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Top Ice Fishing Charters in Manitoba


Ice Fishing in Manitoba

The extraordinary ice fishing Manitoba presents each year justifies its name as one of the world’s “ice fishing hubs.” This Canadian province and its people have provided inspiration for some of the world's most beloved characters, including James Bond and Winnie the Pooh. Today, it's the vast fishing opportunities that keep it on the map. 
 
There are well over 100,000 lakes in Manitoba, which makes this part of Canada the playground of freshwaters anglers. There’s over 80 fish species to choose from, but it’s the game fish that most people have their sights on. Trout, Walleye, Northern Pike, and Crappie are the most sought-after prey, and they come in glorious sizes, too.
 

What to Fish

 
Manitoba fishing is as productive as it is diverse, but the ultimate prize is the Walleye (often called Pickerel in these parts). The area is famous for both huge, standard Walleye and the “Greenbacks,” emerald green and silver Walleye, which are beautiful and can grow to be over 50 inches long. Anglers chase them for prestige, their fighting abilities, and because they make for excellent table fare. Monster Northern Pike, as well as supersized Brown and Lake Trout in the Northern Region are all part of the stardom, with Rainbow Trout and Black Crappie following suit.
 

Where to Fish

 
Where to begin? The best ice fishing spots in Manitoba change each month, depending on what you’d like to target and how far you’re willing to go to hook it. Here are some of the most popular and beloved lakes in the province that will make you fall hook, line, and sinker for ice fishing.
 

Lake Winnipeg

 
Not only is this “inland sea” among the 20 biggest lakes on the planet, but it also offers some of the best fishing opportunities in the country. Walleye, Greenback in particular, thrive in Lake Winnipeg, and the chances of landing a trophy (30+ inches) are great. Local anglers firmly believe that this lake is the best ice fishing spot in the world, and when it’s the hard-water season, you can see thousands of them on the ice, testing their luck. 
 
The best time to go on a Walleye hunt is in January, though you can catch big keepers around Lockport Dam in December. If you want to start your ice fishing season as early as possible, Salamonia Channel is your best option. The closest access point to the lake from Winnipeg, Manitoba’s capital, is just 40 miles away. Lake Winnipeg shows that top ice fishing locations don’t have to be remote – you can find them virtually on your doorstep.
 

Clearwater Lake

 
If you’re an ice fishing aficionado, then Clearwater Lake should definitely be on your to-fish list. This lake got its name from its amazing water clarity – on a clear day, you can see more than 30 feet into its depths. This body of water is a haven for avid Lake Trout anglers – these hard-fighting fish come in legendary sizes and require a lot of strength to reel in. It’s not just their size that brings all the anglers to the lake, but the sheer quantity as well. On a good day, you can easily hook 20, and one of them could easily be your lifetime catch. Northern Pike and Whitefish are abundant here, too. Located in the heart of the Clearwater Lake Provincial Park, ice out on this lake is later than on most others, and sometimes you’ll see ice here until the beginning of June. Plenty of time to test out your ice fishing gear.
 

Sasaginnigak Lake

 
This is the lake of a thousand islands, so the translation of the name Sasaginnigak “many ways to go” seems perfectly fitting for what you’ll find here. Because there are so many deep water structures, big rocks, and shoals, the ultimate freshwater predators like Walleye, Northern Pike, and Trout abound. Every local guide has their own secret fishing spot somewhere on the ice, where you can fish for your next colossal catch. You could ice fish the Sasaginnigak Lake your whole life, and still not explore all its treasures. This is a remote, fly-in location in the Atikaki Provincial Park with spectacular views and even better fishing.
 

Kississing Lake

 
Here’s another premier Lake Trout ice fishing spot, though the Northern Pike and Walleye bite are just as productive. On Kississing Lake, Trout come in record sizes, sometimes over 40 inches long, so it’s hardly a surprise that so many ice fishermen explore the vast opportunities this lake has to offer. To get to the best spots under the ice, aim for deep underwater structures, since that’s where the hungry fish usually hide.
 

How to Fish

 
Greenbacks are known for being voracious, so using swimming jigs and lipless cranks is always a good idea. Jigging spoons spiced up with a salted minnow are also a winning combo.
 
Whichever lake you choose for your ice fishing escapades, there’s one rule when going after Walleye – their prime feeding time is one hour before sunset. When the sun is just about to hit the horizon, cast your line and watch the feeding frenzy begin.
 
If you’re on the lookout for that special huge Lake Trout, drill your hole around underwater structures and serve a meaty bite they can’t resist – an airplane jig in silver will do the trick nicely, as well as a bait fish pattern.
 

When to Fish

 
The enticing world of ice fishing Manitoba prides itself on is enough to have every freshwater angler itching for his rod. From December to April, the province becomes ice fishing central, and on certain lakes, like Clearwater lake, the season lasts even longer. You have over five months to experience fantastic ice fishing, and it won’t be long before you fall in love. With a galore of big game fish to choose from and countless grounds to explore, Manitoba is o-fish-ally one of the Canada’s top ice fishing oases.

Manitoba

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View all fishing charters in Manitoba

Top Targeted Ice Fishing Species in Manitoba

Walleye

Lake Trout

Muskellunge (Musky)

Burbot