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Ice Fishing in NH

Ice fishing in most New Hampshire lakes and ponds begins at “ice-in” and ends at “ice-out.” Depending on the weather and ice safety, this season can be from late December through mid-April. These types of waters support mostly warmwater fish populations, including perch, pickerel, black crappie and bass, with a few waters providing opportunities to catch brook, rainbow or brown trout through the ice.


Waters managed for lake trout and/or salmon have a defined season of January 1 through March 31. Remember: salmon may not be taken through the ice. Designated trout ponds are closed to ice fishing.



ice fishing children

This is fun! Tyler Vaillancourt of Belmont, NH, with a 21" largemouth bass caught in a small NH pond.

Photo courtesy of John Viar.


Dan and Sara Rondeau of Chester, NH, and son Cash


Videos About Ice Fishing





QUESTION: How many ice fishing traps can be set per person?


ANSWER: On most NH waters, the general rule is 6 traps (lines) per person when ice fishing, with the following exceptions:


  • You are allowed only 2 traps (lines) when fishing "lake trout and salmon" lakes.
  • 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:


2-Line Limit
Waterbody Managed for Managed for
  Lake Trout Landlocked Salmon*
Connecticut Lake, First X X
Connecticut Lake, Second X X
Connecticut Lake, Third X  
Conway Lake   X
Dan Hole Pond, Big X X
Diamond Pond, Big X  
Francis Lake X X
Granite Lake X  
Great East Lake X  
Greenough Pond, Big X  
Merrymeeting Lake X X
Newfound Lake X X
Nubanusit Lake X X
Ossipee Lake   X
Silver Lake (Harrisville) X  
Silver Lake (Madison) X  
Squam Lake, Big X X
Squam Lake, Little X X
Sunapee Lake X X
Winnipesaukee Lake X X
Winnisquam Lake X X
*Note - salmon may not be taken while ice fishing