Ice Fishing

Ice Fishing Information and Resources

Ice fishing in New Hampshire begins with safe ice, and ends when ice becomes unsafe. You may be able to ice fish in small ponds for chain pickerel, perch, black crappie, and bass as early as December if the ice is safe.

Some ponds and lakes are stocked with trout and open year-round, giving anglers the chance to catch brook, brown, and rainbow trout through the ice. View a list of locations here.

Opportunities for lake trout can be found in New Hampshire’s larger lakes. Lake trout waters have a defined ice fishing season of January 1 through March 31.

Remember: Salmon may never be taken through the ice. It is advisable to cut the line as close to the salmon’s mouth as possible rather than remove the salmon from the water.

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Ice Fishing Digest

Complete guideline on seasons, rules, and regulations

Gear Allowances

Popular ice fishing devices include “tip-ups” (or traps) and jigs. Tip-ups consist of a submerged spool and line rig suspended from the ice, with a flag that pops up when a fish takes the bait. Jigs rods and jig stick setups allow the angler to “jig” the bait up and down through the water column.

Most NH waters allow 6 devices (lines) per person when ice fishing, with the following exceptions:

  • You are allowed only 2 devices when fishing lakes managed for lake trout.
  • Ice anglers are limited to 5 lines while ice fishing on NH-Maine border waters - except Great East Lake, which has a 2-line limit.


Two-line Limit

Here is a list of lakes where only 2 lines per angler are allowed:

Managed for: LT- Lake Trout, LS, Landlocked Salmon

  • First Connecticut Lake (LT, LS)
  • Second Connecticut Lake (LT, LS)
  • Third Connecticut Lake (LT, LS)
  • Conway Lake (LS)
  • Big Dan Hole Pond (LT, LS) 
  • Big Diamond Pond (LT)
  • Francis Lake (LT, LS)
  • Granite Lake (LT)
  • Great East Lake (LT)
  • Merrymeeting Lake (LT, LS)
  • Newfound Lake (LT, LS)
  • Nubanusit Lake (LT, LS)
  • Ossipee Lake (LS)
  • Silver Lake (Harrisville) (LT)
  • Silver Lake (Madison) (LT)
  • Big Squam Lake (LT,LS)
  • Little Squam Lake (LT, LS)
  • Sunapee Lake (LT, LS)
  • Winnipesaukee Lake (LT, LS)
  • Winnisquam Lake (LT, LS) 


Other Guidelines

Baited hooks must have only a single hook with a single hook point per ice fishing device. Bait is defined as “any ingestible substance.”

Cusk Fishing: For information on cusk fishing devices and regulations, visit Ice Fishing e-Regulations.

For a full list of ice fishing rules and regulations, pick up a copy of the NH Fishing Digest or view online.