Vermont Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Louis Porter.
Vermont’s premier fishing destination is 120-mile long Lake Champlain where ice anglers can find quality fishing for a variety of species, including landlocked salmon, lake trout, northern pike, yellow perch, white perch, walleye, and crappie.
Northern pike are popular with ice anglers and are regularly caught in places like Missisquoi Bay, Dillenbeck Bay, Carry Bay, and Keeler Bay on Lake Champlain in addition to Lake Hortonia, Lake Bomoseen, Glen Lake, Marshfield Reservoir, Woodward Reservoir and the South Bay of Lake Memphremagog. Northern pike are often caught using live bait on tip-ups and are usually found in shallow, weedy waters.
Yellow perch are widely distributed throughout the state and provide a white, flakey, and delicious meat for anglers who plan to harvest their catch. Like other panfish such as bluegill, pumpkinseed and crappie, perch are most successfully targeted by jigging small lures tipped with a piece of worm or grubs.
Vermont’s ice fishing season for trout, salmon and bass starts January 18 and continues through March 15 on 41 other large Vermont lakes. For a list of those lakes, go to page 33 of the “2020 Vermont Fishing Guide and Regulations” available where licenses are sold and digitally on Fish & Wildlife’s website (www.vtfishandwildlife.com).
Always remember to check ice conditions before venturing out on the ice. At least six inches of ice is recommended for safe ice fishing.
To learn more about ice fishing opportunities in Vermont, check out this section of the same website: https://vtfishandwildlife.com/fish/fishing-opportunities/vermonts-ice-fishing-opportunities
To locate places to stay and help on the latest fishing activity, go to the Vermont Outdoor Guides Association website (www.voga.org) and click on “ice fishing.”
And Fish & Wildlife provides these important safety tips: https://www.takemefishing.org/ice-fishing/ice-fishing-basics/ice-fishing-safety/