Before the introduction of internet, ice fishing community in California was rather exclusive and small. There weren’t many people who thought that they could go ice fishing in sunny state. Now, lots of people have expressed their interest and are getting into this sport. Northern California, especially, is home to many great lakes which are main destination for local ice fishing enthusiasts.
Unlike in midwest or northeast, lakes in California are rather small and weather, as you may know, doesn’t get very cold. That changes the situation a bit. Finding a lake with nice, thick layer of ice and large variety of fish can be a bit problematic. Some lakes, especially now that global warming is getting worse, don’t freeze at all, so we depend on luck as much as ourselves. In those times, when there’s no frozen lakes in California, i usually fly to Washington to go ice fishing once or twice. Carrying equipment with me is a major pain, so i sometimes leave them at home and rent everything i need in Washington. Driving is an option too, but, unfortunately, not applicable to me for various reasons.
Although in spite of increasing temperatures every year, i rarely have to go to another state to enjoy ice fishing. Mountains always have few frozen lakes, so if you live in San Francisco or south in LA, they’re within driving range. There aren’t as many different species as in Midwest, but you can catch plenty of trout. Which is more than good enough for me.
Good thing about ice fishing in Cali is that it doesn’t get extremely cold outside, so you’ll get by without using shelters and other safety equipment that northerners have to use. Just make sure to have quality gloves and boots to protect your toes and fingers from the cold, and you’ll be fine. There are plenty of tutorials about that.
Ice fishing season is coming soon, and me and my ice fishing enthusiast friends all hope that we won’t have to go out of state or to the mountains to find frozen lake. San Bernadino hills is pretty good spot in California – it’s close to urban areas and usually water is frozen. So if you’re having trouble like we are, head over there. There are many other undiscovered gems as well, so if you have information on any of them, don’t hesitate to let us know.
Finding proper gear for ice fishing is easy here. Amazon deliveries are really fast, and there are plenty of quality outdoors brands who sell ice fishing equipment on Amazon. We have no shortage of retail stores selling ice angling stuff either.