Ice Fishing Facts & FAQ’s

If you live in the Midwest, you are likely familiar with snow and cold. One way many people in Southeastern Wisconsin pass the time and enjoy the outdoors is by ice fishing. Below are some interesting facts and frequently asked questions pertaining to this popular activity.


  • Out of the 1.4 million fishing licenses sold in Wisconsin, about one-third report that they ice fish

  • Ice fishing is the fourth most popular winter activity, following sledding, snowmobiling and ice skating

  • 14 million fish are caught during the ice fishing season in Wisconsin

  • Almost half of all fish that are caught during ice fishing season are kept, compared to only about one-third during open water season

  • The top fish caught are Panfish (11.7 million), Northern Pike (866,000) and Walleye (750,000)

ice fishing milwaukee


When is it safe to start ice fishing?

A good rule to follow is wait until the ice is at least 4 inches thick. This typically occurs after about a week’s worth of nights where the temperature drops below freezing. Once out near your fishing spot, be sure to check the thickness. Safety is key to a good day on the ice!

What are some signs that fish might be in the area?

If the ice in your area is snow covered, check for holes that have been created previously. Check the holes to see which look like they have been fished the most. This can be a good indicator of activity.

What types of fish can I catch?

When fishing in the Midwest, weed beds typically have an abundance of bluegill and crappies. Perch can be found in colder, deeper waters. Minnows or roaches can be used as bait when fishing for larger fish, such as Northern Pike or Muskellunge.

What are other activities to do while ice fishing?

If you have younger people with you, they may get restless on the ice for hours. Kids will always find a way to have fun on the ice and snow. However, if this novelty wears off, be prepared with hot drinks and maybe an activity book or two.

For your day of ice fishing with Jack’s Charter Service, remember to follow your guide and you won’t be disappointed in what Milwaukee and Racine have to offer for ice fishing. Remember, that is why you hired a professional. Relax and have fun.

Contact us today if you are ready to enjoy some time on the ice in the Milwaukee and Racine area!