In the coldest months of the year, anglers flock to Lake George to catch fish. In addition to the cool temperatures, snow covers the Adirondack Mountains and the endless white of the frozen lake.
There are many ice fishing opportunities in the Adirondacks. Lake George is the largest of the Finger Lakes and has several public ice fishing areas. Ice fishing is a great way to spend a day or week with your family.
You'll see lots of people out on the ice when Lake George freezes, but they're not just standing around. Instead, they're ice fishing, catching big fish with a pole and line through the ice. The best time to fish is usually in January or February when the ice thickens.
We will look at the best lake George ice fishing tips and tricks for this winter. We will also look at some of the best places to go what you should look for and expect during the ice fishing season.
Top Ice Fishing Hot Spots on Lake George
Lake George fishing is the place to be. You can enjoy some of the best ice fishing in the whole country here. You can also enjoy all of the other activities that this lake offers.
Lake George has many beautiful areas for ice fishing as well as many good parking places which have easy access:
Pilot Knob, New York, and Fort Ann Beach in Bar Harbor, Maine - are popular winter fishing destinations. These locations are great for freshwater fishing. Fishermen can park in the lots and walk down to the beach or park on the beach and walk back up. Since the road to the parking lots is very steep and bumpy, four-wheel drive is highly recommended.
Hearthstone Campground - The campground at Hearthstone has paved roads leading directly into the campground, and people typically drive down the beach and park their cars on the shoreline, close to the water. Many people fish just offshore for yellow perch here and then wander out onto the lake a little farther for lake trout.
Million Dollar Beach – It is a great place to enjoy fishing. Motorized equipment is helpful. A stream runs into the lake that has landlocked salmon hanging around. The parking lot is vast, and access to the lake is easy.
Diamond Point - it is not easy to park here, but it makes for an excellent fishing area. You can catch lake trout, landlocked salmon, and perch. Be careful when ice-eating machines are nearby.
Assembly Point / Harris Bay is an excellent place to fish for perch. Here, the depths remain shallow until you reach the main body of the lake. Some fishermen like to catch perch by walking straight out onto the shore of Long Island.
Ticonderoga / Hague - Access isn't too tricky near the north end of the lake, and it's very common to see fewer cars at Rogers Rock Campground. Additionally, Hague Town Beach is close, and it has easy access to the shoreline. Lake George gets very deep near the north end of the lake, reaching a depth of more than 150 feet. This makes it a great place to fish for lake trout.
Types of Fish On Lake George During Ice Fishing Season
During the winter season, fishermen usually target landlocked salmon, lake trout, and yellow perch.
The yellow perch is one of the most common fish caught by ice fishermen. They're often found near islands, banks, ledges, or other structures below the surface. The fishermen catch them using rods and jigs.
Raps, or small jigs, are effective for catching perch and crappie. Take old clothes and cut off the sleeves and legs to make your lures. Place them under a light and cover them with hot wax to get the shape you want. Then dip them in water and shake them out to dry.
If you're fishing for yellow perch in Lake George, there's no upper limit on the size of fish you can catch; however, they must be less than 10 inches in length. The daily limit on Lake George is 50 perch per licensed fisherman.
You will be able to find landlocked salmon just beneath the ice. Tip-ups work well anywhere from 5-15 feet. Landlocked salmon are very fast fish. React fast or risk losing your catch, as they will take and spit your bait out very quickly.
Use rubber bands on your reel, so when the salmon takes the bait, it will hook itself.
Rules and regulations state salmon must be at least 18 inches long, and a maximum daily limit of 2 can be kept per fisherman.
The lake trout are usually found near the bottom of the lake. Most of the time, fishing enthusiasts can catch them in a depth of 70 feet. Some fishermen can go down even deeper than 100 feet to catch the fish. Suckers make the best bait for lake trout because they are big. If you want to catch many fish, then this type of bait is the best. Lake trout often dive to the bottom of the lake, making it easy to get a line down 100+ feet if necessary.
Most fishermen also fish using worms, raps, and the traditional Swedish pimple.
Lake trout must be at least 23 inches long to remain on Lake George. And there is a daily limit of 2 fish per licensed fisherman.
Best Tackle and Clothing
When ice fishing, having the proper clothing and equipment is crucial for having a good time. I have listed below all of the vital clothing and tackle I take when ice fishing at Lake George.
