Best Spots for Ice Fishing in BC

British Columbia may be best known for having some of the most amazing snowboard and ski hills in all of Canada, but it turns out that it’s also a great spot to engage in another wintertime favourite: ice fishing.

Ice fishing seems to have been gaining in popularity throughout the years, and it’s easy to see why. Not only is it a social, family-friendly activity enjoyed by kids and adults alike, but it’s also easy to get into, as you don’t require a lot of special equipment or experience to have a good time. All you need to do is drill a hole and drop it in a line. That’s it.

Of course, it does help if you keep a few safety considerations in mind. You’ll want to make sure that the ice is at least 10cm thick if you’re just walking out onto the frozen lake and fishing, and at least 15cm thick if you’re planning on driving your truck around to find that perfect spot. You don’t want to take any chances – if your truck falls through the ice you’re likely not going to be getting it back!

Ready to go? Grab your freshwater fishing license and head out to one of the best spots for ice fishing in BC below.

Monte Lake

Monte Lake, located between Kamloops and Vernon, is an excellent winter kokanee fishery that is also easily accessible. While you can find rainbow trout here, it is the tasty salmon that most people are after, which can make for a delicious meal after a long day out on the ice. 

Ness Lake

Located about 35km northwest of Prince George, BC, Ness Lake has been stocked with kokanee and rainbow trout this year by the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC, though you may also be able to find some brook char here. This is a perfect place for beginner ice fishers, as you can normally borrow an auger and other gear from the nearby Prince George Visitor Centre for up to a week (though you should check their website for hours due to COVID-19).

Walloper Lake

If you have the kids with you, then you may want to check out Walloper Lake for ice fishing, located about 40km south of Kamloops. This lake tends to be chock full of small rainbow trout, so you and your family are almost certain to get a few if not many bites, making the experience a little more exciting for everyone.

Swan Lake

Looking to catch some bigger rainbow trout? Then you may want to check out Swan Lake near Vernon BC. The rainbow trout here can be up to 2 pounds in size, so make sure you’re using an ice auger that’s at least 15cm in diameter when boring your ice fishing holes.

Mamit Lake

Mamit Lake, located near Merritt, BC, is a popular spot for ice fishing as its easily accessible and close to Highway 97C. Fishers have found rainbow trout, mountain whitefish, and burbot here, but keep an eye on regulations as there is currently one in place that requires the release of any burbot.