Ice Fishing in Vermont

While this year’s temperatures have been a bit above average, that hasn’t stopped fishing enthusiasts from getting out on the water. John Abair, our Event Coordinator and Fishing Concierge, tells us about ice fishing in Vermont. John is more than happy to share his knowledge and love of fishing with interested parties and can be reached at 
When the bite of winter is first felt in Vermont, many Vermonters can be found on the slopes, or snowshoeing through the woods; though, there is but one thing on the mind of the die hard anglers. Where’s the ice?
During the heart of the cold Vermont winter, anglers target a huge variety of fish species through the ice; these include yellow and white perch, pumpkinseed sunfish, crappie, northern pike, trout, salmon, burbot, and a host of other species. Lake Champlain contains over 80 species of fish! Ray’s Seafood, the only local fish processing facility, buys nearly 1 million dollars worth of perch and other panfish every year. Much of which is caught by ice anglers.
Ice fishermen (and women) use either a motorized or hand powered auger to drill 4 to 12 inch holes; where they will either jig (using a small fishing pole) or set tip-ups (or traps).  Once the traps are set, a flag will spring up when something has taken the bait. Anglers are allowed to have up to 15 lines out at one time while fishing on Lake Champlain (8 on most other bodies of water), allowing for even greater potential to catch fish. So if find yourself in Vermont during the middle our longest season and want to try the sport, stop by one of the local bait shops for a fishing license and intel on where the safe ice is, and what’s biting!