image of ice fishing at priest lake

A Beginner’s Guide to Ice Fishing at Priest Lake

No matter what time of year, fishing at Priest Lake is an activity enjoyed by most visitors. In the winter, when the ice is safe, anglers can brave the cold and ice fish at Priest Lake. The lake is open year-round with a limit of six lake trout per day. Enjoy the winter season in Idaho with our beginner’s guide to ice fishing at Priest Lake.

Gear needed

To help get you started, there a few pieces of gear that are essential for ice fishing.

  • An ice auger to drill your holes. There are both manual and gas-powered augers available.
  • Slotted ladle to keep your fishing holes free of ice
  • A short jigging rod
  • A bucket or small chair to sit on because the ice is cold!

What kind of fish will I catch?

The most common you will find are trout and perch. But there is a possibility of catching bluegill, crappie, kokanee, or even bass. If you’re not getting any bites, move to a different area, and drill a new hole, it is all about location!

Safety first

To fish safely, you need at least four inches of solid, clear ice to support a person. If you plan to ice fish in a group, look for thicker ice, up to 10 inches. The thickest ice is typically found near the edges of the lake. To determine the thickness of ice, drill a test hole but remember the ice thickness isn’t always the same.

Note: Ice usually does not get thick enough in Idaho to drive a car or truck out onto the ice.

It is always best to err on the side of caution, so be sure to read local fishing reports and pay attention to other fishers on the ice. It can be a bit comforting to see others where they have found safe ice. Also, be aware of conditions that can potentially weaken the ice such as, inlets, springs, or near docks and other places that receive a lot of sun. And whether it’s your first time fishing at Priest Lake or not, it’s always best to stick with the buddy system.

Winter not your favorite time for fishing? Here is our guide to fishing at Priest Lake during the summer months.

Know the rules

In Idaho and for Priest Lake, these are the basic rules for ice fishing:

  • An angler can have up to five poles or lines at a time
  • Daily trout limit is six
  • There are no restrictions on the number of holes

Stay at Elkins Resort at Priest Lake

elkins resort cabins in winter

Ice fishing at Priest Lake is easy when you stay at Elkins Resort. Fish all day and enjoy a restful night’s sleep in one of our cedar log cabins, with comfortable and tranquil accommodations to complete your wilderness getaway. Start planning your next fishing adventure at Priest Lake and be sure to book your stay at Elkins Resort.