8 Manitoba hardwater adventures for those who have never been ice fishing before

Posted February 15, 2023 | Author Jillian Recksiedler

Every winter, thousands of fishing enthusiasts descend on Manitoba's frozen waterways for some good ol' hard water angling. And while there are endless lakes and rivers to set up on, these 8 ice fishing adventures provide all the fixings for when your heart needs adventure.

1. Ice Village, Gimli

Ís þorp, which means 'migrating ice village' in Icelandic, is a little community that pops up near the harbour in Gimli. Anyone is welcome to drive out on the ice with their 'fiski kofi' (ice fishing shack) and fish for the day. Otherwise, there are fishing shacks available to rent seven days a weeks for those who are confident in their abilities and have their own gear. For beginners, there are guides available on weekends to make it a fully guided experience. Ís þorp also features snow art installations, light displays, and a skating and crockicurl rink.

2. Overnight on the Ice, Lake Winnipeg

For avid ice fishers, tour operators on Lake Winnipeg now offer the coolest ice fishing adventure that allows you to sleep and dine next to your fishing hole once the sun sets. Check out Kannuk Outfitters, Gaune Fishing, and Stringer Rentals out of Gimli for overnight packages in customized RVs where families can cozy up and watch the fish bite all night long. It's a winter fishing and camping trip at its finest.

3. Gull Harbour Marina & Lighthouse Inn, Hecla Island

Always wanted to do a family ice fishing vacay? It's easy at Gull Harbour Marina & Lighthouse Inn. Book a room at the inn or rent a stand-alone family cabin. Have all your meals in the spectacular on-site dining room that overlooks the lake. Then get on the ice during the day by booking one of the resort's comfortable SnoBears, a customized recreational vehicle that allows you to navigate the lake and ice fish in warmth. Guide and gear provided.

3. FortWhyte Alive, Winnipeg

Visit FortWhyte Alive on select dates in winter for a lesson with ice fishing teacher extraordinaire Roselle Turenne of Prairie Gal Fishing. Learn all the skills needed to head out on the water with others. The small, sheltered pond at FortWhyte is the perfect training ground. Pre-registration is encouraged. Participants must be 12 years of age or older. Equipment is supplied.

4. Icebound Excursions, Lake Winnipeg

Another great option for beginners is an ice fishing excursion on Lake Winnipeg with Icebound Excursions. While experienced anglers might opt to fully rent the SnoBear for the day in their own search for greenback walleye, those just starting out will feel at ease with an all-inclusive fishing day that includes a driver, sonar, ice fishing gear, bait and lunch - all from the ultimate (heated) ice fishing machine!

5. Wekusko Falls Lodge, Snow Lake

Ice fishing season is extra long in northern Manitoba, which means even more opportunity to reel in a master. Located 2 hours north of The Pas and 2 hours west of Flin Flon, Wekusko Falls Lodge is picturesque getaway where you can have your pick of ice fishing on 10+ lakes! An all-inclusive ice fishing package includes all the essentials - from your cabin to your meals, equipment, fishing guide and even professional photos of your catches!

6. Bakers Narrows Lodge, Flin Flon

Located just outside of Flin Flon, this drive-to luxury lodge, with individual vacation cabins, is open year-round, offering out-of-this world ice fishing on Lake Athapapuskow. Reel in trophy lake trout, walleye, northern pike and more on a guided ice fishing excursion. Snowmobiles, shacks and gear are all available for rent - making for unlimited options and fishing opportunities!

7. Riverside Lodge, Lake Dauphin

Lake Dauphin is already known as a hotspot for ice fishing, but accessing this special spot in Manitoba is made even easier with Riverside Lodge. The lodge welcomes anglers of all skill levels (yes, even those first timers) and are able to provide fully guided fishing days, tackle/gear, meals and lake shuttles.

Tip: Fishing Licenses

All anglers need to register for a fishing license prior to their trip via Manitoba e-licensing. Winter Family Fishing Weekend is held every February long weekend. During this time, people can do so without acquiring a licence. All other rules and regulations apply.

Jillian Recksiedler, Travel Manitoba

About The Author

Hi, I'm Jillian, a marketer, communicator, traveller and Manitoba flag waver. Growing up in rural Manitoba during the '80s means I have a penchant for daytrips, maps (the paper kind), and prairie sunsets. I never tire of sharing stories about my home.

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