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Ice Fishing On Lake Erie – The Thrilling Winter Beauty of Lake Erie Shores & Islands


AerialVIew - Miller Ferry

What better way to spend a day than outdoors with your kids, wife or best buddies on a quiet lake ice fishing?  The excitement of feeling that tug on your line and then battling the fish as you try to haul it up through the dark waters and out of the hole is an experience you’ll never forget. Winter on a frozen lake provides an opportunity to see nature as you might never have before.

Ice Fishing On Lake Erie – The Thrilling Winter Beauty of Lake Erie Shores & Islands

Imagine looking out for miles across the vast frozen expanse of one of the Great Lakes while your lines are in the water – waiting for a giant walleye or another fat yellow perch to bite! Ice fishing on Lake Erie is in full swing now – particularly in the Lake Erie Shores & Islands region. Cold winter temperatures and healthy snowfall has Lake Erie covered in thicker ice than it’s seen in two decades so the ice fishing season will be long and active. The ice is so think in some locations that it’s quite possible to drive a car right out onto the lake, although it’s obviously not recommended, but you know you are safe and solid… and those fish are down there hungry for your bait.

The gentlemen below just caught a massive 37″ Walleye, which is huge by any standard but absolutely magnificent  considering he had to haul the monster through a 12″ diameter hole in the ice!  That lunker has a girth almost as large as the hole.

Ice Fishing On Lake Erie – The Thrilling Winter Beauty of Lake Erie Shores & Islands

Ice Fishing On Lake Erie – The Thrilling Winter Beauty of Lake Erie Shores & IslandsFor some, ice fishing during the winter months is not only a rite of passage, but a way of life. Particularly residents of Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island. This popular winter destination island playground sees its population swell due to tourists and locals alike coming in to enjoy the amazing ice fishing followed by dining and nightlife. The village of Put-in-Bay owes its historical significance to Perry’s International Peace Memorial which stands 352 feet above the western basin of Lake Erie, paying tribute to Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry and his heroic victory over the British during The Battle of Lake Erie in 1813.

Ice Fishing On Lake Erie – The Thrilling Winter Beauty of Lake Erie Shores & IslandsFor others it’s a chance to knock something very unique and cool off their bucket list. Guys like South Bass Island fishing guide Bud Gehring (419-261-0165) and Buckeye Fishing Charters are more than happy to help visitors take their first shot on the frozen lake.

While walleye and yellow perch are the two most sought after fish during the ice fishing season, there are plenty of other species in the mix including crappie, bluegill, and pumpkinseed sunfish.

Venturing out onto one of the frozen Great Lakes seems unique and adventurous and it is, but it’s also important to take the proper precautions and prepare so as to get the most out of your experience. Calling the local area bait shop is a great idea since these folks know exactly what you’ll need in terms of clothing and equipment and can help you to do it all – this includes renting or purchasing bait and tackle, shanty rental, heaters, and hole drilling, as well as getting together with a trained ice fishing guide who will ensure that you have a productive smooth experience. The Sandusky Fish Research Unit (419-625-8062) is a great resource and place to start when delving into the world of ice fishing.

Ice Fishing On Lake Erie – The Thrilling Winter Beauty of Lake Erie Shores & IslandsIce Fishing On Lake Erie – The Thrilling Winter Beauty of Lake Erie Shores & IslandsIce Fishing On Lake Erie – The Thrilling Winter Beauty of Lake Erie Shores & IslandsIce Fishing On Lake Erie – The Thrilling Winter Beauty of Lake Erie Shores & Islands

In addition to the marvelous sport of ice fishing the Lake Erie Shores & Islands region offers adventurers and nature lovers even more. The best way to hook up with the right outdoors activity for you is to talk to your local bait and tackle shop or guide – these people live and work in the area and can provide the connections you need.

I’ve fished the year ‘round all of my life – from Quebec, Canada down through Vermont and upstate New York on Lake Champlain and west to the Great Lakes and I can honestly state that some of my very best fishing experiences have been on the ice. Winter is a time when most people want to hide indoors but ice fishing opens up a new horizon for safe outdoor fun. Get your line in the water through that hole drilled in the ice and sit back and wait for that first strike. You never know if it will be a chunky 1 pound perch or a whopper walleye of over 10 pounds on the end of your line! Proper clothing, gear and preparation allow you to get right up close to nature and the friendly helpful professionals of Lake Erie Shores & Islands are always available make your ice fishing experience the best!

Photo credits: Miller Ferry, Timmy Niese, Mary L Staley, Lora Mycoskie, PIB Chamber

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  1. Pamela says

    Wow, this looks like a once in a lifetime experience, would love to try it!

  2. Rosey says

    We used to go to Put n Bay for school field trips. 🙂

    That 37″ Walleye is impressive!

  3. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says

    We saw lots of ice fishers when we were up in New Hampshire last weekend. They had fires up on the ice and everything – it was crazy.

  4. Beth says

    That’s it – I’m ready to take a road trip! I haven’t been fishing since I was a kid, but this looks like a great time.

  5. Elise says

    I’ve always been intrigued by ice fishing. It looks cold though!

  6. Nicole A. says

    That is a huge fish! My goodness. I have never been ice fishing but I think it’d be worth trying. My dad used to take us fishing all the time as kids.

