Some anglers call Manitoba “the capital of ice fishing of the world” due to the unlimited possibilities it offers for them. In a country with over two million water bodies, Manitoba has more than 15 different parks and lakes that freeze over winter, carrying underneath the ice an amazing variety of fish species you can seek.
So, where can you ice fish in Manitoba? You can ice fish in Manitoba anywhere within the prime areas such as lakes in Western Manitoba, parks in Interlake Region, parks in Eastern Manitoba, and parks in Western Manitoba as well. It’s allowed to fish on frozen lakes anywhere in Manitoba as long as you have a valid license.
The answer is too general? Read on to find your way to the complete detailed guide of where to ice fish in Manitoba and how to make the experience a safe and fruitful one!
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Where Can I Ice Fish In Manitoba?
Ice fishing in Manitoba is allowed anywhere as long as you have a valid fishing license. The winter ice fishing season usually runs from mid-December to mid-March. Found below are the exact prime spots that you can target when you decide to go ice fishing there.
Ice Fishing in Western Manitoba
- Turtle Mountain Provincial Park
- Rivers Provincial Park
- Riding Mountain National Park
- Duck Mountain Provincial Park
- Asessippi Provincial Park
- Porcupine Provincial Forests
Ice Fishing Eastern Manitoba
- Atikaki Provincial Wilderness Park
- Nopiming Provincial Park
- Whiteshell Provincial Park
Other than ice fishing, these parks are top destinations for fishing lodges, cottage resorts, and outfitter camps.
Ice Fishing Northern Manitoba
- Clearwater Lake Provincial Park
- Grass River Provincial Park near The Pas, Manitoba
- Further north near Thompson and Churchill, Manitoba
Interlake Region Ice Fishing
- Hecla/Grindstone Provincial Park
- The shores of Lake Winnipeg
- The shore of Lake Manitoba
All of these places provide excellent chances for successful ice fishing trips. The variety of water bodies offers a variety of possibilities to catch whatever fish you’re looking for whenever they stay. You can catch walleye, perch, northern pike, smallmouth bass, catfish, goldeye, pickerel, arctic char, whitefish and brown, lake, brook, and rainbow trout.
Is It Safe to Ice Fish in Manitoba?
It’s safe to ice fish in Manitoba as long as you check the ice thickness for safety. Whether you check the ice reports before heading to a location or manually check it when you get there, don’t ever step on the ice before making sure it’s safe enough.
Follow this chart to determine ice safety:
- 2 inches (5 cm) thick or less: don’t step on it.
- 4 inches (about 10 cm) thick: safe to step on.
- 5 inches (about 12.5 cm) thick: safe for a snowmobile or ATV.
- 8-to-12 inches (about 20-to-30.5 cm) thick: safe for a car or small pickup.
Here are some extra precautions to consider when you go ice fishing in Manitoba:
- Avoid traveling on the ice at night as drilled holes and weak parts of the ice can’t be seen properly.
- Don’t step on grey ice. The grayness indicates the presence of water.
- Don’t go fishing alone. It’s better to have a fishing companion to help you in case of emergency, and if you can’t do that make sure to let someone know where you’re going and when you’ll be back.
- Wear flotation suits or life jackets. They maximize your chances of survival if you go through the ice. Learn how to use them and wear them over your layered winter clothes.
- Take safety equipment with you. That includes ice picks, ice staff, and a rope.
- Keep a personal safety equipment kit in your pocket. That includes a pocket knife, compass, whistle, fire starter kit, and extra batteries for your cell phone.
- Drive on ice with caution. Open your windows, unlock your doors, undo your seatbelt, and turn on your lights to work as your escape plan in case your vehicle went through the ice.
What Fish Can You Find in Manitoba?
What fish can you find in Manitoba? You can find various fish species in Manitoba such as walleye, perch, northern pike, smallmouth bass, catfish, goldeye, pickerel, arctic char, whitefish and brown, lake, brook, suckers, Tiger trout, and rainbow trout.
The number of water bodies available for ice fishing in Manitoba allows for a wide variety of fish species that can be caught there.
Perch is very popular in Manitoba. Jumbo perch inhabit every region in Manitoba and can be caught on the hook in any season. However, catching perch through ice seasons is very effective as it is the most productive season of all. You have a chance to catch perch that exceed 15 inches (about 38 cm).
Jumbo yellow perch are also popular due to their healthy population and generous catchable limits. It’s preferable to go for them during the open water months of May and June and during the hard water months of December to March when Manitoba lakes freeze over.
Before you go ice fishing, I highly advise you to check out my recommended Ice Fishing Rods here. I’ve tested countless rods over the years, but these ones I’m recommending are the only ones that have stood out the test of time, so give them a look.
Where To Stay During Your Fishing Trip in Manitoba? 7 Premium Lodges
Manitoba offers anglers lodges that are available all year round with various features and capacities to spend their fishing trips. Whether you choose to go ice fishing in northern, eastern, or western Manitoba, you’ll be able to enjoy your experience to the fullest with the warm hospitality of the fishing and hunting community.
You can choose either a drive-to lodge or take your fishing excursion to the next level with fly-in lodges that offer comforts on the most scenic remote lakes and rivers.
Here are the top 7 fly-in and drive-in lodges in Manitoba to choose from:
- Jackson’s Lodge and Outposts located in northeastern Manitoba’s provincial parks, it’s very easy to get to and it provides anglers with everything they need on their trip.
- Aikens Lake Wilderness Lodge is a well-established lodge standing along a sandy beach on the northeast shore of Aikens Lake since 1948. If you’re fishing in Atikaki Wilderness Provincial Park, it’s your top choice.
- Eagle Nest Lodge is located on the upper reaches of the pristine Winnipeg River. It provides you with premium service, great food, customary lodging, and an excellent fishing experience.
- Kississing Lake Lodge is located on an isolated island on the pristine waters of Kississing Lake in Manitoba’s Northern Region. It provides a luxurious, well-maintained, and organized camp that makes your trip an unforgettable one.
- Eagle Nest Landing is around 150 km northeast of Winnipeg. It provides comfortable accommodations with outdoor activities for the entire family with the possibility of boat rental as well.
- Blue Lakes Resorts lies in the heart of Duck Mountain Provincial Park. you’ll be able to stay between East Blue and West Blue Lake and enjoy the best of both sceneries. The resort includes 8 rental cabins with an amazing view, a sand beach, a play area for the kids, a boat launch, and a diver’s dock.
- Wellman Lake Lodge Located in the north of Duck Mountain Provincial Park. It provides 8 RV sites and four pull-throughs, each site comes with hydro, water, sewer access, decks, and fire pits. They also have cabin rentals available.
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What Is The Best Time to Ice Fish?
The best time to ice fish is within the first two hours after sunrise and two hours before and after sunset. The best time depends on what fish you’re going for as many fish have different prime times to feed. It also depends on the lake you’re fishing in and the water condition.
Can you ice fish at night in Ontario?
Yes, you can ice fish at night in Ontario. However, you’re not allowed to stay the whole night at your ice shacks overnight there due to COVID-19 recent regulations by the government. You can come early and set your spot, spend some time fishing and then travel back in less than 24 hours.
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