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There are lots of great fishing spots all around the Greater Wolfeboro area that can be explored throughout the year. However, ice fishing on Lake Winnipesaukee is definitely a favorite event that people will come from all across the country to enjoy. Even if the lake is not fully frozen over, you will see people fishing from shore or out on boats as the season progresses. The best place to get started is your local bait and tackle stores in Wolfeboro. The NH Hole in the Wall provides a wide range of year-round fishing tackle rentals and live bait. Of course, Lake Winnipesaukee fishing tackle isn’t much different from something you might see in your neck of the woods, but a lot of people enjoy collecting new lures and gear whenever they go on a fishing trip. Our popular Wolfeboro bait stores won’t disappoint!
Understanding Winter Fishing
If you have not participated in winter fishing, it is important to take some time to check out the seasonal requirements and restrictions on the website for the New Hampshire Department of Fish & Game. Certain species cannot be taken during the winter, so it’s a good idea to know what to look for before you head out to fish. When it comes to ice fishing, there are two primary methods used: a short jigging rod and reel or the “tip up” method. If you have never used a tip up, it is a device that includes a spool of line, a hook, and a strike indicator. Just bait it and set it in place. When a fish takes the bait, you will see a small flag tip up to let you know that you’ve caught something. It is not uncommon to hear adults and children shouting “FLAG” across the ice when the tip up triggers.
State regulation states that salmon are off-limits during the winter months to help protect the population throughout the year. However, the New Hampshire Department of Fish & Game also stocks trout in our lakes, which can be a lot of fun to take as well. Most rainbow trout will hang out just underneath the ice to catch prey near the shallows. Your best bet is to set your tip up and suspend the bait from it just under the ice. See the list of live baits below for ideas to try. You can also ask the locals at our bait and tackle stores in Wolfeboro what they are currently catching fish with on the ice. Wolfeboro bait stores can be a great source of supplies – and information! So grab your fishing tackle rentals, live bait, and winter weather fishing gear so you can get out and do some seasonal fishing.
Popular Bait for Winter Fishing
You might not think that a big, juicy worm would be a good idea in the winter, but for fish that have not been seeing these delicacies in the cold weather, they can be irresistible. If you are coming in from out of state, never bring your own live bait to another state. There are regulations in place to prevent invasive species from taking hold and causing damage to the local region. Shiners, smelt, worms, and even synthetic baits can work if you know what to do. You can ask experienced folks from the local area, chat with our team when you pop in for Lake Winnipesaukee fishing tackle or study the species online before you arrive for best results.
Some of the most common live bait used locally for winter fishing includes:
- tip up suckers
- cut bait suckers
- Canadian Crawlers
- trout worms
- meal worms
Another common trick is to use a synthetic bait that is made to look like salmon eggs. Experienced ice fishermen will often drop salmon eggs into drilled holes in the shallow areas and then recheck the holes to see which ones have bait missing. This helps them see where the eggs have been picked up and which area is best to fish for trout. Other species will have other interests and needs that can be used to increase success. Learning where each variety hangs out naturally during the cold weather can be a big help. For example, lake trout tend to hang out around structures near drop-offs and underwater cliffs. You might need to fish as deep as 30-60 feet and place your bait just off the bottom for best results.
Visit the NH Hole in the Wall
When you visit Wolfeboro, make sure to stop by and check out our Wolfeboro bait stores for live bait and fishing tackle rentals. You can also reserve bob house rentals in the winter for ice fishing or secure boat rentals in the summer just by calling us at 1-603-569-HOLE (4653).