  7. vinma says

    wow.. this looks great! I have never done ice fishing. I have heard people saying that fishing brings so much peace to them.. I guess, its because of the calm and quiet they have to observe while waiting for the fish to take bait.. it is very interesting!

  8. Emily says

    My toes are cold looking at these photos! Ice fishing looks fun, I’d love to try it one day.

  9. BusyBee says

    Oh my goodness how FUN does this look, but burrr cold!

  10. Pam says

    I’m usually not one for cold weather, but this does look like a once in a life-time (for me at least, lol) experience!

  11. Lawna says

    What a fun experience, even if I was only able to do it once. I use to love fishing when I was younger but I was never able to go ice fishing.

  12. Ave says

    Looks like you had a lot of fun! My uncle and cousins love ice fishing and they are really good at it. I have never tried it myself.

  13. Angel says

    Very unique post! I have never seen people ice fishing before!

  14. Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell says

    There is something so adventurous and mysterious to me about ice fishing. I hope to be able to tag along with someone one day and see what it’s like!

  15. Lady Lilith says

    Oh wow. That is really pretty. I like how ice and snow can create such wonderful scenes.

  16. DD says

    Oh my gosh, that fish is so big! I wouldn’t touch that thing.

  17. Jocelyn says

    The thought of ice fishing scares the crap out of me. Being on top of a lake would freak me out!

  18. MHU says

    It sure does make for a beautiful picture! I think I might have to try it out!

  19. Michele says

    Honestly I do not like fishing one little bit! What I do like is rowing the row boat while others fish–of course that is not possible when the Lake is frozen! I would enjoy the nature to be enjoyed in this area at any time of the year as long as there was a nice warm motel or hotel to sleep!

  20. Sarah Bailey says

    WOW what an experience – my Dad is a keen fisher, I will have to ask him if he has ever done anything like this as I know he is normally a lake fisherman x

  21. MK says

    Not big on fishing but I wouldn’t mind trying this, sounds like a different experience but I would for sure need to be all bundled up!

  22. Jennifer Williams says

    That is so beautiful, I have never seen ice fishing. I can not believe the size of the fish that man caught – I would not want to have to clean it.

  23. Nikki says

    Gosh my hubs would love go to Lake Erie. He is a big fishing fan.

  24. tough cookie mommy says

    These are some beautiful views. I would love to visit with the family someday.

  25. marielle altenor says

    I’ve never been ice fishing before (or even regular kind of fishing for that matter). this is going to be in my list of “things to try”

  26. mommy2jam says

    What fabulous pictures! I want to go and do this with my boys. So many beautiful views and it looks so relaxing to just get away from it all.

  27. Pam says

    Back visiting in the midwest where I grew up and lived for my first 25 years right now and have noticed all of the ice fisherman on the Mississippi. My son is with me and he is amazed that they drive trucks right out on the river. He says they are crazy. 😉

  28. Allie says

    I love those little fishing huts. Reminds me of the movie, Grumpy Old men. Or was it Grumpier Old Men?

  29. Janelle says

    I’ve always wanted to go ice fishing, it looks like so much fun!

  30. Theresa says

    I think the idea of ice fishing is so neat. You probably have to have a lot of patience to sit up in the freezing temps waiting for a bite! I’m too much of a pansy in cold weather to do it myself, but I’m sure those who do it have a great time!

  31. becca says

    wow what a great experience though have to admit being out there is the cold frightens me i’m so cold blooded. also awesome catch

  32. DD says

    I never understood how someone could catch a fish like that without breaking a line.

  33. Nikki says

    Wow, that is a huge fish! Looks like a neat place to go ice-fishing.

  34. Triplezmom says

    I have never been fishing. For some reason, ice fishing intrigues me more than regular fishing.

  35. Eliz Frank says

    Lake Erie is so beautiful and my friends took me there some years ago. Your photos are amazing. TY!

  36. BabsProjects says

    Ice Fishing, while its sound awesome, there is no way I am venturing out for fun in this kind of weather. I am not a cold weather person.

  37. CrazyMom a/k/a Melanie says

    OMG..this is soo super cool; I heard about ice fishing but never really seen pictures.. I love it; being in Florida that is totally different. Thanks soo much for sharing

  38. Dawn says

    Wow! That is one big fish! I would love to visit Lake Erie! It looks beautiful. 🙂

  39. Courtney Pies says

    I bet ice fishing on Lake Erie would definitely be really cool! That is a huge fish – wow!

  40. Ashley Wintters says

    That looks awesome! Love the fish pic. It would be entirely too cold for me though…I can’t handle cold!

  41. DD says

    I just can’t get over this fish. We just bought a new fish house but I doubt I’ll catch anything that big.

  42. Allie says

    I’ve never eaten a Walleye, but that is one big fish!

  43. Janelle says

    It looks really cold there… and I mean, REALLY cold. Better bundle up! =)

  44. DD says

    WE just bought an ice house so I am excited to see what we can catch.

  45. DD says

    Can you imagine the meat on that thing? Did he throw it back?

  46. Robyn says

    What a great activity to do. Looks super fun.

  47. DD says

    I just don’t like being out in the cold.

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