There are many activities that Wisconsin is known for throughout the winter months. That’s one of the reasons Edenwood Ranch and Preserve hosts many groups for winter sports vacations in Wisconsin. One of the more popular activities on these vacations is ice fishing. If you’ve never tried it, we encourage you to read through this quick guide to the basics of ice fishing (and then come visit us to try it firsthand)!


Unique Benefits of Ice Fishing

Not everyone understands the draw of a sport like ice fishing. Take it from us – there’s nothing like it! Most people are hooked after their first time (no pun intended). If you are new to ice fishing, here are our top reasons we love it:

  • You don’t need a boat to fish in unique locations on the lake
  • Success despite added challenges offers a uniquely rewarding experience
  • The peace of spending time in nature in winter is unmatched
  • Gain access to different species of fish



The very first topic we need to hit on when talking about ice fishing equipment is clothes. To be even more specific: warm, dry clothes. The sport of ice fishing very quickly loses its luster if you aren’t dressed for the weather. This is not the time to second-guess your number of layers or quality of material. We encourage you to consider high-end, wicking material as much as possible and layer up. This may even be a time to consider a heated vest or jacket.

Other than weather-appropriate clothing, there are a few items that you will need for your ice fishing experience:

  • Manual or gas-powered auger
  • Fishing pole – preferably a small jigging rod
  • Ice skimmer (for removing pieces of ice in your fishing hole)
  • Jigs
  • Lures
  • Spring bobber
  • Life jacket
  • Ice cleats
  • Light source
  • Snacks and a warm beverage
  • Lightweight/compact chair


Finding the Right Spot

Safety is always a top concern when ice fishing. Before venturing out onto the lake, you’re going to want to test the thickness with your auger. It needs to be a minimum of 4” thick if you’re just walking out to your spot. If you are using a vehicle, the ice needs to be much thicker.

Aside from safety, we highly recommend using the help of technology to find the best fishing spot. Bring your trusty fish finder along and let it guide you to your hot spot. Why guess when you can know? If it’s your first time, we also advise you to bring along a more experienced ice fisher who knows the lake and the “typical” locations where fish frequent in winter.


Techniques & Tips

Finally, we’d like to leave you with a few tips and tricks that may help increase your chances of success on the first try. Keep in mind that even experienced ice fishers often walk away from a day on the water with no fish. Give it time and enjoy being surrounded by nature; it’s not just about the catch. And don’t forget the following:

  • Create more than one hole and use more than one rod at a time
  • Check back on each spot often to ensure ice has not started to form over your fishing hole
  • It’s okay to bring a book along
  • Keep an eye out for old fishing holes; the ice that forms over a previously used spot will not be as deep as the rest of the water and it can be dangerous if stepped in
  • If you plan on fishing for longer than a couple house, invest in a shanty

For even more tips and tricks from local experts, visit the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ page about ice fishing in Wisconsin.


Cabin Rental Wisconsin

Unfortunately, ice fishing is only available in the winter. But we are open all year round with plenty of other ways to enjoy the great outdoors! Edenwood is a premier private vacation destination and hunting preserve. We offer guided trophy deer hunting, glamping tent packages, luxury cabin rentals and a variety of outdoor activities that the whole family will enjoy. Have your wedding, family reunion, private retreat or vacation getaway in Wisconsin’s Northwoods at our unique and private venue.