Places to go Ice Fishing in Sunset Country

Stay and play while you catch fish through the ice!
Gerry Cariou
By Gerry Cariou

Gerry Cariou is the Executive Director of Ontario's Sunset Country.

Last Updated: January 5, 2022

Go Ice Fishing in Ontario's Sunset Country!

With winter's arrival and ice now on area lakes, avid anglers are thinking about ice fishing. Well, when it comes to hard water fishing, there are several places you can stay and enjoy our fantastic fishing during the winter months. In this article, we'll discuss what you can catch and give a brief overview of some of the places you can stay at. Winter fishing is a lot of fun and after a day on the ice, you'll really enjoy relaxing in your comfortable cabin under the stars in Sunset Country. Big fish and big fun are what it's all about!

lake trout are one of the species you can catch when you go ice fishing in Ontario

What you can catch through the ice

One of the fun things about going ice fishing in Ontario's Sunset Country is the fact you can catch multiple species through the ice, sometimes all on the same lake! Here's a brief round-up of what's available:

Walleye: Virtually everyone's preferred fish to catch while ice fishing is walleye. These beautiful fish are especially tasty when caught out of the ice-cold water. A winter shore lunch is a real treat and when served with all the fixings, well, that's an experience you will remember. Jigging with a minnow is what most people do although these fish will certainly smack artificial baits as well. The season closes on April 14th so you can catch them all winter.

Northern Pike: There's nothing quite like pulling a giant pike through an 8 or even a 10-inch hole in the ice but it's done every winter here in Sunset Country. Pike are always cooperative and the smaller fish are a taste sensation when caught out of cold water. Just remember to remove that y-bone! The season is open all year.

Whitefish: Not the first choice of ice anglers but you sure can catch them while ice fishing. They taste great when smoked! The season is open all year.

Jeff Gustafson with a giant pike caught through the ice.

Lake Trout: Many anglers target lake trout during the winter and with the sheer number of trout lakes in Sunset Country, your chance at a whopper is good. If a big lake trout bites, be prepared for an epic fight as these fish are all business. The season opens from January 1st through to the end of winter.

Black Crappie: One of the tastiest of fish anywhere and one that loves to bite during the winter is black crappie. These fish can slab out close to 3 pounds and with a delectable taste, you'll love catching them! The season is open all year for this yummy panfish.

Bass: While not usually the main species people target, you have a good chance of catching bass even if you are not fishing for them. They fight the same as they do in the summer so be prepared! Season open throughout the winter months.

Yellow Perch: Perch are another species that are best eaten during the winter months when their meat is firm and fresh. These fish are on many lakes in the region so your chance of catching one is good. The season is open all year for yellow perch.

Eelpout/Burbot: Some folks consider these to be the freshwater lobster although they certainly don't look the part. This species is very active in the winter feeding on the bottom of the lake bed. Open throughout the winter.

Make sure you consult the Ontario Fisheries Regulations Summary

Black crappie are a taste sensation

An easy to use list of places you can stay

Just link to any one of the Sunset Country member properties below that cater to ice anglers. 

Lodges

Cobb Bay Lodge on Sturgeon lake

Merkel's Camp on Wabigoon Lake

Muskie Bay Resort on Crow Lake

Crawford's Camp on Lake of the Woods

Totem Resorts on Lake of the Woods

Timber Wolf Lodge on Winkle Lake

Temple Bay Lodge on Eagle Lake

Browns' Clearwater West Lodge on Clearwater West Lake

Manitou Weather Station on Manitou Lake

Anishinabi Lodge on Anishinabi Lake

Tomahawk Resort on Lake of the Woods

Ross Camp on Clearwater Lake

Lac Seul Wilderness Resort on Lac Seul

Bonny Bay Camp on Wabigoon Lake

Stanley's Resort on Eagle Lake

Labelle's Birch Point Camp on Rainy Lake

Branch's Seine River Lodge on Banning Lake

Tamarack Island Wilderness Lodge on Lake of the Woods

Clarke & Crombie Camp on Lake of the Woods

Five Lakes Lodge on Gullrock Lake

Maynard Lake Lodge on Maynard Lake

Lakeview Lodge on Crow Lake

Hotels and Motels

Nature's Inn in Red Lake

La Place Rendez Vous on Rainy Lake

Super 8 in Kenora

Super 8 in Fort Frances

Copper River Inn in Fort Frances

The Bayview Motel in Fort Frances

The Rainbow Motel in Fort Frances

Ice Fishing Guide Services

Jeff Gustafson Outdoors

Dave Bennett Outdoors

Here's an article with some ice fishing tips

MNR Regulations and Ice Fishing

Get a free Sunset Country Guide and Map

Current covid restrictions in Ontario

Burbot bite during the winter and many say they taste like lobster! Photo courtesy of Jeff Gustafson