1-603-569-HOLE (4653) • Store hours: Mon. - Sat.: 6am-6pm Sun.: 6am-2pm • See Map
Every person who loves fishing has a dream. Your dream might be to fish the crystal clear blue waters of the Caribbean or go on a fishing trip way out on the sea. However, if your goal is to join an ice fishing tournament someday, then there’s no better place to come than New Hampshire. We have small local tournaments and major world-famous events, so regardless of your ice fishing experience or age, there’s a little something for everyone.
Ice fishing in Wolfeboro can occur in a couple of locations, most notably Lake Winnipesaukee. You can get fishing tackle rentals and live bait in New Hampshire at the NH Hole in the Wall when you come into town for your Wolfeboro ice fishing supplies. We also have Bob House rentals and lots of other great equipment and gear that you can use to enhance your adventure. Make sure to give us a call ahead of your visit or stop by when you arrive to get the latest scoop on the best fishing spots – we’ll point you in the right direction.
The Best Time for Ice Fishing
You will notice that in New Hampshire all of our ice fishing tournaments begin in mid-January. That’s because the best time for ice fishing is when the ponds and lakes are fully frozen over and deemed safe for fishing. Various clubs, groups, and organizations put on ice fishing tournaments, derbies, and competitions. Some are just for bragging rights, while others come with a prize. The New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game keeps a list of all authorized ice fishing tournaments within the state on their website that will help you plan your trip.
Some of the species that you can fish during this time of year include bass, white perch, yellow perch, eastern chain pickerel, black crappie, eastern brook trout, northern pike, and walleye, depending on the body of water. Various towns throughout the state have their own tournament weekends, which usually include other related gatherings, programs, and celebrations. The Freedom Firefighters Assocation, Elkins Fish & Game Club, White Mountain Lodge 2705, and the Meredith Rotary Club are just some of the organizations that put on ice fishing derbies each year, with the last events wrapping up around the end of February. While the time frame for ice fishing may be small compared to the rest of the year, it is one of the most popular and exciting fishing seasons in New England.
The Greater Meredith Rotary Ice Fishing Derby
Perhaps one of the most well-known ice fishing competitions held at Lake Winnipesaukee is the annual Greater Meredith Rotary Ice Fishing Derby. For 2019, the date has been set for February 9-10. You can purchase a ticket on the rotary club’s website. All tickets will be mailed, so the sooner you can do this, the better. You will also need a valid New Hampshire Fishing License in order to participate in any of the ice fishing derbies or competitions, as well as participate in any type of ice fishing in the state. You can purchase your license through the NH Hole in the Wall or via the website for the New Hampshire Department of Fish & Game. Make sure you don’t forget to get your license!
Restricted Fish Species
You will also know what you can – and cannot – catch when fishing in New Hampshire during the winter season. Various species are “off limits” throughout the year, so it pays to familiarize yourself with them ahead of your trip. For example, salmon are not in season during the Greater Meredith Rotary Club Fishing Derby, so you need to be responsible to know the difference between the different species that can be found in Lake Winnipesaukee. Taking a salmon through the ice is prohibited and enforced, so you will need to immediately release any salmon that you accidentally catch when ice fishing on the lake. There will be New Hampshire Department of Fish & Game officers participating in the derby that will inspect each submitted fish, so it pays to know your local species to avoid trouble.
Also, take time to read the derby rules before you arrive as well so you will know what to expect regarding prizes and any other restrictions. You can also read up on fish statistics for New Hampshire, including minimum sizes and maximums, so you will know what to expect if you are out looking for a prize-winning fish. Pay close attention to fishing deadlines so you won’t arrive to the judging late with your catch. This includes not just the Lake Winnipesaukee tournaments, but also other tournaments throughout the state. The more you can learn about the rules and requirements for each competition, the easier it will be to focus on what you need to do to be a contender.
Looking for Quality Wolfeboro Ice Fishing Supplies?
Start preparing NOW for your trip to New Hampshire to go ice fishing in Wolfeboro or any of the surrounding bodies of water throughout the region. We also have fishing tackle rentals and Bob House rentals for Lake Winnipesaukee that you can use to your advantage. Check out our selection of live bait In New Hampshire as well to ensure that you have what you need to catch that big fish! Give us a call at 1-603-569-HOLE (4653) or stop by our location on North Main Street in Wolfeboro when you arrive.