Ice Fishing in Northwest Indiana

ice_fishGet the Indiana rules for catching fish, such as quantity, size, and licensing. This information is available Fishing www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/2348.htm.
score-map2Ice Fishing Areas . . .
LAPORTE COUNTY INDIANA:
Fox Memorial Park — Ice fishing on Clear Lake, Fox Park Dr. & Truesdell, LaPorte, 219-326-9600. www.cityoflaporte.com
Soldiers Memorial Park — Ice Fishing on Pine & Stone Lakes, 556 acres, Grangemouth Rd. & Waverly Rd., LaPorte, 219-326-9600. Click here  www.cityoflaporte.com
Kingsbury State Fish & Wildlife Area — Ice Fishing, 4 miles east of U.S. 35, channel catfish, bluegill, crappie, largemouth bass, northern pike and rough fish. Boat ramps are located at parking area 5G for the Kankakee River and 5A for Tamarack Lake. A maximum 12-volt electric motor for lakes, gas motors allowed on the river. Shoreline fishing is located along the drainage ditches and Kankakee River. Kingsbury has a 30-acre lake that is stocked every other year with channel catfish. 5344 South Hupp Rd., Kingsbury, Indiana, 219-393-3612. www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/3089.htm
Trail Creek — 7943 W. 400 N., steelhead trout, salmon trout, rainbow trout, Has ten Public Access sites, one N. of US 20, East of Johnson Rd. (southeast of Michigan City). Also fishing at Michigan Blvd., and inside Washington Park (Michigan City), Michigan City, call Fisherman’s Hotline for conditions  219-874-6824 (DNR), 219-325-8315 (LaPorte County Parks) or 219-325-8316 (LaPorte County Parks).http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/3625.htm
Fish Lake — Off SR 104, 275 acres, largemouth bass, blugill/redear, On-Site Bait Shop, restrooms, boat ramp. Take SR 13 north of Millersburg to CR 34, then 1.5 miles east,  302 Lakeside Dr., Fish Lake, Indiana,  219-369-9354, 219-829-6241. Nearby Towns:Hamlet, Kingsbury, Kingsford Heights, New Carlisle, North Liberty, Walkerton

Pine Lake, 564 acres, perch, bluefish, largemouth bass, sunfish, walleye, crappie, Off Lakeshore Drive, Pine Lake -140 acres, Stone Lake, boat ramp, LaPorte, 772-2353 or 326-9600. https://www.cityoflaporte.com

LAKE COUNTY INDIANA:
Lemon Lake — 160 acres, 6322 W 133rd Ave., Crown Point, ½ mile east of Cedar Lake. Open 7am-dusk , fishing pier, catch and release largemouth bass, 769-PARK, Crown Point, www.lakecountyparks.com/parks/lemon_lake.html
• Three Rivers — 2800 Colorado St. Lake Station, Indiana, accessed from Central Westbound or Colorado St., 219-963-2070. Closest bait shop: 219-762-1191, http://www.lakecountyparks.com/parks/three_rivers.html
Oak RidgePark , fishing pier, Channel Cat, Largemouth Bass, Carp, Bullhead, Bluegill, no license req., fees are charged,  301 S. Colfax St. Griffith, Southeast of Broad and Main in Griffith, Gatehouse Phone: 219-922-1248 or 219-769-PARK. Click here for info about this park.
Wolf Lake — excellent walleye and northern pike and was stocked years ago to bring back a healthy balance in the lake. There is also muskie, yellow perch, blue gill, crappie, large and small-mouthed bass – and exotics like gobie’s and white perch, Northern Pike, and walleye. Excellent Shore Fishing, boat ramp, boat rentals, 219-659-7678, Shelter rentals (219-937-7942) Hammond, Security (219-655-5212). http://www.hammondmarina.com/wolf-lake 2405 N. Calumet Ave., Hammond, 219-853-6437.
• Lake George Dam, 270 acres, largemouth bass, bowfin, green sunfish, drum, catfish, bream, bluegill and carp here. There’s plenty of fishing off the bank and there’s fish galore. Whether you’re bait casting, fly fishing or spinning your chances of getting a bite here are good.  400 E. 2nd St., Hobart, Indiana. Managed by the Hobart Parks And Recreation: 219-942-2987,Local bait shop: 219-771-5807. http://www.cityofhobart.org/index.aspx?nid=141

