Aroostook County Ice Fishing

Aroostook County’s long winters require fishermen to expand their skills to include ice fishing. The beauty is that the same fertile lakes that attract anglers all summer long are open in the winter for more sport fishing.

Ice Fishing in Aroostook County
Preparing an ice fishing trap on a Maine lake.

A Must-Try Tradition: The County has a long, rich tradition of winter fishing that is woven into our local culture as much as farming and forestry. For decades now, hearty County residents have taken to frozen lakes with fishing lines as a means to break up the long northern Maine winter in hopes to catch a fresh meal of smelt, trout, salmon or lake trout (locally called togue). Many of us long-time residents remember trudging through deep snow and slush with “tip-ups” and an ice chisel in hand (younger generations now have the advantage of power augers) to spend a long weekend day on one of the famous Fish River Chain of Lakes. The major lakes of the Chain – Long, Cross, Square, Eagle, Portage and St. Froid – all hold fond memories of setting up the ice shack before January 15, the historic opening day, and catching the first smelt through the ice in the first minutes of the new season.

Today, ice fishing is one of several popular winter sports for residents and visitors alike. The County has vast opportunities for winter fishing that can accommodate skill levels from novice to expert.

[source: Aroostook County Tourism]