Most people assume that the fishing season ends once the weather cools down, but for many fishermen and women, the best part of the angling season is just getting started in the wintertime. While there are hundreds of great places to ice fish all over the U.S., there’s no question that the Midwest is home to some of the best ice fishing around. For the cold weather loving fishing enthusiasts, we’ve compiled a list of the best lakes for ice fishing in the Midwest.

Lake of the Woods, Minnesota

Lake of the Woods offers 65,000 miles of shoreline and is the walleye capital of the world. It has also been called one of the most scenic lakes in the United States. In addition to its abundance of walleye, the lake also supports a healthy population of northern pike, sauger, muskie, rock bass, largemouth bass, lake trout, and sturgeon. With more than 45 resorts offering all-inclusive ice fishing tours, this Minnesota hot spot is a must-visit destination for ice fishing fans. Lake of the Woods has a long fishing season, running from early December through late March.

Lake Winnebago, Wisconsin

Excellent ice fishing awaits you at Lake Winnebago, the largest inland lake in Wisconsin. Its waters host walleye, perch, white bass, and sturgeon, which attract anglers from all over the country. The mix of deep and shallow water areas makes Lake Winnebago a great place to hone your ice fishing skills in different depths. Share your passion with locals at the annual Battle on Bago family ice fishing tournament, complete with food, music, and dancing. Cities around the lake include Oshkosh, Fond du Lac, and Appleton. The season here runs from mid or late December to the end of February.

White Bear Lake, Minnesota

White Bear Lake offers excellent winter ice fishing during the cold Minnesota months. The most common fish species you’ll see in White Bear Lake are Northern Pike, Muske, Walleye, Largemouth Bass, Crappie, and more. And more than 1,300 walleye fingerlings are stocked annually!

Lake Elmo, Minnesota

Looking for a great spot to fish Northern Pike? Lake Elmo has you covered. There is a larger-than-average number of Northern Pike in this lake, however, the lake also has largemouth bass, trout, tiger muskie (low abundance), crappie, tullibee, and more. To gain access for ice fishing, you can do that through the County park. 

Lake Mille Lacs, Minnesota

Situated just north of St. Paul, Lake Mille Lacs is the second largest lake in Minnesota. This massive Midwestern ice fishing spot, home to walleye, rock bass, northern pike, jumbo perch, muskie, and smallmouth bass, spans 132,000 acres and three counties. Experienced fishing resorts and tour companies surround the lake, making this popular destination the perfect spot for those new to ice-fishing. Conveniently for fishers, the best fishing areas are not limited to one particular area of the lake. The season runs between mid-December and February.

Medicine Lake, Minnesota

Over 880 acres in size, Medicine Lake is definitely a popular spot near the Twin Cities. Here, you can fish for Northern pike, largemouth bass, walleye, bluegill, crappie, yellow perch, and more. There are also two public access points on the lake. Be sure to check with the Three Rivers Park District to know where you can access the lake and when the lake is safe for ice fishing huts.

Mississippi River, Iowa

Many of the lakes in Iowa offer one or two species in big numbers, but the top pick among Iowa ice fishers is the backwaters of the Mississippi River. Favorite spots along the river include Bussey Lake, Mud Lake, and Sunfish Lake, where the lake has been dragged. The lakes offer the deeper water most fish seek out in the cold winter months. Fishers can expect to catch perch, bluegills, crappies, and panfish. The best time to go is from mid-December to February, but the ice can sometimes last through March. The closest town to the Mississippi River backwater lakes is Guttenberg, Dubuque, and Sabula.

Ice House and Snowmobile Rentals

If you are ready to get on the ice this winter, Fractional Toys can supply all the equipment you need to make your trip to complete. We offer snowmobile and ice house rentals in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


To reserve your vehicle rental, call us at 651-340-0937. You can also send a message to