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What time of day is best for ice fishing?

The time of the day that you decide to ice fish can generally have a profound impact on the amount of fish you catch. It is important to learn about the best time to make the best out of your fishing trip.

Even if you’re at the best lake like the Lule River in Sweden or at the Devils Lake in North Dakota, if you don’t know the right timing, then you probably won’t have a good catch.

What time of day is best for ice fishing?

Over the years of my ice fishing experience, I’ve been on several lakes at different times of the day. And through this personal experience, I have found out the best time of the day to ice fish. When I was at the right time, I found that more fish landed on my bait even when I don’t spend a lot of time. But at the “wrong” timings, I would wait for the whole day and hardly catch any fish.

So yes, time does matter when you’re ice fishing. And I am here to give you an insight on the best time to ice fish. So read on to find out more.

Ice fishing, in general, is much more productive during the early hours in the morning and during the evening. However, that does not mean you won’t catch fish during the day. Ice fishing is all about understanding the fish and studying their behavior. When you get an idea about their general behavior, you will have a lot of advantages.

Sunrise and Sunset

Fishes are more active during the morning and evening. This is it is the best time to catch fish during the sunrise and sunset. Fishing during this time of the day will get you more fish than fishing all throughout the day.

Many people consider the hour before and after sunset as the “magical hour” since it’s the feeding time for fishes, and you’ll get quite a lot of catch.

You can take advantage of that period. Some fish have different feeding times, so you can do a study on that and hunt accordingly.

Early morning during the sunrise is also a great time to fish since it is also their feeding time. This is what gives them the energy to go through their day. It is best to start fishing before the feeding starts to make the best out of your fishing trip.

The good thing about fishing during sunrise in winter is that you won’t have to wake up too early. The sun comes up a little later during the winter compared to the sunrise in summer. And fish, like all other animals, also wake up late in winter. With that in mind, don’t go out fishing at 4 in the morning cause you probably won’t catch any fish until they wake up.

Do different states have different time?

No. Different states will not have a different best time of the day for ice fishing. It will not matter regardless of which state you’re in. However, it is important to keep in mind that there will be a certain time change so you will have to adjust your schedule if you’re going to a different state to fish.

You should also remember that some states can get extremely cold compared to others. Therefore you should arrange warm clothes as well.

Should you change your baits and lures based on the time of the day?

When you’re fishing out in the open, you would normally adjust your baits depending on the time of the day. So if you’re fishing in the morning, you might use certain bait, which you will change in the afternoon.

However, when it comes to ice fishing, there is not much space to keep your bait, and the topwater is absent. Hence you will do just fine with any type of bait. Most people choose bait, depending on the lake they’re fishing in. So if you’re new, you can get some ice fishing enthusiasts to choose the bait for you.

Personally, my favorite ice fishing lures are the CLAM Leech Flutter Spoon, and Rapala Jigging Rap. You can click on them to get your own baits and lures for your next fishing trip.

Can fish sense your movement on the ice?

Fishes have a great sense of what’s coming for them, even from a long distance. If the lake has thin and clear ice, then they’ll easily see you and swim away. However, fishes do come back eventually once you stay still. So if you’re going out fishing during the sunrise and sunset, it’s best to get there before their feeding time starts. You can set up your gears and tools before they wake up so that you don’t scare them away when they come to feed.

Should you spend the night on a frozen lake?

Camping out on a frozen lake is actually quite safe and is practiced throughout the country. It is a great way to start ice fishing early in the morning to get the best catch. But if you are planning to camp out, make sure to check out the weather conditions just to be on the safe side. Also, see to it that the ice over the lake is thick enough to support and hold your weight and your gears.

Should you wait for the best time to ice fish?

Yes, it is ideal to wait out for the best time to ice fish. It can get a little hard to stay out in the cold, but since you’re already out in the cold anyway, it only makes sense that you wait out for the best time to catch the maximum amount of fish possible.


Ice fishing has always been one of the most popular activities during the winter and has been becoming more popular. With so many people indulging in this activity, you should also try to make the best out of everything you can, so that you get the best catch. That also means going out fishing early in the morning and during the afternoon.