PORTER COUNTY INDIANA:
Loomis & Spectacle Public Lakes —  store has bait, rentals, and snacks, Row Boat rental, off-shore lake fishing, 5502 N. Meridian, Rd. (Campbell), 219-462-1959 or 219-462-5144,Valparaiso. www.valpoParks.org
Long Lake — (fishing by boat only) West on Anderson Rd. to Long Lake, boat ramp, Valparaiso.West on Anderson Rd. to Long Lake, on West Long Lake Dr. Long. Filled with Bass, Northern Pike, Blue Gill, Crappie, Bullhead fish, Catfish and Walleye, the Valparaiso chain of lakes annually offers some of Indiana¹s best ice fishing. Access instead is only available on four of the largest lakes that give way to at least two smaller but fishable lakes as well. Mostly muck- and sand-bottomed, these lakes contain deep, pronounced weed lines that persist into the winter months. The connecting bogs freeze solid in a cold winter that forces normally inaccessible fish out into the open, fishable water found below the ice, Valparaiso, Indiana, 219-772-2353.
• Flint Lake — N. Old SR 49, off Edgewater Hill Crest to Edgewater Beach Rd., Valparaiso, Indiana

STARKE COUNTY INDIANA:
Bass Lake — 1,345 acres, On-site bait shop, groceries, restaurant, Winter Ice Fishing Contest, Bluegill, Channel Catfish, Trout and White Crappie. 5838 S. St. Rd. 10, Five miles S. of Knox, Indiana, Marina: (574)772-5084, Stark County Tourism Office: (574)772-0896. State Park Office: (574) 772-3382. www.explorestarkecounty.com

When is Ice Fishing Safe?
     There is no sure answer. Ice is tricky, and just because a lake or stream is frozen doesn’t mean the ice is safe. To understand the factors involved in the strength of ice, it’s necessary to understand how ice forms on lakes and streams and a few of its physical properties. The following are points to consider, largely based on research.
You can’t tell the strength of ice just by its appearance, the temperature, thickness or whether the ice is covered with snow. Strength of ice is based upon all four factors plus the depth of water under the ice, the size of the water body, water chemistry, distribution of the ice, and local climatic factors.
      Generally speaking, new ice is much stronger than old ice. Direct freezing of lake or stream water will be stronger. Several inches of new ice may be strong enough to support you, while a foot or more of old, “rotten” ice may not. A layer of snow slows down the ice forming process and decreases the bearing capacity of the ice. If you hear ice “booming” or cracking on cold days or still evenings, it doesn’t necessarily mean the ice is dangerous, merely that it’s changing shape as the temperature changes.
      Ice formed over flowing water, near shore, around inflowing or outflowing streams, in places where the lake narrows, under bridges or on lakes containing large numbers of springs can be unsafe. River ice is generally about 15 percent weaker than ice on lakes. Straight, smooth flowing stretches are safer than river bends. River mouths are dangerous because the current undermines the ice and creates unsafe pockets. A potential danger spot on lakes is an open portion completely surrounded by ice. Winds will force exposed water beneath the ice and rot it from below. Ice near shore is weaker. The buckling action of the lake or stream over the winter breaks and re-freezes ice continually along the shore.
      For those of us who venture onto the ice, whether on foot or in a vehicle, here are two tips to lessen your chance of breakthrough: (1) Ice fishing requires at least four inches of clear, solid ice. (2) Before you head onto ice, check with local experts, fire departments, wardens, local police or local bait shops for known thin ice areas or aeration operations which have created open water. Ice Fishing can be fun but please be careful.

 

Sue Baxter

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