Clothing for Ice Fishing Lake George
In cold weather, I always dress for the cold. Don't underestimate the cold winter weather on Lake George. I wear multiple layers so that I can take them off quickly. Being too hot is never a problem because you can take layers off.
- Insulated boots to keep your feet warm and snug. Cold feet are probably the worst thing an angler can experience.
- Waterproof pants with insulation will keep your legs warm, dry, and shielded from the elements.
- Thermal socks provide extra warmth under your isolated boots.
- Thermal gloves to keep your hands warm. You will be using your hands a lot, and keeping them warm ensures you keep movement in them without suffering the pain of having cold hands.
- An insulated rainproof jacket provides excellent protection and a barrier from the weather and wind.
- Hot hand warmers are great for fast and effective heating of your body and hands.
Ice Fishing Tackle for Lake George
Here are some of the best fishing tackle items that I like to take with me when I go on an ice fishing trip to Lake George.
- Jigging rod to drop and fish my bait down into the hole quickly.
- A spinning reel is used with the spinning rod.
- Ice fishing trap or tip-up is a device you set up above the hole to catch fish. This ice-fishing trap has a flag on top that moves and stands up when you bite.
- Ice picks for safety in case of an emergency. If you fall into the water, the ice packs help get you out fast.
- Sounder depth finder to locate the fish before you dig your hole.
- Variety of jigs to use and experiment with so you can catch more fish.
- Ice fishing sled makes it easy to transport equipment without breaking your back.
Ice Shanties and Fishing Charters
An ice shanty (ice shack, ice house) is a small portable, insulated structure used to shelter people while ice fishing. Many ice fishermen who come to Lake George each year use ice shanties.
Fishing without an ice shack is fine if you don't own one. There are also fishing charters and guides that will provide you with an ice shanty if you decide to use their services.
Please note that all ice shanties must be removed from the ice before March 15th.
Fishing License for Lake George
You need a New York state fishing license to fish on Lake George legally. Remember to stay up to date with the Warren County fishing rules and regulations to avoid getting caught doing something you should be doing.
You can acquire a license in numerous ways, including in-person, phone, and online.
Online Fishing License Purchase
The easiest option is to purchase your New York State fishing license is online.
In-Person Fishing License Purchase
Many Agents issue fishing licenses across New York and Warren County.
Warren County: A list of in-person Warren County Issuing Fishing license Agents is here
New York Stake: A complete list of in-person New York State Issuing Fishing license Agents is here
Phone Fishing License Purchase
New York State Fishing license phone number is 1.866.933.2257.
Opening times: The license phone center is open from 8 am to 7 pm weekdays Monday to Friday. On Weekends the call center is closed.
Questions and Answers For Lake George
Here are popular questions people ask before they visit Lake George.
How thick is the ice on Lake George, NY?
It's around 7 inches thick, depending on weather conditions and time of the year.
Where can I catch bass in Lake George?
The best fishing areas for bass in Lake George are the North and South Bay, the West Bay, and the East Bay. Other popular spots include the Upper and Lower Long Pond, the Mill Pond, and the East and West Bays.
Can you fish from shore at Lake George?
You can fish from shore at Lake George, but not until the ice has melted around the end of April through the end of October. So the best time to fish from shore is between May and September when the water is clear and the fish are biting.
Do you need a license to fish in Lake George?
Yes, it's a state-owned lake, and a fishing license is required. You can purchase your license online, in person, or over the phone.
What is the biggest fish in Lake George?
Landlocked salmon, which weighed 15 pounds and was 35 inches long, was caught in February 2016.
What kind of fish would you target with a tip-up on Lake George?
Landlocked salmon, lake trout, and yellow perch are great fish to target with a tip-up while ice fishing on Lake George.
How late can you ice fish?
Lake George ice fishing season runs through until April 30th for walleye, pickerel, and northern pike.
Ice Fishing on Lake George this Winter
So, if you're looking for a great ice fishing trip, be sure to check out Lake George. You can catch yellow perch, landlocked salmon, and lake trout here. And don't forget to keep warm while you're out on the ice! Have you ever been ice fishing in Maine?
Check out our Maine ice fishing guide for more information on some of the best spots to go ice fishing in the state of Maine.