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Ice Fishing for Walleye + Other Fish With Pictures and Videos

I live in Houston and have worked as a nurse. I have a lifelong passion for traveling, nature, and photography (preferably all together!).

Blue Walleye

Blue Walleye

Ice Fishing for Walleye

Ice Fishing for Walleye fish as well as many other kinds of fish enthralls many fishermen when the weather turns cooler and those lazy days of Summer slip into the cool and crisp days of Fall. Soon they know that the rivers and lakes will be frosting up and ice will begin to build.

Thoughts of gathering together portable ice fishing shelters as well as other needed ice fishing supplies starts running through many a dedicated fisherman's mind.

Gathered together is a variety of ice fishing videos for readers of this post who may wish to see how this sport is accomplished. And for people worldwide who take part in this sport and the ice is not yet thick enough to safely start one's ice fishing...watching these videos can make you dream of the day when you will be enjoying this type of activity firsthand.

A child checks for action beneath the surface while ice fishing at Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge.

A child checks for action beneath the surface while ice fishing at Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge.

Ice Fishing Precautions

Just like in any other type of sport, ice fishing requires some knowledge in order to fully enjoy it and be safe.

The very first and most important thing to do each year is to make sure that enough time has passed that the waterway one is on whether it be a creek, river or lake has had time enough to not only freeze but that the ice is thick enough to support the weight of things that one wishes to have upon the ice.

Every year there are accidents when not only people but equipment, snowmobiles and even cars are lost when the ice breaks and swallows what was once on top of the ice. Sadly, some people and even pets are lost due to carelessness or ignorance.

Thus if one is not experienced in such things heed the local experts who know about such things and wait until that frozen water will afford the fun winter activities in which one wishes to participate.

Cutting a hole in the ice when the lake is frozen.

Cutting a hole in the ice when the lake is frozen.

Thickness of Ice

4 inches of solid ice should make it safe for walking. Another couple of inches should be added before one drives such things as snowmobiles out onto the ice.

If one is going to drive one's lightweight car onto the ice which many fishermen do to transport their supplies be sure that the ice is 7 to 12 inches thick. For full-sized trucks the ice is recommended to be from 14 to 16 inches thick according to a Wikipedia link.

Ice fishing takes place all over the world. Here is a photo of ice fishing in Kazakhstan.

Ice fishing in Kazakhstan

Ice fishing in Kazakhstan

Where my Dad grew up as a child on Okauchee Lake in Wisconsin, it was common that every year a number of cars would be lost by breaking through the ice. Snowmobiles did not yet exist.

Back in those days it was just considered to be bad luck and a shame. As long as the people did not lose their lives people just shrugged it off and laughed about it. The bottom of the lake became littered with such things and since it was fairly deep, the cars, sleds or other things remained there.

Now because of environmental concerns, if a car is known to have fallen through the ice, every effort is made to recover it as soon as possible so that contaminants do not leech into the water. It is no longer a laughing matter.

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Ice Fishing Accessories

Just as in any other type of sport the right type of clothing and accessories for ice fishing are required.

Obviously one needs an auger or some type of drill to make a hole through the ice in order to be able to catch swimming fish below the ice. I suppose prior to augers, axes could have been used to chop a hole in the ice?

But certainly the use of augers such as they now utilize is much easier and creates an even nicely shaped hole through which one can drop a line and fish. Also one would expend much less energy in making that fishing hole in the ice with the use of an auger.

One obviously needs to dress warmly and the new microfibers found in clothing helps that.

Ice fishing supplies includes such things as ice fishing tackle, ice fishing lures, ice fishing poles or rods and reels, ice fishing spears (for those who choose that method of fishing) are among many other offerings. Obviously one will have many of these ice fishing accessories for years once one makes a purchase. They also make great gifts for the fishermen in one's life.

Ice Fishing Tent

If one plans to do a lot of ice fishing, it might pay to invest in a portable ice fishing shelter or ice fishing tent.

Once the hole is drilled in the ice and one determines through the help of such accessories such as an ice fishing flasher that this spot should produce some good fishing prospects and if one wishes to stay a bit warmer, an ice fishing tent can provide extra shelter from the wind.

Heaters can be placed inside the tents to provide extra warmth and these shelters can provide extra storage space...even sleeping space depending upon the size and structure.

For some serious fisherman who live in northern climates they actually haul more permanent ice fish houses onto the lake each year while the ice can bear that kind of weight.

