Interlake Ice Fishing: Tips on How to Have the Best Experience!

Looking to explore the outdoors and catch some of Manitoba’s interlake fish? Ice fishing is a perfect activity for winter adventurers – so why not try your luck in one of Canada’s most famously frigid areas? The Interlake is an ice-fishing paradise for all you hardcore, hard-water anglers! Our world-class ice fishing entices thousands of new and returning ice anglers. The cold winters make our region a popular hive for those looking for that next unreal ice-fishing opportunity. With access to the two largest lakes in the province, Lake Winnipeg and Lake Manitoba, Red River, and so many smaller lakes and rivers. From ice fishing tournaments and derbies to cozy cottages and restaurants, here are some tips on creating the best ice fishing experience in the Interlake.

Interlake Signature Species: Yellow perch, northern pike, lake trout, greenback walleye, rainbow trout, and black crappie.

Caution: Keep in mind whenever venturing onto frozen bodies of water, No ice is 100% safe at any time during Canadian winters. Words to live by from Life Saving Society of Manitoba. Don’t forget to purchase your FISHING LICENSE before you head out! You can purchase a PRINTABLE angling license online at Manitoba elicensing, at a participating retailer, or over the telephone by calling the Help Desk at 1-877-880-1203.

Where is the best place in the Interlake to go Ice Fishing?

The Interlake is home to two of the largest lakes in Manitoba, so there are plenty of spots to drop your line. To get started, we have 15 hotspots ( ⬅️ click for details) that we recommend, which lakes have the best ice conditions, and what fish species are currently biting. Our lakes and rivers offer yellow perch, northern pike, lake trout, greenback walleye, rainbow trout, and black crappie, which are all sought after by local and visiting ice anglers. With abundant lakes, rivers, and shorelines full of tasty finned fare just waiting to be caught – there’s no better time than now. Pack your gear up and get ready for an ice-fishing adventure you won’t soon forget!

I’m new to ice fishing, but I really want to try it, what do I do?

If you’re new to ice-angling Prairie Gal Fishing is for you! They specialize in introducing (or reintroducing) novices to ice fishing in Manitoba. Your instructors are avid anglers and accredited educators who love teaching and helping others achieve their goals. Ice fishing for the first time can be intimidating, so having a patient mentor is key. You will build some skills and have fun in a safe a relaxing atmosphere. PrairieGal Fishing was created to help you get you out there to try the sport and empower you to go it alone. Book a lesson, which takes place in the heated shack near Gimli harbor. You can also reserve the pre-heated ice fishing shack which comes with all the gear you need for a day on the ice or bring your own equipment. If you want a different experience, you can get off the beaten track with the new Snowdog Adventures! Learn to fish, make it a girls’ weekend, a romantic getaway, or a winter staycation by booking with one of their partner accommodations.

I’d love to sign up for an Ice-Fishing Tournament, Derby, or Event. Where can I find one in the Interlake?

Manitoba’s Interlake is always alive with winter fun and excitement, none more so than when the area opens up to its favourite ice fishing derbies, tournaments, and events! These events are a great opportunity for family outings, or community gatherings where all ages can come together to enjoy winter in Manitoba while trying their luck at catching some of our famous hard water fish. This wintertime activity is the perfect way to get outside and really make the most of winter in Manitoba. No matter what skill level you have, these derbies and tournaments are sure to be an enjoyable winter experience for everyone. Click here for a full list of our Ice-Fishing Tournaments, Derbies, and Events.

Where can I stay close to the lake?

Lakeview Gimli Resort

Get ready to enjoy the exciting adventure of Lake Winnipeg! Just steps away from your room at the picturesque Lakeview Gimli Resort, you’ll have unbeatable access to an amazing ice-fishing experience. Surrounding Gimli’s local harbour is an ever-growing community of eclectic and colourful ice fishing shacks sporadically scattered and dotted all across Lake Winnipeg’s landscape. Bring your shack down or drive out with an auger and brave the weather like a true Viking. If you become in dire need of coffee, warmer socks, a nice hot tub or a tasty warm meal, the town of Gimli is a minute’s walk away. Explore Icelandic history and uncover unique family fun in this small town’s winter paradise. Unwind with cozy amenities or break out and try a fishing spot like no other: unleash your inner Viking on New Iceland’s renowned lakefront harbour! Make sure you book soon for one incredible getaway.

