Ice Fishing
Outdoors Niagara Ice Thickness Safety Chart

Back to other ice fishing page


Click the pic
See more Wilson pictures below
PLUS Lake Simcoe and information for Irondequoit bay!

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Is your car here?
Good Ice Fishing at Wilson Harbor on a Sunday!


How to clean a perch in TEN seconds ~ "Costa Style"  ~ Scroll Down on this page ~ Turn Volume up



On a large lake or waters that are moving under the ice, there's never any "safe ice." 
The lake waters are moving and levels are fluctuating enough to prevent solid ice from forming.
►  Trust only your own senses 

Goodneow gives up ice fishing secrets - By Will Elliott At bottom of this page

Also make sure you check out Bill Hilts Jr. Column on this page [below]
A good story featuring the modern grandfather of ice fishing Dave Genz of Minnesota

Lodging $30.00 PP - Meals: 3 meals, $25.00

Fall 2012 Perch Fishing!

Niagara's International Ice Fishing Show and Seminar Information  By Joe Mongomery

How NOT to put a tent up on a windy day!
 Watch this Funny Video! GO HERE

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Oneida Lake? Chautauqua? Erie? Honeoye? Irondequoit? Name it!


There are some great fishing information contacts at the bottom of this page!

Lake Simcoe Perch through the ice
[Late Season]

Quote of: Joe Ognibene
"No ice is safe ice"
Irondequoit Bay Go Here


Ice Fishing photos at
Wilson Harbor, Wilson NY HERE

Pictures sent in by Rob Crosbie of J's Fish Huts, Lefroy Ontario - Lake Simcoe 02/15/09
705-795-3864 ~ 705-456-8779

Rob says "waterhead drove right in, guess he thought the jeep would float" "Be Careful"

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Lake Simcoe Ice Fishing Message Board  http://www.lakesimcoemessageboard.com/

A great message board and worth the visit!Get up to date information!
Be sure to check the Outdoors Niagara Forum for up-to-date reports from some of these hut operators! GO HERE
J's Fish Huts
1169 Killarney Beach Road Lefroy L0L1W0
705-456-8779 - 705-796-3864cell
We offer four man heated huts for perch
and offer guided trips for trout and whitey's
bait lines and tackle available and
transportation provided to and from the huts.
[email protected] 
Casey's Port Bolster Inn
81 Covelly Rd.
Port Bolster Ont.
[email protected]
[705] 437-1560
See our ad at the top of this page
Ice Fishing Outfitters
Virginia Beach, Lake Simcoe
905 715-9718
Email: [email protected]

Mike Heyink


Pauleyanna Sports
235 Sunnybrae Avenue L9S 1H8

Cell; 705 229 1478  or 705 436 2485.

E-Mail: [email protected]

Matthew Pauley / Jerry Pauley
Target: Lake Trout and Whitefish
in the Innisfil area

A plea for Lake Simcoe Ice Hut Operators ~  If you would like to offer your update on 2009 fishing opportunities PLEASE contact me at Outdoors Niagara
I see a lot of you guys come and go but I need reliable fishing reports.

 "Help one, help all"

For a very large listing of Ontario hut operators go here courtesy of John Kerr, Toronto Sun

Holmes Point Rd. Pefferlaw, ON on Lake Simcoe.
Phone 1-888-525-FISH or 1-705-426-7800.
 $45 for Perch and $50 for Trout and Whitefish.
 >>CDN funds<<
Includes Bait & Heated Bombardier transportation

Shanty's are 8X8 in size and are heated.

You can call anytime for local updates.

Ask for Mike, the owner Steve, or
Jack, the man who runs the office.
Lake Simcoe Fishing Adventures
Targets: Everything
(905) 476-2652
Simcoe Fishing Adventures
Tim Hales Fish Huts
Phone: 705-426-9669 or evenings: 705-426-9105
Targets: Perch, Whitefish and Trout
We now offer on shore cottage rentals!
Visit our website: www.timhalesfishhuts.com
Orange Mobile Hut Rentals
Gilford, Ontario www.orangemobilehuts.com
(705)456-8650 or (705)623-3314
Fred Drodge

