One of the biggest lakes near Madison, Lake Mendota is a popular spot for all sorts of winter activities. But can you ice fish on this lake?
The answer is yes! Ice fishing is a popular pastime in Wisconsin, and Lake Mendota is no exception. Ice fishing can be quite a fun and relaxing activity, especially when you’re out on the lake with friends or family.
Being a freshwater lake, Mendota does freeze over in the winter months. However, the thickness of the ice can vary greatly from year to year. It’s always important to check the ice conditions before heading out and to be cautious when walking on any lake ice.
With a shore length of over 21 miles, Lake Mendota offers plenty of space for ice fishing. There are also many public access points around the lake, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a spot to set up your ice shanty.
Starting late December and running through April, the ice fishing season on Lake Mendota is a great time to enjoy this winter activity. So grab your gear and head out to the lake for some fun!
If you’re looking for a great place to go ice fishing near Madison town, look no further than Lake Mendota!
What Fishes Can I find Ice Fishing In Lake Mendota?
For years, Lake Mendota has been a popular destination for anglers in search of trophy walleye. The lake’s clear waters and diverse structure make it an ideal habitat for these elusive fish, and the relatively shallow depth makes them easy to target from shore.
As a result, the lake has produced some of the largest walleye ever recorded, with fish weighing over ten pounds being caught on a regular basis.
In recent years, however, the number of walleye being caught in Lake Mendota has declined sharply. Some believe that this is due to overfishing, while others point to changes in the lake’s water quality.
Whatever the cause, the decline in catches has been a disappointment for many anglers who had hoped to experience the thrill of landing a giant walleye from this legendary body of water.
Lake Mendota is also home to a large number of other fish including:
Every year people come to this lake to catch the best walleye of their lives. The entire chain of Madison lakes is famous for their walleye, but Mendota is the best of them. You can expect to catch a beauty over 20″ long if you’re lucky, but the average size is still a solid 10-12″. These fish put up an incredible fight, and they taste great too!
The lake has some of the healthiest fishes due to its good water quality. Rich vegetation also provides good spawning grounds and cover for young fish. As a result, the fishing population is well-established and provides good catches for ice anglers.
When it comes to ice fishing in Lake Mendota, there are a number of different baits and lures that can be used to catch fish. Some of the most popular baits for this lake include:
When choosing a lure, it’s important to think about what kind of fish you’re hoping to catch. Different lures work better for different types of fish. For example, minnows are a good choice if you’re targeting walleye, while jigs or spoons can be used to catch bass or pike.
Of course, live bait is always an option too. If you’re not sure what kind of bait to use, ask at your local bait shop. The experts there will be able to give you some good advice based on the current conditions and what’s been biting lately.
Best Fishing Spots for Ice Fishing in Lake Mendota
There are a number of good spots for fishing on Lake Mendota, but some places are better than others. Here are a few of the best spots to try:
Picnic Point: Both sides of the picnic point offer good fishing, but the east side is especially popular.
Governors Island: The north and south ends of the island offer good fishing, with the south end being the busiest. The spot is famous for its walleye fishing.
Maple Bluff: The east side of the bluff is a good spot for fishing, especially early in the season. The point is very famous for its muskie fishing.
Dunn’s Bar: Another spot that’s popular for walleye and perch, smallmouths can also be caught here.
Take a closer look at submerged vegetation, break lines, and other structures when you’re out on the ice. These are all good places to start when you’re looking for fish.
Fishing Tip: Use a sonar fish finder when you’re ice fishing. This can help you locate fish that might be hiding under the ice.
These are just a few of the many good spots for ice fishing on Lake Mendota. If you’re looking for more ideas, talk to your local bait shop or check out a fish finder app. With a little exploring, you’re sure to find some great spots of your own.
Tips for Ice Fishing on Lake Mendota
Now that you know where to go, here are a few tips to help you make the most of your ice fishing trip:
-Bring along a portable shelter like an ice shanty or pop-up tent. This will provide you with a warm, dry place to take a break from the cold and store your gear.
-Make sure that the ice is thick enough to support your weight before you venture out. The best way to do this is to check with a local bait shop or the Department of Natural Resources.
