Wisconsin and Ice fishing go together like peanut butter and jelly. Some of the best ice fishing in the Midwest happens right here in the Badger state. But what about our inland seas? Can you ice fish on Lake Winnebago?
The answer is a resounding yes! Ice fishing on Lake Winnebago is a time-honored tradition dating back generations. The lake is massive, with over of shoreline and plenty of fish to be caught.
Starting mid-November, the ice begins to form on Lake Winnebago. The first few weeks are treacherous, with thin ice and dangerous conditions. But by early December, the lake is typically frozen enough for safe ice fishing. The thickness of the ice varies but is usually around 8-13 inches.
Come early December and you will find ice fishers dotting the lake. They come from all over, setting up their shanties and drilling holes. Always check the ice thickness before venturing out, and be sure to wear proper safety gear.
Come the winter and the lake turns into a winter wonderland. The ice is a beautiful sight, and the fishing can be great too. So if you’re looking for a fun winter activity, why not try your hand at ice fishing on Lake Winnebago?
What Fishes Can I find Ice Fishing Lake Winnebago?
The most popular fish to catch while ice fishing on Lake Winnebago are walleye, crappie, perch, and bluegill. Being rich in vegetation the lake provides ample food for these fish, and they grow to large sizes.
The walleye is the king of the lake, and anglers come from all over to try their hand at catching one of these elusive fish. They are known to be finicky eaters, so bait selection and presentation are key. But when you do hook into a walleye, you’ll be in for a fight. These fish put up a good fight and can reach sizes up to 30 inches.
Crappie, perch, and bluegill are also popular ice fishing targets on Lake Winnebago. These panfish are fun to catch and make for a delicious meal. They are typically smaller than walleye, but can still reach good sizes.
Most of the fish are found in shallow water, around 6-12 feet deep. The smaller panfish will be found in shallower water, while the walleye tend to hold in deeper water.
The best baits for ice fishing in Lake Winnebago vary depending on the fish you are targeting. But some of the most popular baits include jigs, minnows, worms, and leeches.
Jigs are a popular choice for walleye, as they are a finicky eater. You can use a variety of colors and sizes, but a good starting point is a 1/8 or 1/4-ounce jig in chartreuse or pink. Minnows are also a good choice for walleye, as well as crappie and perch. You can either use live minnows or artificial minnows.
Worms and leeches are good choices for bluegill and other panfish. These fish are not as finicky as walleye, and will often bite on just about anything.
The lake has a wide variety of fish so you are sure to find the perfect one for you!
Best Fishing Spots for Ice Fishing in Lake Winnebago?
There are many great spots for ice fishing on Lake Winnebago. But some of the best include Long Point, High Cliff State Park, and Kelly’s Point Reef.
Long Point Reef is a popular spot for walleye and is located on the north side of the lake. The reef houses much large fish and is a great spot to set up your shanty.
High Cliff State Park is located on the west side of the lake and is a great spot for panfish. There are many small bays and coves to fish, and you’re sure to find some hungry fish. This is a state-owned park so there is a daily fee to fish here.
Kelly’s Point Reef is another popular walleye spot and is located on the southeast side of the lake. This reef is known for its large fish, so it’s a great spot to set up your shanty.
These are just a few of the many great spots for ice fishing on Lake Winnebago. So get out there and explore the lake to find your perfect spot!
Ice Fishing Tips For Lake Winnebago
Now that you know where to go and what to fish for, here are a few tips to help you ice fish like a pro.
Packing your ice shelter, fishing gear, and other necessary items can be a daunting task. But if you pack smart, you’ll be able to fit everything you need in your vehicle.
One of the most important things to bring is a good ice auger. This will make drilling holes much easier and faster. You’ll also want to bring an ice fishing rod and reel, bait, and a fish finder.
When you get to your spot, be sure to drill your holes a few feet apart. This will give you more options when it comes to finding fish. Once you’ve drilled your holes, it’s time to set up your ice shelter.
An ice shelter will provide you with a warm, dry place to fish and can make a big difference in your comfort level. Be sure to set up your shelter on solid ice and away from any cracks or open water.
Your ice flashers or sonar devices can be a big help when it comes to finding fish. These devices will show you where the fish are and how deep they are. If you don’t use flashers ice fishing cameras are a fun option that will help you see what’s going on under the ice.
Be patient when you are ice fishing. The fish are not always biting, and you may have to wait for a while before you get a bite. But when you do finally hook a fish, it will be worth the wait!
What To Wear For Lake Winnebago?
One of the most important things to remember when ice fishing is to dress warmly. This may seem like a no-brainer, but many people forget how cold it can get when you’re sitting on the ice.
Be sure to wear several layers of clothing, including a base layer, insulating layer, and outer layer. Wool or synthetic materials are best for the base and insulating layers, as they will help to wick away moisture.
For the outer layer, you’ll want a waterproof jacket and pants. This will help to keep you dry if you fall in the water or if snow starts to melt on your clothes.
A good pair of boots is also essential. Be sure to choose boots that are waterproof and have good traction. This will help to keep you safe on the ice. Invest in a good pair of ice fishing boots, and your feet will thank you!
Finally, don’t forget to wear a hat and gloves. A warm hat will help to keep your head and ears warm, and gloves will keep your hands from getting too cold.
Now that you know what to wear, you’ll be prepared for a day of ice fishing on Lake Winnebago!
You will need a fishing license if you plan on ice fishing on Lake Winnebago. You can purchase a license online or at a local bait shop.
Many people opt for walking, snowmobiles, ATV/UTV, and cars for travel on the ice.
Be sure to check the thickness of the ice before you head out! The general rule is that ice should be at least 4-5 inches thick to support a person, but it’s always better to err on the side of caution.
Let us now look one by one these options for travel
Walking- Lake Winnebago is a huge lake and if you want to do some serious ice fishing, it is not advisable to walk if you want to get to the good fishing spots. Some areas may have slushy ice which can make walking difficult and dangerous.
Snowmobiles- This is a popular option for travel on the lake. Be sure to follow the snowmobile trails, as some areas may be closed to snowmobiling. Always stay connected with a GPS and let people know where you are going.
ATV/UTV- You can also use an ATV or UTV to get around on the ice. Be sure to stay on the trails and be cautious of slushy areas. Rentals are available if you don’t have your own.
Cars- You can drive your car on the ice, but be sure to check the thickness of the ice first. The general rule is that ice should be at least 8-12 inches thick to support a car. Use caution when driving on the ice, and be sure to let someone know where you are going.
Now that you know how to get around on the ice, it’s time to start planning your trip! Lake Winnebago is a great place for ice fishing, and with a little preparation, you’re sure to have a great time.
Lake Winnebago has some of the best ice fishing in the state of Wisconsin. With a little preparation, you can have a great time ice fishing on the lake. Be sure to dress warmly, purchase a fishing license, and check the thickness of the ice before you head out. And most importantly, be patient – the fish will bite eventually!