Ice Cabins of Gilford
Perch, Pike

Dan Hales
Pines of Georgina - Pefferlaw
Targets: Perch, Whitefish, Lake Trout
Two Reel Fishing
Hut Rentals and Guide
Target: Whitefish and Lake Trout on Lake Simcoe
For a great time call Steven at 705-456-4788
Hank Heynik Fish Hut Rentals
Hanks Huts are ledgendary on Lake Simcoe. If you are looking for whitefish and lake trout 
CONTACT: TIM 416-720-7431 E-MAIL [email protected]
Cannings Fish Huts
Target: Lakers, Whitefish and Herring in Barrie
Terry Goy Ice Huts
11th line of Innisfil Long Schoal
Target: Lake Trout, Whitefish
Gilford Ice Huts
Target: Perch, Pike
Hut operators from NY PA OH
or whatever, you are invited to give us a report and if you would like to be the first listed on Outdoors Niagara Ice Fish page, just email the information to me! Glad to have it!
Keffer's Marina
50 Lake Dr. Keswick
  How come your hut business
isn't listed here?
It's free
U.S. or Canada

 Irondequoit Bay!  
Bayside Boat and Tackle
1350 Empire Blvd
Bait shop on south end of Irondequoit Bay
Bait & Boat Rental
email: [email protected]


S and R Bait & Tackle
4423 Culver Road
Sea Breeze NY
Phone: 585-323-1182
All Baits - Certified Minnows
Open at 6:00 everyday




Try it! L@@ks good so let us know what you think. Some people say the fish even tastes better


Ice Fishing Secret Tip You Might Know, and Yet, Maybe Not! 
 A Great Story For you anyway


Mark Daul

Some years back I learned a little thing from an old timer who loved his ice fishing and never shared many of his secret tactics with anyone. This one he shared with me. He was always the most successful fisherman in any ice fishing community. Lets just call him "Old Bill". 

One day some guys were talking in my tackle shop about their recent weekend outing at a local hot spot and they were complaining about how slow the fishing was that weekend. Old Bill was listening to them from a short distance over. After these weekend fishermen left, Old Bill told me he was there in the same spot fishing and he had a really terrific morning fishing, and in fact had left after only a few hours because he had plenty of fish. He told me the same group of fishermen were there when he was, and were still fishing after he left. 

Everyone was fishing open air including Old Bill ~ [no huts etc.] Old Bill told me his secret tactic after they left and I was sworn to secrecy and wasn't supposed to tell anyone, especially "those guys". Well, Old Bill is gone now, and I feel it's OK to share this story at this time. I'm sure other hard water anglers know about this, but at the same time there are just as many that don't. Those that do, probably are reluctant to tell too many others. Well, here it is. It is so simple, I don't want you to get mad at me, but I had never thought of it until Old Bill swore me to secrecy.

Old Bill always fished with his 5 gallon plastic pail that he had fixed up to look like he was carrying his fishing supplies in it and it also served as a warm cushioned seat with a wooden top.  He carried a separate minnow bucket if he was using minnows that day. Most often he used mousee grubs or spikes on small jigs.

The cushioned seat top was fastened securely and a small hinged opening cut on one side. [for perch, crappies] Through the opening he could reach in and supposedly fetch his ice jigs or other things. He didn't do that, it was only a decoy. His things were kept in his snowmobile suit pockets or strapped to the outside of his bucket within those small plastic containers. The inside of the bucket was lined with a black plastic garbage bag. The kind you can't see through.

When Old Bill would catch a fish, instead of standing up and drawing attention, he quietly removed the hook and silently slid it into his bucket. He would occasionally rotate himself with his bucket trying to keep his back to the other fishermen. With a big old heavy suit, or coat on, it was hard for anyone to see whatever activity there was around his bucket.

Whenever another fisherman came around and asked him, "how ya doin?" Old Bill would say, "oh, not too good,... got a couple", or, "boy, is it slow!" And they would walk away and go back to where they were or roam around the ice asking questions like that of other fishermen.

Old Bill said that if you tell someone that you are catching fish, now they want to be your friend and fish right next to you. That involves them cutting another hole next to you, then his buddy comes over to do the same thing, then another, and another, and pretty soon there is a crowd around you and away goes all the fish!

The moral of this story is, there are lots of fish for everyone but when ice fishing, "mums the word", and all that racket on the ice sure doesn't help, especially in shallow water if you found the honey hole. The black plastic bag kept prying eyes from looking through a opaque plastic bucket especially if the sun is shining right. No water is needed mostly because it is so cold, the fish freeze, therefore staying nice and fresh until you get home.

Do you have a helpful story to tell? email it and we will print it here.
We reserve the right to edit it and misspellings are fine. We will correct if necessary.

Help us add to this page. Send your URL or other Information! 


