Free Ice Fishing Day is Saturday, January 30th. This is a day when anyone, resident or nonresident, may go ice fishing in Vermont without a fishing license.
Ice fishing is one of Vermont’s most popular cold weather activities. According to Vermont Fish and Wildlife, anglers spend more than 400,000 days each winter ice fishing in Vermont. Shawn Good, Fisheries Biologist says, “Ice fishing is generally more accessible than open water fishing. Almost anyone can walk out on a frozen lake or pond and fish through the ice. Once you’re out there, there’s lots of room to spread out.”
Shawn also says that ice fishing is inexpensive and simple to get started. “An auger for cutting holes in the ice is the most expensive piece of equipment you’ll need. But you can get a 4-inch or 6-inch hand auger for under $50 and share it with others, so not everyone needs one. Add a scoop for cleaning out the holes and an ice fishing rod and reel combo or a couple tip-ups with hooks, weights and bait and you’re set for a fun day on the ice.”
If you are not sure how to get started, Vermont Fish and Wildlife has created a Virtual Ice Fishing Festival. Due to covid restrictions, the department is unable to host the in-person festival that they normally offer. This virtual festival will give you the opportunity to learn about ice fishing basics.