St. Germain is one of the top fishing destinations in the Northwoods and when the temperatures fall, the action really heats up on our lakes. Our destination has everything you need for an adventure on the ice. We have frozen lakes that are teeming with fish and when you’re ready to step off the ice, there are plenty of cozy lodging and dining properties waiting for you – many are just steps from the lakeshore.
Ready to join the fun? Here’s what you need to know about ice fishing in St. Germain.
Where’s a good place to go ice fishing in St. Germain?
There’s no shortage of great ice fishing lakes in St. Germain – there are numerous public landings that you can use to get out on the ice. Little and Big St. Germain Lakes, as well as Pickerel Lake, and Lost and Found Lakes are among the most popular, said Peter Stoltman, who with his wife Karen owns Last Cast Fishing Outfitters in St. Germain.
“Any of the lakes can be good,” he said. “All these lakes have a pretty good populations of fish, so you can have a reasonable expectation of catching something.”
You can find specific information about St. Germain’s lakes, including the fish that each lake contains and the water quality, on the state Department of Natural Resources website.
What do I need to go ice fishing in St. Germain?
Ice fishing can be a fairly inexpensive way to enjoy winter.
“It can be a fairly equipment intensive sport but it also can be fairy simple,” Stoltman said.
If you’re just getting started, Last Cast can set you up with everything you need – the shop is open daily and it carries all the essentials, from tip-ups to augers, as well as other key items like lures and bait and Wisconsin fishing licenses.
Even if you’re well equipped you might want to stop in to see what they have – the store welcomes visitors and you can say hi to Bix, the shop’s friendly Australian shepherd.
What can I catch in St. Germain?
The lakes in St. Germain are well stocked with fish and Stoltman said some of the biggest fish of the year get caught on the ice.
“A lot of people are after bluegills, perch and crappies,” Stoltman said. “A lot of people are catching those so they can out together a little fish fry.”
He said walleyes are also popular for ice fishing, as well as pike.
“Pike are fairly easy if you want to get some activity,” he said. “You typically catch those with tip-ups.”
How can I improve my odds on the ice?
A great way to elevates your experience, especially if you’re new to our waters, is to work with a local guide. Our guides have it all: decades of expertise, the latest gear, and the knowledge that will increase your odds of success. It’s a great value – you’ll pick up lessons that will serve you well for a very long time, and there’s a good chance you’ll have an even better time than if you went out alone. You can also check in with fishing websites and check in with local businesses, like Last Cast.
“Getting local knowledge is really helpful,” Stoltman said.
How can I stay safe on the ice?
“You always want to be aware of where you are,” Stoltman said. “If you are uncertain, go slow and drill test holes – make sure what you are walking on is solid. Stay away from areas that have a current, because the ice will be thinner. You just always want an awareness of where you are going. Ice is a dynamic thing. It thins, out and it thickens – what you walked on a week ago might be a whole different story the following week. You always want to be aware of the potential dangers out there.”
It also goes without saying you’ll want to dress warmly when you head out on the ice, Even on unseasonable warm days, good waterproof boots are a good idea, as well as plenty of warm layers.
The State Department of Natural Resources has some good information on how to stay safe on the ice and what to do if you have an issue.
I’ve never been ice fishing in St. Germain before? What’s the appeal?
If you’ve never been ice fishing before, you’re in for a good time. Stoltman said that while some choose to fish alone, ice fishing can be a very social activity. Just head out with your friends or family and enjoy the day!
“Groups of people go out together,” Stoltman said. “Some might be cooking up some brats out on the ice. We are in the part of the country where people just love being outdoors rather than being cooped up outside.
Ice fishing is also a very family friendly activity. Stoltman said kids enjoy just playing out on the ice with sleds and skates and they love seeing a fish coming out of the ice. He said when a flag goes up, the kids will come running.
“You might just be pulling up a 14-inch pike, but to them it’s all about the action,” he said. “They caught one.”