KALS Vacation Rentals

Looking for the ultimate hunt/fish destination? Then KALS Vacation Rentals is your answer! Just 12 minutes North of Gimli and an hour from Winnipeg’s North Perimeter lies a winter wonderland. At their A-Frame and newly renovated Viking Lodge, you’ll get coziness and comfort with a touch of luxury.  After a full day outside, relax by the fire while watching a hockey game and sipping on your drink of choice. Your hosts, Kim and Lisa invite you to experience their one-of-a-kind spaces at KALS Vacation Rentals, nestled in beautiful Spruce Sands. Their deluxe rentals with all the amenities set them apart. Each property has ample room to park and store your gear. Enjoy breathtaking views of Lake Winnipeg, and explore the area’s natural beauty, with hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and snowmobile trails nearby. Feel comfortable knowing that your hosts live in the area and make the hospitality and joy of their guests a priority.
Aaron’s On The Lake Bed & Breakfast

Winter relaxation awaits you at Aaron’s on the Lake! Located right on Lake Winnipeg, this Bed & Breakfast provides a perfect anglers’ retreat. Only 45 minutes north of Winnipeg, before Winnipeg Beach, it has everything you need for a perfect ice-fishing vacation. Picture it: an exciting winter day spent fishing on the hard winter water of Lake Winnipeg, followed by an inviting and cozy stay with a view of the lake….from your hot tub, um, yes, please. Plus, all the necessary amenities to make your winter vacation extra special – including warm home-cooked meals. During your stay, you can explore the surrounding area too! Take in natural frozen ice sculptures on Lake Winnipeg while hiking nearby trails, or go stargazing on clear nights. Take advantage of the winter season and make memories with the ones you love– it doesn’t get any better than Aaron’s on the Lake!

Are there places nearby to eat?

Seagulls Restaurant & The Pier Lounge – Gimli

If you’re in or near Gimli, we highly recommend this place. Their menu is loaded with tantalizing, mouthwatering meals that are just waiting to be savored and enjoyed! Our favourite? Lake Winnipeg pan-seared pickerel of course! Plus it’s located right in the Lakeview Gimli Resort, so if you already have a room here, this place is perfect. Check out their full menu here.

Carlo’s Cucina – Winnipeg Beach

If you’re fishing closer to Winnipeg Beach, you are in for a treat. Carlo’s Cucina has all your favorite homestyle dishes and a special Winter menu. Their irresistible and affordable menu boasts a delicious selection of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options that will surely warm up our hard-water anglers. Not to mention they were the winners of Leburger week in 2021 and runner-up in 2022 for all of Canada! Check out their full menu here.

Whytewold Emporium – Village of Dunnottar

Out on Lake Winnipeg close to Dunnottar, Matlock, or Chalet Beach? Then you have to experience the mouth-watering, delightful delights of Whytewold Emporium‘s sweet and savoury crepes. As a bonus, you get to explore this truly one-of-a-kind village with spectacular views, and conveniently located down the road from Aaron’s on the Lake. Treat your taste buds to something delicious, check out their full menu here. (Pssst…they also have pizza and fudge!)

Need more options? Check out our full list of  Where to Eat in Manitoba’s Interlake.

Do you have an ice fishing checklist?

Once you’ve chosen your spot it’s important that you’re prepared while out on this frozen body of water – always wear warm clothing (including layers!), boots with good traction, a balaclava, snowsuit, scarf, mitts, hats, insole foot warmers, and a life jacket or floatation suit if needed (depending upon thickness/safety of ice).  if needed – plus ensure that someone outside your group knows where you are going before heading out onto any lake – especially if venturing away from popular areas/shores/etc. Don’t forget your fishing license.

Bring along equipment like an ice auger, ice skimmer, ice picks/ice claws, sled to haul your equipment, ice shelter (these shelters look like sturdy camping tents and are designed to break the wind.), fishing rods and tackle, as well as a collapsible chair or 5 gallon pale to sit on. Remember to pack your lunches and snacks!

Lastly – check weather reports throughout your outing as temperatures can plummet quickly during Manitoba winters – making that ‘perfectly safe’ place become dangerous very quickly!

Will I be safe out on the ice?

Ice fishing season is almost here! The temperatures are dropping and soon many lakes and river systems will begin to freeze over. Just in time for season is this new Jay Siemens series, “The Complete Guide to Ice Fishing”. This 10-part series will cover everything you need to know about ice fishing! For the first chapter, Jay covers ice safety and equipment. There is no better chapter to be the first than this one. Ice safety is absolutely paramount on the ice at all times, especially so during the early ice. Click the video below to watch Chapter 1 of Jay Siemens Complete Guide To Ice Fishing brought to you by HuntFishMB. For updates visit the Latest Ice Conditions or for Lake Winnipeg Ice, follow The Lake Winnipeg Ice Report. Stay safe on the ice and share what you know! Download the Ice Smart Brochure from Lifesaving Society Manitoba and help your friends and family prepare to be safe in, on, and around the ice.

Check out our HuntFishMB ice fishing page for more ice fishing information in Manitoba.

Click the following link to visit Jay Siemens YouTube Channel


Wintertime fun awaits in Manitoba’s Interlake! With lakes and rivers teeming with fish species from pike and walleye to whitefish and trout – plus amazing accommodations ranging from rustic cabins to family-friendly resorts – there truly is something here for everyone when it comes time for some wintertime angling adventures! So grab your gear, bundle up warmly, then head out onto ‘the big lake. We’re sure you’ll create some lasting memories – plus maybe even land dinner too! Safe travels everyone!! Happy Ice Fishing!!

*Protect Manitoba’s water and resources. Stop aquatic invasive species. For more information on how to do your part visit the Sustainable Development AIS page.