The lake is, obviously, Lake Champlain, the massive water for which the region is named and a world-class fishery any time of year. In winter, hard water anglers flock to the ice in search of yellow perch, lake trout, landlocked Atlantic salmon, northern pike and the tasty rainbow smelt.
Virtual communities of ice shanties spring up in places like Bulwagga Bay in Port Henry, where the ice fishing tradition is as strong as ever. Westport and Willsboro bays have their own angling fraternities, with some anglers jigging up perch and smelt and others preferring to set tip-ups and sit back and relax, waiting for the telltale flag that signals a bite.
Ice fishing is more than just the pursuit of the fish that cruise below the hard water. It’s a social event of the most unique kind, and it brings together folks who embrace the winter and enjoy all that it has to offer.