Ice Fishing 101

From Sebago Lake to Moosehead Lake, to East Grand Lake and Rangeley Lake, ice fishing is a favorite pastime for Mainers! Whether this is your first time tackling an icy lake, or you’re taking your grandkids out for their first try, here’s a quick rundown of the “what, where and how” of ice fishing!



As you may have guessed, ice fishing takes place on the ice! Winter clothes are mandatory for this hobby, as are heavy-tread boots to prevent slipping. Other essential items you’ll need include (but aren’t limited to):

  • A chisel/auger to create a hole in the ice
  • An ice scoop to clear floating ice from the newly created hole
  • Live bait
  • Traps/tackle/jig rods to catch your fish


How do you know where the fish are? Ask around! There are plenty of Facebook and other online groups dedicated to this activity with information on the where the fish are biting. Join the conversation, meet like-minded people, and have a blast watching your flags go up!

You can also monitor fishing reports like this one.

*Note- ice MUST be thick enough to support your weight and the weight of your gear. While checking fishing reports, find out this vital piece of information.


  1. 2When you arrive, double check ice thickness
  2. Find your spot
  3. Drill your hole
  4. Skim floating ice from your ice hole
  5. Check water depth
  6. Set your trap or jig rod
  7. Relax! Check your bait every so often
  8. When you see your flag go up, reel in your catch
  9. Before you leave, clean up your area

Patrons Oxford Insurance wishes you a successful ice fishing season; we hope there are a lot of flags in your future! For a full list of equipment and instructions, visit the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife’s website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *