Ice Fishing in Mississippi River

If you think the fishing action on the Upper Mississippi stops when temperatures drop below freezing, think again! Many anglers claim that Mississippi River ice fishing offers some of the best hard-water river fishing you can find in the US, as long as you’re careful and know where to go.
 

What to Expect

One of the first questions that comes to mind, especially when you’re talking about ice fishing on a river as big as the Mississippi, is whether it’s actually safe. While the main flow of this mighty body of water is no joke, the good news is there are plenty of small bays and backwater nooks where you can drop your line without being swept away.
 
The even better news is that in these slower-moving waters, strong ice settles in for several months, creating the ideal conditions for ice fishing. This is the time to set your sights on copious amounts of Bluegill, Crappie, and Yellow Perch, which are plentiful and very hungry. The best part is that you can land all three species in a day, sometimes even from the same hole. You can also hook Walleye and Northern Pike, though it will require more patience and experienced guidance.
 

How to Prepare

Winters in the north aren’t for the faint-hearted, so when you decide to go ice fishing, warm, layered clothes are priority number one. If you decide to explore the ice with a guide, they will usually have all the tackle and ice fishing equipment you need, and they will often drill holes for you. Some services even have ice shacks where you can stay warm until that first bite.
 
It’s up to you to dress for the occasion, get a fishing license that’s valid in the state where you’ll be fishing, and bring plenty of hot tea or coffee and food to keep you warm.
 
Mississippi River ice fishing is a diamond in the rough, but once you discover its riches, you’ll keep coming back for more!

Mississippi River

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Top Targeted Ice Fishing Species in Mississippi River

Walleye

Walleye

Lake Trout

Lake Trout

Perch (Yellow)

Perch (Yellow)