The endless waterways of the Saranac Lake Region are prime real estate for the winter ice fishing season. Ideal for winter anglers, our deep, glacier-dug lakes shelter the fish.  

Experienced anglers down to novice and first timers will enjoy the abundant options for setting up the best ice fishing hole.

Ice fishing essentials

A hand line, some minnows, an auger, and a bucket is all that’s needed to get started. The hand line can be upgraded to a tip-up, the auger can be powered by a battery, and the upside-down bucket for sitting upon can be inside the shelter of a shanty. Warm boots, hat and gloves are a must in any case.

Get started with someone knowledgeable. Our local guides will be happy to pass on the tips and tricks for a great day on the ice. Local tournaments are another great way to get started, with new friends ready to share tips and techniques.

The Colby Classic, on Lake Colby at the edge of Saranac Lake, will celebrate its 30th Anniversary in 2014. It is traditionally held on the first Saturday and Sunday of March.

Ice Fishing Tips

Patience and strategy are key. That goes for more than the fishing!

Ice fishing seasons run November 15 - April 30 for species with no closed season or minimum length, and that’s a span with a lot of tricky weather at either end. For the big fish like northern pike, pickerel, tiger muskellunge and walleye, the season shortens to end March 15.

The New York DEC, Region Five Fisheries, advises that a minimum of three to four inches of solid ice is usually safe for anglers on foot. Weather changes and the characteristics of the different bodies of water means snowmobile tracks or footprints cannot be used to gauge safe ice conditions. Special wariness is required in areas of moving water. Boat docks might have bubblers installed which reduces ice thickness and density.

Stay the night

Use our Book a Reservation tool to help you find the right lodging for your stay, it's FREE and easy to use. If you've worked up an appetite check out the local fare, there are many great restaurants to choose from. 

Lake Kiwassa - ice fishing

The crystal clear waters of Lake Kiwassa grow some fine northern pike. Islands and abundant cat tails create good environments to try your...
Location: Saranac Lake, New York
Details

Lower St. Regis Lake - ice fishing

Known for its fine yellow perch, this lake is part of the St. Regis River chain, which also includes Upper St. Regis Lake and Spitfire Lake...
Location: Paul Smiths, New York
Details

Little Wolf Pond

Popular spot and easy to reach. Species: Walleye, northern pike, yellow perch, pumpkinseed. Access: Public access through town-owned...
Location: Tupper Lake, New York
Details

Franklin Falls Flow - ice fishing

Franklin Falls Flow was created by an impoundment of the Saranac River. Much of the lake is between 10-20 feet deep and so it freezes early...
Location: Bloomingdale, New York
Details

Church Pond - ice fishing

Church Pond is so named because the church of St. John's in the Wilderness is on its eastern shore. It is considered a fascinating...
Location: Paul Smiths, New York
Details

Upper St. Regis Lake - ice fishing

This is the biggest body of water in the St. Regis River chain, which also includes Lower St. Regis Lake and Spitfire Lake. So it is also...
Location: Paul Smiths, New York
Details

Jones Pond - ice fishing

A popular choice for the great fishing near the shore. Ices early. Deep weed beds. Location: off Jones Pond Road, west of the town of Paul...
Location: Paul Smiths, New York
Details

ice fishing on Upper Saranac Lake

The sixth largest lake in the Adirondacks, there’s plenty of room here to get out on the ice. And you’ll find plenty of fish here once you’...
Location: Tupper Lake, New York
Details

Upper St. Regis Lake - ice fishing

This is the biggest body of water in the St. Regis River chain, which also includes Lower St. Regis Lake and Spitfire Lake. So it is also...
Location: Paul Smiths, New York
Details

Lower St. Regis Lake - ice fishing

Known for its fine yellow perch, this lake is part of the St. Regis River chain, which also includes Upper St. Regis Lake and Spitfire Lake...
Location: Paul Smiths, New York
Details

Lake Clear - ice fishing

Known for its large and diverse fish species. Especially brook trout and landlocked salmon! Special fishing regulations means their season...
Location: Lake Clear, New York
Details

Lower Saranac Lake - ice fishing

The lake is big, and so are the pike and walleyes! Access: Ampersand Bay Road in Village of Saranac Lake. Hand Launch. Parking for 10 cars...
Location: Saranac Lake, New York
Details

Spitfire Lake - ice fishing

This is the "little" one of the St. Regis River chain, and so the first to freeze! Species: Yellow perch, pumpkinseed, northern...
Location: Paul Smiths, New York
Details

ice fishing on Upper Saranac Lake

The sixth largest lake in the Adirondacks, there’s plenty of room here to get out on the ice. And you’ll find plenty of fish here once you’...
Location: Tupper Lake, New York
Details

