Top Lakes for Ice Fishing During Your Haliburton Cottage Rental

Slip on your ice cleats and get those ice tents pitched because it’s time for a day of ice fishing at the best lakes in the Haliburton Highlands. With so much to do both on and off the ice, you’ll want to turn it into a weekend getaway (or longer!). At CottageLINK Rental Management, we have dozens of high quality cottages in the area to help you find that perfect Haliburton cottage rental for easy access to the coolest places to go ice fishing.

Ice Fishing in Haliburton During an Ontario Cottage Rental

In a region famous for its 500+ lakes, ice fishing is always one of the best things to do in Haliburton during the winter. Once the ‘first ice’ arrives, visitors near and far fill up local Ontario cottage rentals to gear up for an exciting ice fishing season.

Haliburton celebrates its favourite winter pastime with events and activities that make it easy to immerse yourself into the local ice angler community. Take part in the annual Ontario Family Ice Fishing Weekend (February 18-20, 2023) to enjoy a license-free fishing weekend.

Don’t forget to stay warm while out on the ice. We definitely recommend starting the day off with a nice hot coffee to get the day started off right! There are a few great coffee roasters in Haliburton like Haliburton County Coffee Roasters, Rebel Elexir and Castle Cafe & Roastery.

Couple walking on the lake to go ice fishing. A great activity during your Haliburton cottage rental

Best Lakes for Ice Fishing During Your Haliburton Cottage Rental

Brush off the layer of fresh snow and pick your spot to drill because there’s plenty of fish to catch at the best ice fishing lakes in the Haliburton Highlands.

1. Gull Lake

In just 30 minutes from Haliburton, locals and tourists alike flock to the quiet shores of Gull Lake. Dormant summer cottages tucked between the snow-topped woodlands surround the vast frozen lake expanding approximately 200 acres.

Keep warm on the ice with Gull Lake Day Hut Rentals. You’ll have everything you need to start catching. So, join the angler represented by locals who have fished here for decades to newcomers testing the water to see what emerges hooked on their line.

Types of fish:

  • Largemouth bass
  • Smallmouth bass
  • Pike
  • Walleye

2. Halls Lake

During the summer, Halls lake is a popular wedding destination. However, in the winter, it reels in anglers from all over Haliburton County to its icy surface. Cast your line into one of the biggest lakes in the Algonquin Highland, filled with an abundance of fish swimming at depths up to 265 feet.

Halls lake is easy to reach from many of our Haliburton cottage rentals, located only 25 minutes west of Haliburton. Consider yourself lucky if you catch the rarest fish in the lake: the glacier lake trout!

Types of fish:

  • Trout
  • Perch
  • Catfish
  • Walleye

3. Boshkung Lake

Splash your bait into the icy waters of Boshkung Lake to enjoy one of Haliburton County’s top ice fishing spots. It’s hosted guided ice fishing excursions for more than half a century, and there are plenty of fishing reports to always pick the best site on the lake to fish.

Cut your line long enough to explore the depths of ‘Big Boshkung’ reaching 71 metres. A wall of snow-covered pines extends along the shores of the uniquely diamond-shaped lake for winterized views while waiting for the next fish to bite your line.

Types of Fish:

  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Lake Whitefish
  • Pickerel
  • Lake Trout
  • Walleye

4. Little Hawk Lake

Little Hawk Lake is a year-round fishing hot spot, and the wintertime is hardly enough to cool things down. There are several amenities to the lake, such as the Little Hawk Lake Resort sitting on the shore for excursions and ice hut rentals available for everyone.

You’ll catch a hot streak of smallmouth bass during the winter when they prefer swimming in shallower waters, and also the best time to catch lake trout is when they come out of hiding from the summer heat.

Types of fish:

  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Rock bass
  • Lake trout

5. Silent Lake

The winterized setting at Silent Lake makes it hard to believe that it’s a popular beach destination in the summer. However, fish are the only thing swimming in these chilly waters this season!

Icy breezes rushing past your tent, followed by cheers of hooking a fish are the only sounds you’ll hear at Silent Lake. It’s located within the Silent Lake Provincial Park, a popular winter attraction for visitors staying in Haliburton cottage rentals less than 50 kilometres away.

Types of Fish:

  • Largemouth Bass
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Yellow Perch
  • Lake Trout
  • Brook Trout

6. Haliburton Lake

Watch your step for ice holes left behind by the many anglers that come to Haliburton Lake to ice fish. At an approximately 30-minute drive from many Haliburton cottage rentals, it’s a short trip to a long day of ice fishing.

The good news is that these ice holes give a clue to the deepest parts of the lake, where you’ll have the best chance at hooking your line.

Types of Fish:

  • Yellow Perch
  • Whitefish
  • Rockbass
  • Trout

7. Haliburton Forest

Haliburton Forest is a sprawling woodlands covering approximately 300 square kilometres and home to more than 100 lakes. Less than 30 kilometres away, these forest lakes are excellent spots for ice fishing near Haliburton cottage rentals.

Tucked behind dense piney trees, fields of ice hide clear blue waters beneath them filled with many of the region’s popular fish. Eleven select lakes have the ‘Haliburton Gold’ Lake Trout, the forest’s most prized sea creature. Heads up! Prepare for an adventure, as you can only reach these lakes with a snowmobile.

Types of fish:

  • Lake trout
  • Northern Pike
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Walleye

Things to Know Before Ice Fishing in Haliburton Highlands

Ice fishing draws many anglers every year to local Haliburton cottage rentals. However, before rushing onto the ice, be sure to follow county-wide and lake-specific policies. All anglers must have a valid ice fishing license. License prices and requirements vary for each lake. Most importantly, be safe when going out on to the ice if it’s earlier or later in the season and be sure to check expected weather conditions for the day.

Person ice fishing on a frozen lake with trees covered in snow in the background. Ice fishing is a fun winter activity at many Ontario Cottage Rentals

Best Time to Plan a Haliburton Cottage Rental for Your Ice Fishing Adventure

Many lakes in the Haliburton Highlands begin the ice fishing season in January, although it can start earlier depending on lake conditions. This time of year is the best for proper ice conditions with at least an 8-10 cm thick layer of ice.

There are two ways to experience ice fishing:

  • Guided ice fishing excursions – half-day and full-day experiences with an expert guiding you on the best ice fishing spots, tips to catch more fish, and more.
  • Self-guided trips—many lakes near Haliburton Highlands are open to the public for licensed ice fishing.

Find cozy Ontario cottage rentals nearby for ice fishing and other popular activities in the Haliburton Highlands.

Haliburton is not the only great area for ice fishing, you can find many great lakes for ice fishing closeby at nearly all of our Ontario Cottage Rentals. Fishing isn’t the sport for you? Check out other great winter activities that you can enjoy during your trip to Ontario Cottage Country or check out the top snowmobile trails to enjoy during your Haliburton cottage rental!

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