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Winter fun in Manitoba: Ice fishing adventures for beginners

Ice Fishing for the whole family at Wekusko Falls Lodge - Credit: Travel Manitoba

Every winter, thousands of fishing enthusiasts descend on Manitoba's frozen waterways for some good old hard water angling. And while there are endless lakes and rivers to set up on, the following ice fishing experiences provide all the fixings for when your heart needs adventure:

Ice Village in Gimli

“Ís þorp”, which means 'migrating ice village' in Icelandic, is a little community that pops up in the winter near the harbour in Gimli. Anyone is welcome to drive out on the ice with their 'fiski kofi' (ice fishing shack) and fish for the day. Otherwise, there are fishing shacks available to rent seven days a weeks for those who are confident in their abilities and have their own gear. For beginners, there are guides available on weekends to make it a fully guided experience. Ís þorp also features snow art installations, light displays, and a skating and crokicurl rink.

Winter in Gimli - Credit: Travel Manitoba

Overnight on the ice on Lake Winnipeg

For avid ice fishers, tour operators on Lake Winnipeg now offer the coolest ice fishing adventure that allows you to sleep and dine next to your fishing hole once the sun sets. Check out Kannuk Outfitters, Gaune Fishing, and Stringer Rentals out of Gimli for overnight packages in customized RVs where families can cozy up and watch the fish bite all night long. It's a winter fishing and camping trip at its finest.

Kannuk Outfitters - Credit: JP Media Works (Courtesy of Travel Manitoba)

Gull Harbour Marina & Lighthouse Inn on Hecla Island

Always wanted to do a family ice fishing vacay? It's easy at Gull Harbour Marina & Lighthouse Inn. Book a room at the inn or rent a stand-alone family cabin. Have all your meals in the spectacular on-site dining room that overlooks the lake. Then get on the ice during the day by booking one of the resort's comfortable SnoBears, a customized recreational vehicle that allows you to navigate the lake and ice fish in warmth. Guide and gear provided.

SnoBear in Gull Harbour, Lake Winnipeg - Credit: Liz Tran (Courtesy of Travel Manitoba)

Prairie Gal Fishing

Meet up with Roselle Turenne of Prairie Gal Fishing in Gimli to learn the ins and out of this winter sport. Get to know the essentials of ice fishing with plenty of time to test your skills and enjoy the slower (yet still very exciting) pace of life that ice fishing offers. Prairie Gal Fishing provides everything you need, including rods, electronic fish-finder, tackle and frozen bait and even a Live Imaging Fish Finder. Check out Prairie Gal Fishing for various options including custom adventures!

Credit: Prairie Gal Fishing

Icebound Excursions on Lake Winnipeg

Another great option for beginners is an ice fishing excursion on Lake Winnipeg with Icebound Excursions. While experienced anglers might opt to fully rent the SnoBear for the day in their own search for greenback walleye, those just starting out will feel at ease with an all-inclusive fishing day that includes a driver, sonar, ice fishing gear, bait and lunch - all from the ultimate (heated) ice fishing machine!

Snobear of Icebound Excursions, Lake Winnipeg - Credit: Travel Manitoba

Wekusko Falls Lodge on Snow Lake

Ice fishing season is extra long in northern Manitoba, which means even more opportunity to reel in a master. Located 2 hours north of The Pas and 2 hours west of Flin Flon, Wekusko Falls Lodge is picturesque getaway where you can have your pick of ice fishing on 10+ lakes! An all-inclusive ice fishing package includes all the essentials - from your cabin to your meals, equipment, fishing guide and even professional photos of your catches!

Ice fishing at Wekusko Falls Lodge - Credit: Travel Manitoba

Bakers Narrows Lode bei Flin Flon

Located just outside of Flin Flon, this drive-to luxury lodge, with individual vacation cabins, is open year-round, offering out-of-this world ice fishing on Lake Athapapuskow. Reel in trophy lake trout, walleye, northern pike and more on a guided ice fishing excursion. Snowmobiles, shacks and gear are all available for rent - making for unlimited options and fishing opportunities!

Ice fishing on Lake Athapapuskow - Credit: HuntFish Manitoba

Riverside Lodge am Lake Dauphin

Lake Dauphin is already known as a hotspot for ice fishing, but accessing this special spot in Manitoba is made even easier with Riverside Lodge. The lodge welcomes anglers of all skill levels (yes, even those first timers) and are able to provide fully guided fishing days, tackle/gear, meals and lake shuttles.

Credit: Riverside Lodge
Tip: Fishing Licenses

All anglers need to register for a fishing license prior to their trip via Manitoba e-licensing. Winter Family Fishing Weekend is held every February long weekend. During this time, people can do so without acquiring a licence. All other rules and regulations apply.

Further information on Manitoba can be found at

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