Click the pic!
Compliments of J's Fish Huts
See above

Lake Trout at Lake Simcoe
Submitted by J's Huts - Lefroy Ontario [More pictures]

Click the pic!
Compliments of J's Fish Huts
LeFroy Ontario
Lake Simcoe

For Beaverton-Pefferlaw [Simcoe, Ontario] updates, check Randy Carleton at Randy’s Fish Huts, (705) 437-2989; Steve Barber at Steve’s Fish Huts, (705) 426-7229; Sonia Giles at Paul’s Fish Huts, (800) 667-7335; or Jerry Kucharchuk at Peninsula Motel, (800) 565-5253.

Lake Simcoe Message Board: http://www.lakesimcoemessageboard.com/

For a large database of hut operators at Lake Simcoe there is a link to a listing on THIS website. GO HERE
Data base courtesy of John Kerr, Toronto Sun.

Silver Lake: Walkers and tent hut anglers set up for perch and bluegill over depths of less than 10 feet off Mack’s Boat Livery at the southeast corner of the lake. Contact Frank Malone, at Mack’s.

J's Fish Huts in Lefroy Ont: 705-456-8779 - 705-796-3864 cell - For ice conditions,  at (585) 237-5983.

Ice Fishing at Wilson Harbor, Wilson NY
Click pictures to enlarge! Scroll down for more!


Wilson Ice Fishing

These pictures were taken on January 17, 2010 at Wilson Harbor, Wilson N.Y.
Some pictures were forwarded by John Eddy [Lucky Eddy] and the rest were taken from the Ice Shanty forum.
The fishermen were from Buffalo N.Y. and were fishing in the Ice Shanty ice fishing contest. [ www.iceshanty.com ]
The "2010" tag you see in the pictures is the official tag from the contest entry.

Anyone can access this area through Wilson-Tuscarora State Park free - Parking is free too. - Easy access
Portable Ice Tents - snowmobiles ok for travel - Careful on ice - you are on your own.
Remember: NO ICE IS SAFE ICE - See ice chart above for a guide

Mixed Bag
Browns, Rainbow, Pike
Before the day was out "between
 7 & 12 o'clock
we had 5 browns, 2 steelhead,
2 pike"

This man is the "Irish Jigger"
"We got them on Jigs & tip ups
with pike shiners & large emeralds

"The smoker will be full this week"
That's the Beccue Boat Basin
 in the background

See the background?

This little girl was a spectator
and we let her reel this fish in. Thrilled!



Click any picture to enlarge

All Wilson Harbor pictures below by Terry Swann and Mark Daul

What a great place to rendezvous

Temperatures in low 40's

Counted Approx 20 huts

Lone Fisherman

Picture of hut on the
 West Branch
 of 12 mile Creek.


Ice Fishing Season is here – Some Starter Tips to get you Fishing
Bill Hilts Jr. ~ Niagara Gazette Outdoors Writer        GOOD LINKS TO ICE FISHING PAGES BELOW!

Eddie Money must have been an ice fisherman. In his rock song “Walk On Water,” he rolls out with the lyrics “If I could walk on water, would you believe in me?” Of course, we’re not talking about the type of walking that is left to a much higher power. And with winter here in all of Mother Nature’s fury, ice fishing time is here. This up-and-coming outdoor activity is one of the fastest growing pastimes in the country - at least, where it’s cold enough to produce safe ice. The big question seems to be is: How do I get started?

It seemed appropriate to go right to one of the best – Dave Genz of Minnesota, the grandfather of ice fishing. I had the opportunity to rub elbows with the man at a recent gathering of the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers meeting in Wisconsin, picking his brain along the way for getting some started in the sport. It seemed a most appropriate line of questioning for a novice hard water angler such as me.
For those of you who don’t know Genz, he is a person who has changed the face of this entire winter sport. His innovations and philosophies have altered the way ice fishermen think. Because of these influences, fueled by a fiery passion and a dedication to this outdoor art, he is being honored as one of the inductees for the 2011 Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame.

You need to be comfortable when you are on the ice. If you’re not comfortable, you won’t enjoy yourself; you won’t learn; you won’t want to return to the scene of the shivering. “Dress for the weather,” says Genz. “Layer your clothing, making sure you wind-proof your body and keep your head and feet warm.” We could do an entire article on keeping your body warm in the winter. Because of the importance of this aspect alone, Genz was brought in as a consultant and spokesperson for The Clam Corporation, one of the top companies when it comes to ice fishing products on the market. Their line of clothing called Ice Armor is an outdoor system designed specifically to keep fishermen warm in the most brutal winter conditions. I can vouch for it – it works! But Genz was quick to point out that you need to do whatever it takes to keep warm – Ice Armor or not.

