New Hampshire is home to many passionate ice fishers that spend their winter huddled in huts, hoping to reel in some of the hardest-to-catch species. There are tons of different fishing locations in New Hampshire, so there is something new to do even if you’re an experienced fisherman. Whether you’re just looking for something new or something unique, we’ve listed some of the best lakes for ice fishing in New Hampshire below. Keep in mind, regulations can differ depending on the lake. Therefore, be sure to read the current regulations before you take to the ice.
1. Lake Winnipesaukee
One of the most popular lakes for ice fishing in New Hampshire is Lake Winnipesaukee. Lake Winnipesaukee is New Hampshire’s largest lake at more than 44,000 acres, which is about 71 square miles. Its size is comparable to the famous Lake Champlain and Moosehead Lake, which are also popular ice-fishing spots. There is an annual derby here put on by the Meredith Rotary Club. This derby has high cash prizes, which often attracts many fishermen each year.
While there are many fish available throughout the year, salmon cannot be taken through the ice. Therefore, if you go ice-fishing here, you’ll need to catch other fish instead, such as cusk. You can also find smallmouth bass in the drop-off areas of the lake. There are several islands where these fish like to hang out, too.
Lake Winnipesaukee offers many access points. One of the most popular is the public boat ramp in Meredith. However, there are several others scattered around the lake, too.
2. Massabesic Lake
This lake covers about 2,500 acres and provides practically all the drinking water for Manchester, which is located near the lake. This lake holds about 15 billion gallons of water, allowing the town to take plenty of water without really draining the lake.
On top of providing drinking water, the lake also has plenty of fishing opportunities. For instance, it is stocked with trout of several species each year. The lake also has self-sustaining populations of both largemouth and smallmouth bass. Therefore, there are lots of fishing opportunities during many of the months.
This lake isn’t terribly deep. However, there are some larger holes that reach about 50 feet deep in some cases. There are many public access areas, as well. Therefore, getting on the lake is pretty straightforward.
3. Mirror Lake
Mirror Lake is a smaller lake that doesn’t get as much traffic. Therefore, it’s a good option for someone looking for a more solitary fishing experience. This lake is only 54 acres. There are many other lakes nearby, so many people tend to choose larger lakes. This lake offers just about everything the larger lakes do — just in a miniature size — making it one of the best lakes for ice fishing in New Hampshire.
Plus, the lake is stocked with brown, rainbow, and brook trout. Therefore, you can easily find most kinds of trout in this lake. Plus, there is public access on the western shore.
4. Squam Lake
Despite being in the shadow of lake Winnipesaukee, Squam Lake is a great opportunity for fishermen. While this lake is a bit smaller than most, it does have a range of different species. For instance, you’ll find perch, pickerel, lake trout, largemouth bass, and smallmouth bass.
There is easy access to this lake, too. If Lake Winnipesaukee is a bit too crowded for you, you may want to consider visiting this lake, instead. It offers a similar fishing experience on a smaller scale.
5. Tewksbury Pond
As the name suggests, this is more of a pond than a lake. It takes up only 47 acres and only goes down to about 50 feet deep. The state stocks the pond with brown trout in the spring and fall, which is the main reason it draws fishermen.
You can find other species of trout as well. Rainbow and brook trout are also stocked in the pond periodically. However, because it is so small, there aren’t many sustaining fish populations. If you’re interested in trout, this may be a solid option for you.
6. Lake Winnisquam
This lake isn’t one of the most popular in the area, but you can still find a healthy population of rainbow trout, bass, white perch, and lake trout here. All of these species are pretty easy to catch within the lake, where ice fishing is open from January to March.
If you’re interested in rainbow trout, most experts recommend fishing in shallower parts of the lake. However, lake trout often congregate in the deeper part of the lake.
7. First Connecticut Lake
This lake is positioned in the far northeastern portion of the state, so many people have to drive a bit to get to it. However, it is 2,800 acres long, making it plenty big and more than able to support several fishermen.
It has a healthy population of many types of fish. Plus, much of the lake’s shoreline is covered by forests. Therefore, it offers a more secluded option for fishermen looking for more secluded fishing spots. This is the top reason so many fishermen like coming to First Connecticut Lake, making it one of the best lakes for ice fishing in New Hampshire.
8. Newfound Lake
Newfound lake features two lighthouses and is in a beautiful part of the state. It is often a destination for ice fishers interested in a more scenic view. It’s one of the best lakes for ice fishing in New Hampshire and it even has its own annual ice-fishing derby. You can purchase tickets at one of the local boat launches and partake.
You can find many different fish species here. However, the rainbow trout is the biggest draw. The lake produces large rainbow trout every season, so it’s a great place for those looking for larger trout. You can also find lake trout, though they aren’t usually as plentiful here.
9. Lake Sunapee
Lake Sunapee is best known for its crazy water clarity. You can see down to around 30 feet in some places! Of course, you won’t be seeing down nearly this far when ice fishing. Both types of bass can be found in this lake, which are the main species fishermen seem to go after here.
There are several boat launches on Lake Sunapee that allow for easy access. This lake does sometimes freeze later than others, so be sure to check if it is open to ice fishing before heading out.
10. Highland Lake
This lake is very small at only 700 acres. Therefore, it is considered one of the least challenging lakes in New Hampshire, as you can move across it much easier. The fish tend to be easier to find as well because they just don’t have as many places to go.
Usually, anglers look for smallmouth and largemouth bass on Highland Lake. However, in the shallow areas, you can also find pickerel, perch, and crappie. There is a boat ramp on the lake that allows for easy access. Because this lake is smaller, there isn’t as much access difficulty as with some of the other lakes.
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