The Lake George Area is a paradise for anglers year-round, but winter’s ice is special to many. It allows access to many sections of lakes and ponds that would otherwise be tough to fish for those who don’t have a boat.

That means some of the best trout and salmon fishing spots become accessible to anyone who doesn’t mind a bit of a walk when ice becomes safe.

Safe ice has taken a while to arrive this winter, but recent cold nights have allowed for many of the small to mid-sized waters in Warren County to freeze enough for fishing access on the ice. As of the third week of January 2024, much of Lake Luzerne, Brant Lake, Trout Lake, Fourth Lake and parts of Schroon Lake were fishable, though the up-and-down temperatures merit extra care for those heading out.

With a vibrant trout and salmon stocking program through Warren County Fish Hatchery and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, dozens of lakes, ponds, rivers and streams in Warren County are home to rainbow, brook and brown trout and Atlantic salmon.

ice fishing

In the winter, those prized coldwater game fish come out of the depths and can be caught in bays and near shore, leveling the playing field for those who don’t have the money or time for a boat.

Gearing up for ice fishing can be fairly inexpensive. To cut a hole in ice, you need an auger, and people-powered versions start at around $30, while motorized ones run significantly higher. Ice anglers use smaller jigging rods, or tipups, that can cost as little as $20.

There are a few other pieces of gear that will help keep your hole-in-the-ice open, and your day more comfortable; any of our local bait-and-tackle shops can help outfit you with what you need.

The same baits that work in the summer can also catch fish in the winter, with minnows, suckers, grubs and even nightcrawlers good offerings to lure a steady stream of action.

While trout and salmon are prime quarry in the winter, ice fishing season is also when those who love to eat fish can load up on yellow perch, one of the tastier fish we find in the Adirondacks.

Here are some of my favorite publicly accessible Warren County ice fishing waters:

Trout Lake – This small lake in Bolton has public access and limited parking on Trout Lake Road, and offers up some lunker rainbow trout and largemouth bass in the winter. Because of limited public parking, it isn’t heavily fished, but is worth it for those who can get on.

Glen Lake Ice Fishing

Glen Lake – The town-owned park on Glen Lake Road provides good access to this 320-acre lake, which is home to some big rainbow trout, largemouth bass and underrated yellow perch fishing.

Brant Lake – A state boat launch on the lake’s west end in the town of Horicon allows plenty of anglers to hop on, and Brant Lake rewards them with some big brown trout and rainbow trout. It’s also a solid yellow perch fishery, with the occasional walleye found as well.

Schroon Lake – The south end of this big lake sits in Warren County, where there is also a big NY state boat launch for public access. Landlocked Atlantic salmon, lake trout, northern pike and perch are most sought after on Schroon.

Lake Luzerne – Lake Luzerne has a sneaky good rainbow trout and pike fishery, as well as bass and plenty of perch. Public access can be found at the town boat launch off Route 9N, across from Hadley-Luzerne High School.

Dan & Jeff Ice Fishing Lake George 

Lake George – You can’t talk ice fishing in Warren County without starting with Lake George, known as the “King” in the local ice fishing community. The big question in recent winters is whether the bulk of the lake will freeze. When it does freeze, anglers come from all over to get after the lake’s big lake trout (10-plus pounders are not uncommon) and improving salmon fishery, while yellow perch that can be caught by the bucket. But the winds that steadily whip the lake hinder it from fully freezing some years. The bays in the south end (Dunham, Harris and Kattskill) and Northwest bays almost always freeze at some point regardless, so anglers can still get on the lake’s periphery. And unlike the summer, lake trout and salmon can be found in the shallows of these bays in the winter.

*Safety on the ice is paramount, as there is no room for error. Wear a life vest or inflatable suit, and carry a spike to help pull yourself out of the water if you get dunked. Ice conditions change rapidly, and can vary greatly within a few feet based on springs and currents. Checking ice thickness as you move from spot to spot is important.

For more information on ice fishing, check out this New York State Department of Environmental Conservation link, which also includes a list of Warren County ice fishing waters. Please note that not all waters are open for ice fishing, and the DEC has its rules listed here at this link.