-When choosing a spot to fish, look for areas with lots of activity. This could be a school of fish or simply a spot where other anglers are having success.
-Pack your ice fishing flashers and cameras, as these can help you locate fish under the ice.
With these tips in mind, you’re sure to have a successful and enjoyable ice fishing trip on Lake Mendota.
What To Wear For Ice Fishing on Lake Mendota
It’s important to dress warmly when you’re going ice fishing, as you’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors in the cold weather. Here are a few clothing items that you should consider packing:
-Insulated boots: These will help keep your feet warm and dry.
-Warm socks: A thick pair of wool socks will help keep your feet warm.
-Thermal underwear: Long johns or thermal leggings will help keep your legs warm.
-Multiple layers of clothing: You can always take layers off if you get too warm, but it’s better to have them and not need them than to need them and not have them.
-A hat: A warm hat will help keep your head and ears warm.
-Gloves: Thick gloves or mittens will help keep your hands warm.
-Sunglasses: The sun can be very bright off of the ice, so sunglasses are a good idea.
With these items in your wardrobe, you’ll be prepared for anything that ice fishing on Lake Mendota throws your way.
People ice fishing in Lake Mendota prefer using snowmobiles, ATV/UTVs,s, and their cars to get around on the ice. You can bring your own or rent from a local outfitter. When planning your trip, be sure to check the thickness of the ice and always travel in groups. It’s also a good idea to let someone know where you’re going and when you plan on returning.
Let us now look in detail at each of the transportation available for ice fishing on Lake Mendota
Snowmobiles: Snowmobiles are a popular choice for getting around on the lake, as they’re fast and easy to use. You can bring your own snowmobile or rent one from a local outfitter. Just be sure to check the ice conditions before you head out, as snowmobiles can be dangerous on thin ice.
ATVs/UTVs: ATVs or UTVs are another good options for getting around on the lake. Like snowmobiles, they’re fast and easy to use. You can bring your own ATV/UTV or rent one from a local outfitter. Checking the ice thickness well in advance is essential when using an ATV/UTV, as they’re very heavy and can break through thin ice.
Cars: Cars are another option for getting around on the lake, but you’ll need to use a special vehicle designed for driving on ice. These vehicles have studded tires that help them grip the ice. You can usually rent these vehicles from local outfitters. Just be sure to check the ice conditions before you head out, as driving on thin ice can be very dangerous.
As you can see, there are a variety of transportation options available for getting around the lake. Just be sure to check the ice conditions and always travel in groups.
What You Need to Bring
When you’re heading out ice fishing on Lake Mendota, there are a few essential items that you’ll need to bring. These include:
-Ice auger: This is a tool that you’ll use to drill holes in the ice. You can bring your own or rent one from a local outfitter.
-Rod and reel: You’ll need a rod and reel for fishing. You can bring your own or rent one from a local outfitter.
-Bait: You’ll need bait to attract the fish. Worms, minnows, and artificial lures are all good options.
-Tackle: You’ll need tackle for fishing, including hooks, line, and weights. You can bring your own or rent one from a local outfitter.
-Fishing license: You’ll need a valid fishing license to fish on Lake Mendota. You can purchase one online or at a local outfitter.
With these items in tow, you’ll be ready to start fishing.
When you’re out on the ice, it’s important to be aware of the potential hazards. Thin ice is the most common hazard, so be sure to check the thickness of the ice before venturing out. It’s also a good idea to wear a life jacket, as it can help keep you afloat if you fall through the ice.
In addition to being aware of the hazards, it’s also important to have a plan in place in case someone falls through the ice. This plan should include having rope and ice picks on hand so that you can rescue someone who has fallen in.
By following these safety tips, you’ll be able to enjoy your time ice fishing on Lake Mendota.
Ice fishing in Lale Mendota can be a rewarding and fun experience, but it’s important to be aware of the potential hazards. Be sure to check the thickness of the ice before venturing out, wear warm clothing, and bring along a rope and ice picks in case someone falls through the ice. Some of the best walleye trophy lakes in the state include Lake Mendota, be safe and have fun!