Ice fishing tents

Ice fishing tents

While my husband and I lived in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin many years ago for a space of 4 years, I was invited to join a quilting group and we ladies met during the Fall, Winter and Spring of the year in each others homes once a week.

The hostess provided the drinks, typically tea and coffee as well as a dessert. We would each bring our own sack lunches. While there we would then work on handicrafts and visit. It was a fun way to pass some of the bitter cold winter days.

One of the ladies lived on a lake. Looking out her back windows each winter there were always an assortment of ice fishing structures grouped not that far apart and not that far from the shoreline.

Location of where I personally witnessed lots of ice fishing.

Apparently for ice fishermen this type of gathering is as much for fun and conviviality (and probably some drinking as well...for those that imbibed in alcoholic spirits) as much as the ice fishing was intended to catch fish for supper.

Many of them when they would catch a walleye fish or some type of other fish would measure it and then release it back into the water as many of these embedded videos show. Ice fishing was as much for bragging rights.....who caught the biggest fish? much as it was to actually provide food for the dinner table. Some of both undoubtedly occurs.

It was quite a sight to see all of those ice fish structures and men moving about on the ice so close to the houses when most of the year those same home owners had the wide expanse of the lapping waters of the lake as their view.

Hope that you enjoyed looking at these ice fishing videos and if you were not already familiar with ice fishing for walleye and other fish in the deep of wintertime you may have learned something about this sport and unique way of fishing.

Hope you land the big one!

Hoping to catch the big fish!

Hoping to catch the big fish!

Inupiat fishing for sheefish at Selawik National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska

Inupiat fishing for sheefish at Selawik National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska


NYS Department of Environmental Conservation: Learn How To Ice Fish

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation: Ice Fishing

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2010 Peggy Woods

Comments are welcomed.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 10, 2020:

Hi Devika,

I have not gone ice fishing either, but I have seen it done watching from the shorelines.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on September 10, 2020:

I have never gone ice fishing. In Croatia it is too warm for that. Although ice fishing sounds a great adventure if one is keen on getting out. Thank you for another informative and well-written hub.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 24, 2019:

Hi Jeremy,

Hopefully, this will be the year for you to enjoy ice fishing. It is always a good idea to make sure that the ice is thick enough!

Jeremy Richmond from Hubbard on August 23, 2019:

I love ice fishing, being back in Ohio, the last few winters have been either brutal to the point of not being able to convince myself to leave the comforts of home or not quite cold enough to have what many consider safe ice on the great lakes. Hopefully this year!

Robert Sacchi on August 17, 2018:

Yes, I've been meaning to go fishing but it hasn't seemed to happen.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 17, 2018:

Hi Robert,

Those videos are fun to watch whether one is an ice fisherman or just want to be informed as to how it is accomplished.

Robert Sacchi on August 15, 2018:

I enjoyed the article. Those videos are awesome.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 14, 2013:

Hello Always Optimist,

Looking at these photos makes me feel cold also. Ice fishermen are a special breed of people! I guess with their clothing and heaters in those huts, they do manage to stay warm. Thanks for your comment and votes.

Always Optimist from India on May 11, 2013:

We just do not have frozen lakes around so I have never been in to fishing on Ice. Infact fishing is not popular sport in India. I feel cold just by looking at the pics. Voting it up, awesome and interesting.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 12, 2013:

Hi Au fait,

Ice fishing is a well established hobby for avid fishermen in the northern reaches of the world when normal fishing because of frozen lakes precludes them from their favorite pass-time. I am glad that I got to see it first hand when we lived in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. They do have to be careful when driving vehicles out onto the lakes! Thanks for the votes and share.

C E Clark from North Texas on April 12, 2013:

Well remember all the fishing huts on the lakes around where I grew up in Wisconsin. I didn't know anyone personally who ice fished. Also remember hearing about vehicles breaking through the ice from time to time that men had driven out onto the ice. Some years the ice doesn't freeze as thick as other years, or people forget that spring melt affects the stability of the ice. There are many reasons why it's a bad idea to drive one's vehicle out on the ice.