Because you are fishing on top of the water, the next important piece of equipment is the auger – the tool that allows you to drill through the ice. When the ice is only five or six inches thick, it’s not too much work to drill a hole manually. It’s good exercise, too, helping you to warm up in the process. A “lazer” auger will probably run you around $100, but it’s not essential. The thicker the ice, though, the better off you will be with a power auger to do the dirty work.

As far as fishing rods, Genz recommends not using your grandfather’s rod and reel and just putting new line on it to save time and money. “This is a common mistake among novice ice anglers,” says Genz. “There must be good balance between the rod and reel for it to be the most effective. There is a cost factor involved. A graphite rod will give you more feel, but if you are using a bobber or float, that won’t make as much of a difference. A beginner should use a bobber, allowing them to detect a light bite, especially with panfish. And panfish is a good species to start with ice fishing. You have a better chance at catching fish for yourself, allowing you to gain some confidence and develop your own technique.”

It helps to pick the time you go out, too. Genz recommends new fishermen to the sport to target the “golden hour” – that time from just before sunset to sundown. “You have a much better chance at catching fish during this time of day.” That said, it’s important to get out to some of the local tackle shops and pick their brains as far as what bodies of water are producing, what depths are working best and what lures or baits are getting fish to cooperate.

“An ice skimmer is important, too,” said Genz. “It allows you to keep fishing without taking a break. It also keeps your hands warm versus the alternative. Keep the hole slush-free. Your first trip should probably focus on live bait like minnows, spikes, wax worms – matching as best you can to what they are selling at the local bait stores.” Small “Fat Boy” jigs are a preference of Genz and red glow is best for that last hour of light. He doesn’t like using sinkers, either.

Genz is also known for his ability to move around on a body of water. Don’t be tied to any one place when you are ice fishing. You need to be flexible in your approach, be it targeting shallows, drop offs, reefs – wherever fish may be congregating. Study the contour maps of a lake and get to know different areas. To start out, it’s not a bad idea to go where other people are fishing. And pick a day when the wind is not blowing. A shelter will not be as critical during a day when it’s a bit more pleasant, but finding a pop-up type shelter that’s easy to put up and take down will help you be more successful … and more comfortable. If you can find one that also incorporates a sled for hauling your gear, you’ll be more mobile with it.

As far as your fishing line, Genz prefers a low stretch mono like the Ice Emerald line that bears his name. Micro Ice Line is another good one to use. Three or four pound test line is perfect for panfish and your lure will still take the kinks out of the line when you are fishing.
While electronics aren’t essential, they will make you a better fisherman. For a first time or two on the water, check out what other people have and see how it works. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about anything, like what depth the fish are hitting on any given day. Ask them why they like a particular unit. Genz is a Vexilar man, either a FL-18, FL-20 or FL-22 model flasher. “I can see the lure working, where the fish are and anything else that might help me like weed location. For the kids, it’s like playing a video game in real life.”

Ice fishing is a great sport to involve the kids or some friends. Very similar to shore fishing, it’s also a good opportunity to meet new people. It’s important to get that next generation of sportsman into the great outdoors and enjoy all Mother Nature has to offer.

In talking with one local expert, there are a few other considerations. Safety should always be at the top of your list when venturing out on hard water. “One of the rules of ice fishing is to never go alone in the interest of safety,” says Bill Snover of Lima, NY, a Pro Staffer for Clam Corporation and an avid winter angler. “If an ice fisherman decides to go without a friend, it is common practice to go where there are other anglers in the area to offer conversation and emergency help should it be needed. A safe ice fisherman will know how to read the ice conditions as well as having a few safety items at hand in case of an emergency. A few of the safety items may include, a rope about 35-40 feet in length; a certified PFD (personal floatation device), and a whistle.”

“Ice should never be considered safe and make sure there’s a minimum of three inches under you. Places to avoid are areas with protruding rocks and trees; large cracks; pressure ridges; and places with rapidly moving water under the ice or flowing into a lake via stream, creek or river.”

If you want to see Snover’s entire article on first-time ice fishing, check out the Clam website at www.clamcorp.com  and check under “resources.” Because he lives south of Rochester, his favorite ice haunts are the Finger Lakes. At the top of his list is Honeoye, Conesus, Hemlock and Silver lakes. For a long distance trip, Lake Champlain is excellent. Chautauqua Lake is another good ice fishing water. We have numerous waters that we can fish here in New York. To find out information about some of these spots, check out some key websites. One covering much of the state is www.iceshanty.com  Utilize Genz as a resource, too, at www.davegenz.com . Use www.clamcorp.com  for additional information as well.