Rollins Pond ice fishing

This body of water is long and narrow, so freezing happens rather early. Good spot for lakers! Species: Northern pike, pumpkinseed, smelt...
Location: Saranac Lake, New York
Details

Spitfire Lake - ice fishing

This is the "little" one of the St. Regis River chain, and so the first to freeze! Species: Yellow perch, pumpkinseed, northern...
Location: Paul Smiths, New York
Details

Little Wolf Pond

Popular spot and easy to reach. Species: Walleye, northern pike, yellow perch, pumpkinseed. Access: Public access through town-owned...
Location: Tupper Lake, New York
Details

Church Pond - ice fishing

Church Pond is so named because the church of St. John's in the Wilderness is on its eastern shore. It is considered a fascinating...
Location: Paul Smiths, New York
Details

Little Wolf Pond

Popular spot and easy to reach. Species: Walleye, northern pike, yellow perch, pumpkinseed. Access: Public access through town-owned...
Location: Tupper Lake, New York
Details

Rainbow Lake & Rainbow Narrows - ice fishing

This lake was developed for walleye pike, through an partnership of the Rainbow Lake Association and the State of New York Fisheries...
Location: Brighton, New York
Details

Rollins Pond ice fishing

This body of water is long and narrow, so freezing happens rather early. Good spot for lakers! Species: Northern pike, pumpkinseed, smelt...
Location: Saranac Lake, New York
Details

Lower Saranac Lake - ice fishing

The lake is big, and so are the pike and walleyes! Access: Ampersand Bay Road in Village of Saranac Lake. Hand Launch. Parking for 10 cars...
Location: Saranac Lake, New York
Details

Osgood Pond - ice fishing

Lots of action on Osgood Pond: five hundred acres of hungry pike. Access: Take Route 86 north from Saranac Lake, and right before the...
Location: Paul Smiths, New York
Details

Spitfire Lake - ice fishing

This is the "little" one of the St. Regis River chain, and so the first to freeze! Species: Yellow perch, pumpkinseed, northern...
Location: Paul Smiths, New York
Details

Lake Colby - winter

One of the first to freeze is located what is generally regarded as the coldest spot in the state, and Lake Colby also offers great fishing...
Location: Saranac Lake, New York
Details

Lake Kiwassa - ice fishing

The crystal clear waters of Lake Kiwassa grow some fine northern pike. Islands and abundant cat tails create good environments to try your...
Location: Saranac Lake, New York
Details

Jones Pond - ice fishing

A popular choice for the great fishing near the shore. Ices early. Deep weed beds. Location: off Jones Pond Road, west of the town of Paul...
Location: Paul Smiths, New York
Details

Osgood Pond - ice fishing

Lots of action on Osgood Pond: five hundred acres of hungry pike. Access: Take Route 86 north from Saranac Lake, and right before the...
Location: Paul Smiths, New York
Details

Lake Kiwassa - ice fishing

The crystal clear waters of Lake Kiwassa grow some fine northern pike. Islands and abundant cat tails create good environments to try your...
Location: Saranac Lake, New York
Details

Lake Colby - winter

One of the first to freeze is located what is generally regarded as the coldest spot in the state, and Lake Colby also offers great fishing...
Location: Saranac Lake, New York
Details

Rollins Pond ice fishing

This body of water is long and narrow, so freezing happens rather early. Good spot for lakers! Species: Northern pike, pumpkinseed, smelt...
Location: Saranac Lake, New York
Details

Lake Clear - ice fishing

Known for its large and diverse fish species. Especially brook trout and landlocked salmon! Special fishing regulations means their season...
Location: Lake Clear, New York
Details

Lower St. Regis Lake - ice fishing

Known for its fine yellow perch, this lake is part of the St. Regis River chain, which also includes Upper St. Regis Lake and Spitfire Lake...
Location: Paul Smiths, New York
Details

Upper St. Regis Lake - ice fishing

This is the biggest body of water in the St. Regis River chain, which also includes Lower St. Regis Lake and Spitfire Lake. So it is also...
Location: Paul Smiths, New York
Details

Franklin Falls Flow - ice fishing

Franklin Falls Flow was created by an impoundment of the Saranac River. Much of the lake is between 10-20 feet deep and so it freezes early...
Location: Bloomingdale, New York
Details

Rainbow Lake & Rainbow Narrows - ice fishing

This lake was developed for walleye pike, through an partnership of the Rainbow Lake Association and the State of New York Fisheries...
Location: Brighton, New York
Details

Follensby Clear Pond - ice fishing

Location: Santa Clara, New York
Details

Buck Pond

Location: Onchiota, New York
Details

Buck Pond

Location: Onchiota, New York
Details