Anyway, this is a great article for people who want to learn about ice fishing. Voting up, useful, interesting, and will share!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 31, 2013:

Hi moonlake,

You should write a hub about their experiences of ice fishing. Am sure you could get some great photos! Apparently people from all over the world enjoy that sport. Thanks for the vote up.

moonlake from America on March 29, 2013:

My guys can get pretty fancy with their ice fishing shacks. Voted up.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 13, 2012:

Hi Brett,

I totally agree with you! I think that those ice fisherman had heaters and possibly a little alcohol to warm their insides as they sat in those ice fishing huts on top of the frozen ice. Brrr! I prefered looking at the huts on the lake from inside a nice warm home while we were visiting and doing our handi-crafts. Thanks for the votes and SHARE.

Brett C from Asia on February 12, 2012:

It was an interesting read and kind of cool to watch, but definitely not a hobby I will be taking up. I've lived near a snowboard/ski resort and while I thought it would be fun in the summer, as soon as -20c kicked in, it suddenly lost its appeal lol.

SOCIALLY SHARED, up and interesting.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 18, 2011:

Hi Billy,

"If wishes were fishes..." as the old saying goes...we'd have some cooler weather. Will never be cold enough in Houston, however, for ice fishing! Ha!

billyaustindillon on June 18, 2011:

How could would a bit of Ice Fishing in Houston be today :) Another record high temp for June!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 04, 2011:

Hi Billy,

I guess you could say that if 100 degree temperatures indicate summer! It is so hot...abnormally so! Ugh! Thank heavens for AC! A frozen lake and ice fishing would hold some allure right about now. Ha!

billyaustindillon on June 04, 2011:

Could do with a bit of ice fishing right now....Houston Summer is coming...

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 27, 2011:

Hello nifty@50,

Haha! I'll admit that those portable ice fishing shelters DO look a bit like outhouses. For those that do a lot of ice fishing, they actually DO have heaters, radios and/or TV's in them, among other conveniences. It was quite something to see when we lived in Wisconsin. Thanks for the comment.

nifty@50 on February 26, 2011:

Fishing in an outhouse, talk about your multi-tasking! Seriously it looks like a lot of fun. I would have a heater & radio or tv.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 06, 2011:

Hello Mr. Blade,

I seriously doubt that there is any ice fishing in Texas. I was refering to the ice fishing for Walleye and other fish up north...specifically in Wisconsin where I witnessed those portable ice fishing shelters and watched it being done from the comfort of a picture window in a home. Ice fishing is quite an unusual sport! Thanks for the comment.

Mr. Blade on February 06, 2011:

Ice fishing in Texas? You got to be kidding right? I live in Alaska and ice fishing is most definately the funnest thing to do during the winter...and we got giant fish up here. Caught a 39" lake trout once...what a monster!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 07, 2011:

Hi Billy,

Very true statement. Anyone interested in ice fishing would have to head north this time of year.

billyaustindillon on January 07, 2011:

Very true not a lot of ice fishing in Texas!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 04, 2011:

Hi Billy,

Glad that I could introduce you to the world of ice fishing not that you will get to enjoy it living in Texas. Thanks for the comment.

billyaustindillon on January 04, 2011:

A most enjoyable hub - I have never been ice fishing and really don't know much about it so appreciated the great information and presentation.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 01, 2011:

Hi Hello, hello,

Ice fishing for walleye and other fish is not something everyone would be familiar with unless one lives near frozen lakes and ponds and knows dedicated fishermen who like to catch fish no matter what the weather is like. Glad I could introduce you to something new and thanks for the comment.

Hello, hello, from London, UK on January 01, 2011:

Thank you, Peggy, for your wonderful hub about a way of life I didn't know. I loved every bit of it.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 30, 2010:

Hi katrinasui,

Ice fishing for walleye is a sport for those who enjoy cold and crispy weather combined with fishing...that's for sure! Glad that you enjoyed these ice fishing videos and thanks for the comment.

katrinasui on December 30, 2010:

Ice fishing for Walleye looks like a fun. A fantastic hub with great videos.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 30, 2010:

Hi Cheryl,

Glad that you liked this hub about ice fishing for walleyes and the ice fishing videos some of which showed the portable ice fishing shelters, etc. Certainly different from what we would ever see living in Houston!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 30, 2010:

Hi dahoglund,

Just watching those videos as the men reach into that frigid water to pull up the walleyes or other fish while they are ice fishing makes me shiver. A portable ice fishing shelter or not...that alone would make one cold and wet. Brrr! Those are what you might call dedicated fishermen!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 30, 2010:

Hi Tony,

I suppose ice fishing would look exotic to those who have never experienced nor seen it being done. Glad that I could at least give you a view of it through these ice fishing videos. Thanks for the comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 30, 2010:

Hi Jeff,

Yes, I went over to your hubs after you commented on this ice fishing one and found your wonderful hub about fly fishing. Thanks!

