While the state of Vermont might be relatively small, it is home to over 40 lakes that are open to ice fishing during the winter months. When winter brings the cold weather and ice starts to form, there is plenty of opportunities to enjoy yourself!
Ice fishing is such a popular pastime in Vermont, that the state’s fish and wildlife department hosts a free ice fishing day in January where anyone can fish for free and attend a number of informative seminars at many of the popular ice fishing lakes.
With a large number of places to go, it can always present a challenge to know exactly where to get started. Here is our list for some of the top locations for the best ice fishing in Vermont!
Top Locations for Ice Fishing in Vermont
1. Lake Champlain
By far the state’s most popular and premier ice fishing destination, Lake Champlain offers plenty of ice fishing opportunities. This 120-mile long lake is home to plenty of kinds of fish, such as salmon, lake trout, northern pike, yellow perch, white perch, crappie, and walleye.
The great part about Lake Champlain is the different opportunities that exist in different parts of the winter. As the year progresses, more and more ice is formed, offering more access to the deeper parts of the lake and different species of fish as the season progresses.
With plenty of fish and more than enough ice to go around, it is no surprise that Lake Champlain is the most popular lake in the state for ice fishing. This is one lake that you will not want to miss while in Vermont!
2. Lake Carmi
Lake Carmi is found in Lake Carmi State Park and is the fourth largest natural lake in Vermont. It is around 7 miles long, so it offers plenty of space to stretch your legs, explore the lake, and have plenty of ice to yourself.
Lake Carmi is home to plenty of fish, even plenty of warm water species such as crappie, bluegill, bass, and catfish. Other popular species to ice fish for include northern pike, walleye, and perch.
Because it is a state park, Lake Carmi offers plenty of public access and hosts a variety of local amenities. There is plenty of places to go fishing, and because the lake is relatively shallow, it tends to freeze over a little faster than other states found throughout the state.
3. Lake Bomoseen
Much like Lake Carmi, a large portion of Lake Bomoseen is found within a state park, Bomoseen State Park. This gives anglers plenty of options when it comes to access points and local utilities and amenities around the lake.
At around 2400 acres, this lake gives you plenty of room to have some ice to yourself. There are plenty of fish species to target and catch, including perch, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, trout, bluegill, and crappie.
Because of the diverse habitat and habitat projects, Lake Bomoseen has excellent populations of fish and a great place to visit if you are looking for a lake that is easy to fish but provides a good chance of catching what you are after.
4. Lake Dunmore
Lake Dunmore is the smallest lake on our list, sitting at around 3 miles long and 980 acres. This is still plenty of room to explore and get away from other anglers, while still finding that next successful fishing hole.
Lake Dunmore sits next to Branbury State Park, which sits on its eastern shoreline. This is a good place to find access to the lake, as much of the shoreline around the lake is privately owned and access can sometimes be an issue.
While you may at times battle access issues, Lake Dunmore is worth the effort and you will find healthy populations of perch, bass, crappie, and trout. If you are willing to work a little to get out onto the ice, you will no doubt be rewarded with plenty of fish!
5. Seymour Lake
At over 1700 acres, Seymour Lake is a very popular bass fishing destination during the summer months. But while the warm water species are the stars of the show here, the ice fishing at Seymour Lake is a hidden gem that not many know about.
In addition to bass, anglers can expect to find salmon, brook trout, lake trout, and brown trout. Because most anglers visit this lake in the summer, there is hardly anyone out on the ice in the winter months and the pressure is minimal.
Because the lake is fed by two streams, the fish get plenty of nutrients and food and can grow to some great sizes. If you want a lake that will give you some time to yourself, Seymour Lake is a great option.
How Much is a Fishing License in Vermont
Vermont is very fishing-friendly, and their fishing license fees reflect that. A few notable fishing license fees to include:
- No license is needed for anyone under the age of 15.
- An annual license costs $28 for residents and $54 for non-residents.
- Non-residents can purchase 1,3, and 7-day licenses for $21, $23, and $31 respectively.
To view all of the other fishing license fees and options that are available, you can find them at https://anrweb.vt.gov/FWD/FW/LicenseInformation.aspx.
Where to Buy a Fishing License in Vermont
Vermont fishing licenses can be purchased at many different businesses around the state, including outdoor shops, convenience stores, and fishing lodges. They can also be purchased online directly from the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department. For a full list of license vendors or to purchase a license, you can visit their website at https://anrweb.vt.gov/FWD/FW/LicenseAgents.aspx.
Vermont is a great state to go fishing and its no surprise that fishing is one of the most popular activities in the entire state. From their low fishing fees to the great locations to get out on the ice, Vermont has something for every single ice fisherman!