Minnesota Ice Fishing- Try It!

If you want to try something new (maybe you have been ice fishing many times!), this winter is a great time to either experience ice fishing for the first time or go out there and ice fish again. Many resorts are open in the winter. Of those that are some offer cabin rentals, ice house rentals or maybe even sleeper houses (on the ice!).  Ice Fishing is really a big “thing” on Minnesota lakes and rivers. If you haven’t gone ice fishing before, why not think about experiencing it this winter?

I have lived in Northern Minnesota for 20 years and have been coming “up-north” for 40 years. This past week I had the opportunity to see what a big Ice Fishing Resort is like. I must say, I was pretty impressed. Although they didn’t have the ice houses on the ice yet and the ice was just days away from being safe to travel on, it certainly was something to experience.

Totally new to ice fishing and need everything supplied including the equipment? Want the resort organize it for you? Just need a place to sleep? Just need access to the lake? Want something in-between? The choice is yours.

Sleeper house: Want to sleep on the ice? Some resorts offer sleeper ice houses. That means that you can sleep where you fish. You can literally wake up, pick up the fishing rod and start fishing. You don’t even have to put your winter coat on. The holes are drilled and the fish are just waiting for you to catch them. OK maybe it isn’t that easy, but it is fun trying!

Day house/Portable: You can rent a day house. You just need to get out there. Some resorts offer transportation to the ice house or perhaps you want to bring your truck or snowmobile out to the house yourself. Check to see what your resort offers. You can fish in the ice house or drill a hole and fish outside. Resorts open in the winter have cabins that you can rent. That makes it easy and quick to go from your bed on land to the ice house.

Bring your own equipment or fish with someone that does! If you have your own equipment, pack it up and head out. If you don’t have your own equipment, then find a friend that does and tag along. Perhaps once you experience the world of ice fishing you will find that it is really awesome and will invest in some of the basic equipment yourself. 

You can find a resort that is open in the winter and explore the lake or lakes yourself. Bring your own equipment and go drill some holes. Find that fishing spot that has produced fish in the past or find some new ones.

Explore Minnesota has an article with information on what you all need for Ice Fishing. The resort may supply everything for you or you may have to bring your own supplies and equipment. If you bring your own equipment, don’t forget: Auger, bucket/chair, rods/tip ups/bait, depth finder/fish locator, valid fishing license and ID, warm clothing, portable ice house (or you can stay outside on a nice sunny day). Stay safe, if you are responsible for getting yourself to and from the ice, make sure to use a GPS or know where you are.

Especially this year, it is nice to get outside and enjoy what winter in Minnesota has to offer. You can plow your own ice roads or use some that are plowed by a resort. Whatever you choose to do is fine. Just get out on the ice!

A number of our member resorts are open in the winter. Click this link to find them.

Enjoy the winter!

Submitted by:
Karen Senger
Resort owner for 17 years,
recently retired from Resorting,
but still love Resorts!

Photo Credits: Brindley’s Harbor Resort
Kohl’s Resort

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