Cheryl J. from Houston, TX on December 30, 2010:


Ice fishing for Walleye looks like a fun and cold sport. I admire the fishermen who enjoy this type of therapy. A great hub and videos.

Don A. Hoglund from Wisconsin Rapids on December 30, 2010:

Peggy W

I went Ice fishing once. I swore never again. A high school friend and his brother invited me to go with them. We walked to a lake about a mile of two away from home as we were too young to drive yet. We chipped holes in the ice--no shelters, we were out in the open. I have always had a problem with low or slow blood circulation so my extremities get cold. Same problem with ice skating.

I didn't get much chance to talk to this guy at our high school reunion about five years ago but he was dressed as a cowbou and his wife as a dance hall girl. They had gone out to your part of the country and are running some sort of western ranch and entertainment show.

Tony McGregor from South Africa on December 29, 2010:

Looks like a very cold sport! But beautiful. For us living in the warmer climes this all looks so exotic! Thanks for sharing - I enjoyed it!

Love and peace


Jeffrey Penn May from St. Louis on December 29, 2010:

Hi Peggy. I see you found your answer. :)

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 29, 2010:

Hi Jeff,

Oh, I still remember seeing the movie "A River Runs Through It" and thought that the fly fishing was so beautiful. I have spotted some fly fishing in places like Yosemite and on the Umpqua River in Oregon while on vacation. I must admit that there is a certain beauty in fly fishing that far surpasses ice fishing for walleyes or any other kind of ice least in my eye. Have you written a hub about your fly fishing?

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 29, 2010:

Hi Gus,

For SURE! there is no ice fishing in Houston! Haha! But I still have my memories of seeing the portable ice fishing shelters in Wisconsin Rapids each year when we lived there. Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 29, 2010:

Hi dahoglund,

Probably good advice to remind people of the costs of having to retrieve cars and such if they fall through the ice...not to mention reiterating the safety issues for life and limb. For sure you now live in ice fishing country! Have you ever engaged in ice fishing?

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 29, 2010:

Hi DiamondRN,

Nice that this ice fishing for walleye hub and the ice fishing videos brought back happy memories of your ice fishing on the Kalamazoo River. That 54 inch pike fish photo is amazing!!! Thanks for leaving the link and also for leaving a comment.

Jeffrey Penn May from St. Louis on December 29, 2010:

While I love getting out for long hikes in wintery woods, I seldom fish during the winter. I fly fish May through October in clear Missouri streams.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 29, 2010:

Hi Micky,

As far as ice fishing being a lonely business, from what I have seen there are generally some buddies, even pets out on the ice keeping the fishermen company. I guess some people might do ice fishing as a solitary experience but then people who enjoy fishing in general find it to be relaxing and exciting at the same time when they catch something. Lots of time for contemplation.

Speaking of excursions into the snow...leaving a link to your latest post which is SPECTACULAR! Anyone reading this should head on over to Micky's hub:

Thanks, Micky!

Gustave Kilthau from USA on December 29, 2010:

Howdy Peggy - It has been many a moon since I did walleyes, and never atop the ice. Can't do walleyes around Houston unless you are lucky enough to pick up on one of Peggy's fine articles.

Gus :-)))

Don A. Hoglund from Wisconsin Rapids on December 29, 2010:

Herre in ice fishing country there was a news item on TV a couple of days ago about being careful about driving out on the ice. If not sure, don't do it. Mostly they talked about how much it costs to get a vehicle out. Also damage to the car or truck itself. They also recommended checking with your insurance company to see if that is covered.

I recall that before portable fishing shelters ppeople drove their cars out on the ice and removed the floorboards and fished from the car.

Bob Diamond RPh from Charlotte, NC USA on December 29, 2010:

You're bringing back some fond memories, Peggy. I remember ice-fishing at 4-below zero on the Kalamazoo River near Saugatuck, Michigan and getting Northern Pike (similar to a Musky) that were so big that two of them fell out of the gunny sack that I was carrying them in on the way back to the car. One of them was 54 inches, the other just a little smaller. Here is the link to a picture of a 54-incher >>>

Micky Dee on December 29, 2010:

Peggy- that looks like some cold lonely business there! I'll take some excursions into the snow but that seems cold! Great post as always Dear Peggy!

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