Walking on water is all in a person’s reality. If you enjoy fishing, take the time to give it a try this year.


Ice fishing /By Will Elliott

Goodenow finds plentiful perch - Goodenow gives up ice secrets

There is always some new thing under the sun when it comes to learning about what goes on under the ice.

A chance meeting with Silver Lake ice-fishing devotee Warren Goodenow last week led to some interesting observations too numerous to shoehorn into the shag end of last week’s ice-fishing summation.

A 14-pound walleye and better numbers of keeper-sized perch from Lake Simcoe were both good news. Invariably, reports about each day on the ice unfold differently, and — despite extensive study and decades of field experience — some new things come along well worth learning and doing.

When longtime friend and fellow fishing fanatic George Dovolos introduced me to Goodenow, it was obvious that Goodenow was a good guy for ice-angling info.

We had an open field out there for ice options that morning, with good bluegill along the shoreline and some nice perch prospects out over depths of 30 feet or more at mid-lake near Mack’s Boat Livery.

Dovolos deferred to Goodenow and we headed out to the deeps to pick on the perch. Out there, we met up with Dick Wolfer from Fillmore, another regular with a bountiful bucket of perch paraphernalia — and a few nice perch in the pail to prove it.

This threesome hits the ice every hour possible and works shallow and deep to get over sizable schools of sizable fish. On this day, they keyed on perch, and I had the good fortune to fish amid this triangulated trio.

While I have the right auger, snow sled, all-weather suit and a bucket full of stubby ice rods with all kinds of lures likely to allure fish at Chautauqua or Simcoe, Goodenow immediately took me under his tutelage and handed me his version of an ice rod.

Nearby, Wolfer and Dovolos kept pulling reams of runts and an occasional bucket-worthy perch.

Goodenow wanted me to see exactly what was going on down there. I didn’t have to bring out a sonar device. He had me use his newer model of a Vexilar flasher rig.

“Underwater cameras are nice for looking at fish, but you can follow their moods,” Goodenow said as he set up the program to show on a circular screen both the overall depth and a zoom-in view of depths just off bottom.

Videos and graph-screen models work well for viewing fish movement, but this Vexilar, a unit that’s been on the market for at least a decade, offers the classic flasher-screen program of a Lowrance “Green Box” and the modern technology of sensitivity and target distinction under the water/ ice surface.

All this is important because Goodenow plans all his approaches with small and light baits.

“I like to use ‘plastics’ [rubber/vinyl jig bodies and tails] on small heads,” he said as he opened one pocket-sized lure holder he estimated to hold $200 in small, specialized ice jigs.

The lot probably didn’t have one head weighing more than zounce. Every ice angler knows the difficulty of getting to the bottom and then feeling the lure hit bottom in deeper water.

While I was using his sonar unit, Goodenow began fishing a circle of holes he had drilled with a battery-powered DeWalt drill he fitted with an open chuck that could lock onto a 4-inch ice auger.

Even cooler was his skill at reaching bottom with his light jigs — he switched us to 1-pound test line when the fish stopped biting –and picking just the right tap or hang on the line to set a hook into the bigger ringbacks out there.

“I like to experiment with colors, shapes and sizes,” the 47-year veteran ice angler said as we tried to dodge the runts and set hooks on bigger perch.

I sat there looking at a sonar screen that showed me when a fish was swimming by, when it was chasing my lure upward, and the relative size of the prey.

But Goodenow got into the bigger perch along with the reams of runts that held on the sonar screen throughout the mid afternoon.

“I’m getting the bigger fish when jigging high off the bottom,” he said while lifting overhead to tease another big one.

This scene gets repeated on every good perch lake and bay every ice season. Goodenow’s array of light-tackle gear — rods, reels, lines and mini baits — would be good on lakes such as Chautauqua, Simcoe, Honeoye, Erie or in bays such as Braddock, Sodus or Irondequoit.

Goodenow willingly shares his success “secrets” that have placed him high in regional and national ice-fishing tourneys. This year, as a member of Avon Anglers, he helps in coordinating five ice contests on area lakes. For details, visit www.avonanglers.com

How NOT to put an ice fishing tent up on a windy day



If you have other photos send them in! We'll put it here



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