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Ice Fishing Lake Winnipesaukee, NH


Article Categories: Fishing

Lake Winnipesaukee is filled with a variety of species that can be targeted through the ice during the cold NH winter. Nights can bring you 10 plus pound cusk, deep pools can reward you with lake trout, or a school of white perch, and you can win $10,000 just for catching a big fish.

(Featured Banner Image by Robert John Kozlow)


Ice Conditions

People die every year on the lake. Everyone should be cautious on the ice, check ice conditions before going out, and be sure to check the ice while you are out there. No matter what you read on the forums, be sure to always check ice depths yourself.

I have created and manage a Facebook group so that you can ask about specific areas or see recent updates. View Facebook Group

Lake Winnipesaukee ice conditions right now: http://www.rattlesnakecam.com/watch.htm


Ice Fishing Rules & Regulations


Ice Fishing Season

January 1st through March 31st.

  • No Salmon may be taken through the ice.
  • 2 Traps per person on lakes with lake trout or salmon. Here is a list of lakes:
Waterbody Lake Trout Salmon
First Connecticut Lake Yes Yes
Second Connecticut Lake Yes Yes
Third Connecticut Lake Yes No
Conway Lake No Yes
Big Dan Hole Pond Yes Yes
Big Diamond Pond Yes No
Francis Lake Yes Yes
Granite Lake Yes No
Great East Lake Yes No
Big Greenough Pond Yes No
Merrymeeting Lake Yes Yes
Newfound Lake Yes Yes
Nubanusit Lake Yes Yes
Ossipee Lake No Yes
Silver Lake (Harrisville) Yes No
Silver Lake (Madison) Yes No
Big Squam Lake Yes Yes
Little Squam Lake Yes Yes
Sunapee Lake Yes Yes
Winnipesaukee Lake Yes Yes
Winnisquam Lake Yes Yes

Here is a link to Fish and Game’s Regulations: http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/fishing/ice-fishing.html

You are also allowed up to 6 cusk traps per person.


Cusk Line Rules

  • Name and address must be on every cusk trap used
  • Weight must be at least 1 oz and lead-free
  • Weight must be at most 6 inches from the hook
  • Weight must be resting on the bottom of the lake

Any type of fish caught on a cusk line other than a cusk must be released. 


Cusk Trap

Image from http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/pubs/documents/samples/winter-cusk.pdf

This is also a great resource to learn about cusk and cusk fishing.


Lake Winnipesaukee Fish

Most common fish taken while ice fishing. These fish are the 7 categories of the Meredith Rotary Club ice fishing derby.

  • Lake Trout
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Yellow Perch
  • White Perch
  • Pickerel
  • Cusk
  • Black Crappie

Landlocked Salmon cannot legally be taken through the ice. Anglers must release the fish without taking them out of the water.


Other fish species in the lake:

  • Largemouth Bass
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Brook Trout
  • American Eel
  • Sunfish
  • Bluegill
  • Brown Bullhead (catfish)
  • Rock Bass
  • More!


Fishing Derby

Each year, the Meredith Rotary Club puts on an ice fishing derby. Fish can be caught on any legal body of water in NH, but must be checked in on Lake Winnipesaukee at the Meredith Town Docks. You can learn all about the derby and registration here: http://www.meredithrotary.com/


Lake Winnipesaukee Boat Launch Map

We also created a map that includes some of the most common boat launch locations for the public:


Bait and Tackle Shops Around the Lake

There are a few popular bait and tackle shops around the lake that will help greatly when you need supplies or to find out what has been biting lately.

Alton – Alton Bay Corner Store

Wolfboro – Hole in the Wall

Meredith – AJ’s Bait and Tackle


Local Ice Fishing Guides

If you are looking for a Lake Winnipesaukee ice fishing guide, fill out our form here.

Also, here is a list of local ice fishing guides (but please reach out to us first!):



Lake Access Points

Lake Winnipesaukee has a lot of public access points. The pdf below lays out a large portion of the public access points for summer months. Many of these boat launches are not accessible in winter months, however often times, people can get on the ice from the beaches.

Lake Winnipesaukee Boat Launch and Water Access

Ice Fishing Lake Winnipesaukee

Lake Winnipesaukee Lake Trout

Lake Winnipesaukee Pickerel

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Max DesMarais

Max DesMarais

Max DesMarais is the founder of hikingandfishing.com. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor adventure, travel, and marketing websites. He is an experienced hiker, backpacker, fly fisherman, trail runner, and spends his free time in the outdoors. These adventures allow him to test gear, learn new skills, and experience new places so that he can educate others. Max grew up hiking all around New Hampshire and New England. He became obsessed with the New Hampshire mountains, and the NH 48, where he guided hikes and trail runs in the White Mountains. Since moving out west, Max has continued his frequent adventures in the mountains, always testing gear, learning skills, gaining experience, and building his endurance for outdoor sports. You can read more about his experience here: hikingandfishing/about

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