Ice FishingIce Fishing is a great and safe way to beat cabin fever and spend quality time with family and friends outdoors. If you are interested in learning more about ice fishing, view our Let's Go Ice Fishing video, read our Ice Fishing 101 blog or take one of our FREE learn to ice fish classes (information below).
The CT DEEP Fisheries Division - Connecticut Aquatic Resources Education (CARE) program offers Learn to Ice Fish classes from December through February. We will cover safety on the ice, how to dress for the cold, where to go, ice fishing equipment, baits, techniques, and tactics during the ZOOM class. Experts will be available to answer all your ice fishing questions. Check back for a schedule of classes and ice fishing events in December.
All participants will be invited to register for an instructor-led ice fishing trip (pending safe ice) following completion of the ZOOM class. Ice fishing trips are limited to the first 20 people who register. We will email you an invitation with dates and details after the ZOOM class!
Tips and Pointers for Safe and Fun Ice Fishing
Safety first: A rule of thumb for ice safety is “there is no 100% guarantee”. Ice thickness and strength will vary from place to place. Be sure to “test” the thickness as you go – do not assume. Generally, four to five inches or more of clear ice is acceptable for a small group ice fishing. Learn more about ice safety.
Ice formation depends on the combination of many things including:
- the size of the water (small pond versus large lake),
- the depth of the water,
- objects sticking out of the water like boulders and logs,
- proximity to moving water (like the inlet and outlet),
- amount and angle of the sun
- recent weather conditions (air temperatures and precipitation).
Be Prepared – Just in Case:
- Tell someone where you will be.
- Carry hand ice picks, a throw-able rope, a flotation device, whistle, and a cell phone.
- Take a friend or two.
Dress the Part:
- Dress in layers and avoid cotton.
- Wear a windproof outer layer, waterproof boots, and thick wool socks.
- Mittens and a hat are a must.
- Sunglasses are recommended to protect the eyes from the glare.
- Use creepers or other traction devices for your boots (ice can be very slick).
Make It Memorable:
- Go as a group, bring the family.
- Pack a picnic or bring a small portable stove or grill .
- Bring hot chocolate (especially if you take kids).
- Multi task with ice skates, snow shoes, or cross county skis while waiting for the flags to go up.
- Post some pics to social media.
- Take home some delicious fresh fish for dinner.
Popular State Owned Public Access for Ice Fishing:
Western CT: East Twin Lake, Salisbury; Dog Pond, Tyler Lake and Westside Pond, Goshen, Squantz Pond, New Fairfield, Highland Lake, Park Pond, and Winchester Lake, Winchester, Burr Pond and Stillwater Pond, Torrington, West Hill Pond, Barkhamsted, Bantam Lake, Morris/Litchfield; Mohawk Pond, Cornwall/Goshen, Wood Creek Pond, Norfolk; Mount Tom Pond, Washington
Central CT: Batterson Park Pond, New Britain; Wethersfield Cove, Wethersfield; Keney Cove, Glastonbury, Crystal Lake, Ellington; Moodus Reservoir, East Haddam, Lake Beseck, Middlefield; Black Pond, Middlefield; Silver Lake, Berlin
Eastern CT: Mashapaug Pond and Bigelow Pond, Union; Mansfield Hollow Reservoir, Mansfield; Coventry Lake, Coventry; Pachaug Pond and Beach Pond, Voluntown; Gardner Lake, Bozrah
Each person is allowed to have up to 6 tip-ups, hand held jigging rods, or similar devices in total. Each line can have up to 3 types of ice fishing hooks/bait/lures in total. All lines/devices must be personally attended at all times and have the name and address of the user printed legibly on or attached to the device (refer to the definition in the Fishing Guide).
Learn more about ice fishing in these informative articles published in Connecticut Wildlife Magazine:
- Catching Memories You Will Not Release
- Families Who Fish Together Eat Together
- Fishing the Hard Water Is a "Hole" New Adventure
- Ice Fishing Tips
Please contact the Fisheries Division with any questions.
Content last updated February 2021