Winter Guidance

One of the beauties of ice fishing is that it's accessible for everyone. No boat or even vehicles necessary. When you're visiting a new area, however, it sure does help to have a guide showing you the way.

For those who'd rather head north for hard water season than flee south, you're in luck. Sunset Country truly has world-class fishing to offer, year-round. And if you're just reading this now in March you don't have to fear, there's still plenty of winter left for an ice fishing trip this month.

The nice thing about ice fishing is that it is accessible to everyone. No boat or even vehicle transportation needed if you're close enough to water. When you're visiting a new area, there are some things to consider before you step out on the ice on your own. First and foremost, of course, is safety.

Crappies for days up here in Sunset Country!

Other factors worth noting are: what do you want out of this trip? Do you want to slam numbers of fish all day, or do you want a chance at catching multiple species worth of trophies? And of course, whether you'd like to be partially or fully guided for a day or two or your entire visit to Sunset Country.


Ice safety is key. The fish will always be there, there's no need to rush first ice or push last ice, but ice safety is a concern winter-round if you're on unfamiliar water. There could be current areas covered with a thin skiff of ice and snow after a cold snap and you would have no idea. 

Adding to the peril, if you or your group are visiting Sunset Country on your own, there's little chance of others being able to help in the case of an emergency because they simply don't know where you are. 

Having someone who has a record of your location and a time when you are expected back is priceless in ice safety. And having a guide with you will minimize the possibility of an emergency happening.

  A beautiful Sunset Country Walleye guided by Jeff Gustafson Outdoors 


You've decided you want to break your personal best, and head to the land of giants to do so. You'll hear of famous bays, lakes, and waterways that have impressive sizes, but do you know the exact spot on the spot? A guide can put you exactly where you can expect large fish.

It's fun to head out on my own on new waters, don't get me wrong, but when it comes down to learning from a guide about their waters, I listen. Whether it's how fish like the baits presented, which baits to use, what spots are most productive when––I've only benefitted from it. 


If you're visiting to slam fish after fish, you've still come to the right place. Do we have giants? We sure do, but we also have bountiful numbers of juvenile fish, a sure sign of healthy fisheries for years to come. 

Sometimes it's fun just having chase after chase! 

Abiding by the regulations set in place by the Ministry of Natural Resources, you can still have a riot catching fish and keeping your limit. Enjoy fresh fish all week and save some to take home. 

Partially or fully guided trips 

Ice fishing outfitters and lodges are great in the sense they let you choose your own adventure. If you're confident in your abilities but don't have all of the gear, perhaps all you need is someone to set you up where the fish are and to leave you to your own devices. 

Rob the owner of Vic and Dot's Camp put on us several willing-to-eat fish that day, as requested! Photo: Alyssa Lloyd 

If you don't have any gear and would prefer a guide with you all day, you can also take that route. Guides can be your greatest resource in fishing new waters. In my opinion, they are better than any sonar or charts on the market. 

Another great thing about ice fishing season in Sunset Country? More often than not, the lodge owner could very well be your guide. 

Lodgings & Rates 

Considered the off-season in the grand scheme of tourism, this time of year offers affordable rates in beautiful accommodations across Sunset Country. Some would argue an ice fishing trip could be even more fun than an open water trip.

The stories are usually better, there's always a campfire or wood stove involved, and let's be honest, coffee tastes so much better in a thermos while you're dropping the line down for the first time. 


There are over 40 lodges in Sunset Country that offer ice fishing. Sound intimidating? Not with our help it isn't! Here are five steps and questions to ask yourself that'll help narrow your search down. 

  1. Choose which town or area you'd like to visit, or at least how far you'd like to travel
  2. Decide the species of fish you'd like to target. 
  3. Do you want fully or partially guided trips? 
  4. How big is your group size? 
  5. Order your FREE 2019 Travel Guide and Fishing Map pictured below. If it doesn't help you book this trip to Canada, it'll certainly help you book your next. 

Still stuck? Don't be shy, give us a shout Mon-Fri at 1-800-665-7567 and we can help you find the perfect lodge that meets your needs. You can also order your free guide on the phone! 

We hope to see you out on the hard water this season enjoying yourselves, staying warm, and staying safe! 

About Alyssa Lloyd

Alyssa Lloyd is a photojournalist based out of Kenora working with Ontario's Sunset Country. The outdoors has been the center of her work and personal life for as long as she can remember. As an angler, Alyssa spends most of her time time chasing multiple species on both conventional and fly gear. 

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