1-603-569-HOLE (4653) • Store hours: Mon. - Sat.: 6am-6pm Sun.: 6am-2pm • See Map
One of the biggest challenges faced by those new to ice fishing is figuring out when the season starts and finishes. Unlike other fishing seasons, there is no specific date. Those who want to take advantage of ice fishing on Lake Winnipesaukee need to wait until the lake freezes. Once the ice is ready, the next goal should be to find out where the fish are biting and see if you can get a space out on the ice. While waiting for Winnipesaukee, there are a host of smaller lakes and ponds that can be fished for winter species, such as pickerel and yellow perch.
How to Check on Ice Conditions
If you want to prepare yourself with ice fishing tackle and wait for Lake Winnipesaukee to be ready for fishing, the best thing to do is to contact someone locally to find out if the lake has frozen. Larger bodies of water might not freeze for ice fishing until late January or early February, which is why the annual Meredith Rotary Ice Fishing Derby on Meredity Bay is typically scheduled for mid-February. If you are new to the sport, there are many basic ice fishing classes that can be taken during the winter for individuals, families, and groups, teaching everything from ice safety to basic ice fishing techniques.
You can contact the NH Hole in the Wall to find out if Lake Winnipesaukee has frozen over for safe ice fishing. We also offer bob house rentals and sell live bait in New Hampshire. Stop by and check out our Wolfeboro ice fishing supplies to make sure you have everything you need to have a successful trip out on the ice. We even have lots of sporting goods and board games that you and your group can enjoy during your visit. The NH Hole in the Wall truly has everything you need to enjoy the Lakes Region no matter what season or time of year you visit the local area.
How to Navigate on the Ice
If you notice trucks and snowmobiles out on the lake, you know that the ice cover is at least a foot thick and strong enough to handle ice fishing. When navigating out onto the ice, follow any paths left by other ice fishermen or go along fresh snowmobile tracks. Stopping to test the ice every now and again is a smart idea to help you find the best and safest location. You can use your auger to drill a test hole. If the ice is at least four inches thick, it is still safe to continue moving out onto the ice. Don’t go out any further than you will be able to walk back on the ice to get to your vehicle in the cold weather.
Multiple layers of warm clothing are highly recommended, such as you would wear for other outdoor activities in New England. Wool sweaters, shirts, thermal wear, heavy jackets, warm pants, and heavy ice boots will provide you with an advantage during your ice fishing adventure. Hand warmers are really good to have – even the most seasoned ice fishermen use them on occasion. Bob house rentals will help to keep you out of the wind and direct cold, so consider renting one when you come in for Wolfeboro ice fishing supplies at the NH Hole in the Wall on North Main Street.
How to Prepare for Ice Fishing
The first thing you need to do is get a fishing license. You can get one of those at our bait and tackle shop when you come in to buy live bait in New Hampshire. Kids age 15 and under do not need a fishing license, but must be accompanied by an adult who has a legal license. Each person age 16 and above does need a license if they want to fish, but if someone just wants to go out on the ice to participate in the fun of the day without fishing, no license is required. However, the only adult who can tend lines or drill holes is the one with the license so “hands off” if you decide to go out there unlicensed.
The basics of ice fishing include an auger ice drill and a long-handled skimmer tool that can be used to scoop out the slush and bits of ice from the hole. A short ice fishing rod, fishing line and hooks, as well as live bait, a bucket to hold the fish, and seats for everyone. A nice thermos of hot cocoa or coffee and some snacks are also a great idea. Pack a lunch if you will be out there longer and make sure to have some drinking water to keep everyone hydrated. Portable heaters and cooking stoves that are designed for ice fishing are also available. Safety items are also required, such as a long rope, flashlight, basic first aid kit, a cell phone, extra clothing, and a compass for direction. Sleds can be used to haul all of your gear and are a lot of fun to use out on the ice.
Everything You Need at the NH Hole in the Wall
If you are thinking about coming up to New Hampshire to participate in ice fishing this winter, make sure to stop in at the NH Hole in the Wall for all of your ice fishing tackle and live bait. Don’t forget to browse our other Wolfeboro ice fishing supplies and inquire about bob house rentals during your stay. You can call ahead at 1-603-569-HOLE (4653) to reserve rentals in advance or to ask about whether the ice is ready for fishing!