We have good news for anglers: There’s no off-season for fishing in Idaho, and we don’t believe in cabin fever when there are so many outdoor activities during winter. Ice fishing provides a fun way to get out of the house for a day or a weekend and catch fish.
Ice fishing is pretty self explanatory, and all you need aside from your regular fishing tackle is an ice auger and a slotted spoon to keep slush out of the ice hole. Anglers should also know basic ice safety, which is 3-4 inches of clear ice for one person and more for a group. You can learn more on the ice fishing webpage.
Anglers looking for places to go ice fishing can probably find one within a couple hours drivetime and find some interesting fishing opportunities. People can find places on Fish and Game’s ice fishing webpage, or by calling a regional office.
When choosing a place to go ice fishing, pay close attention to access. You will need a parking area and an easy place to walk onto the ice. If you have been to a lake or reservoir during summer, those access sites could be blocked by snow. Fish and Game partners with various agencies to help provide ice fishing access by maintaining winter parking lots in many locations.
If you’re new to ice fishing, or have never fished at all, don’t be discouraged from trying it because it’s easy to get started.
Bring basic tackle, such as hooks and weights, some bait (worms work for nearly everything), and give it a try. You will quickly learn what works and what doesn’t and adapt accordingly, and you will also quickly learn why it’s a fun and unique way to go fishing, as well as a great way to get outdoors during winter.
But a quick word of caution. Idaho is a very diverse state when it comes to climate and geography, so be sure to check local conditions before you go ice fishing. Idaho’s prime ice fishing season typically runs December through February, but conditions can vary dramatically from place to place.