As winter wraps the Okanagan in a crystalline embrace, ice fishing enthusiasts are lured to the frozen lakes surrounding this picturesque region. February offers the perfect opportunity to experience the thrill of ice fishing, and there are many lakes in the Okanagan that offer prime spots for this chilly adventure. Here’s your guide to some great Okanagan ice fishing locations!
Most spots are going to require a car to get to, but there are some good Urban Ice Fishing locations that can be accessed by public transit! Shannon Lake is easily accessible by families, and you can take the bus there! At Shannon Lake you will find perch, large mouth bass, and rainbow trout. With easy parking access, and washroom facilities open all year, this is a great spot to head to if you only have a few hours to spare!
Swan Lake & Oyama Lake
Here is a great lake located close to Vernon’s city centre. Swan Lake is a shallow lake with a great fishery, and is most popular for its perch!
Oyama Lake is another great choice for families, and it about a 1-hour drive from Kelowna. It is well stocked with Rainbow Trout, and if you stick close to the weed beds we hear you might have more nibbles!
Beaver Lake is located in Lake Country and is well stocked with rainbow trout, though you may also catch sculpin! This lake may be a bit out of the way, but the road is well maintained in winter, so if you are looking for a safe adventure slightly further afield, this may be a good choice for you! And keep you eye on the Lake Country Calendar, as local fishing clubs have been known to hold events here!
Staying Safe While Ice Fishing
Obviously we want everyone to have a great time, and to ensure your fun isn’t interupted we recommend that you dress appropriatly for the activity, monitor ice levels, and make note of any warning or signs posted around the lakes. Below are some suggestions to help you with your planning!
What To Wear
Dress in layers to stay warm during your ice fishing adventure. A thermal base layer, insulated jacket, and waterproof outer shell will help you stay comfortable in the chilly temperatures. Don’t forget a warm hat and gloves to protect against the cold winds, and consider bringing hand warmers to keep your fingers nimble during those quiet moments on the ice.
Warm, waterproof boots with good traction are essential for navigating icy surfaces. Consider insulated boots to keep your feet toasty, and ensure they provide enough ankle support for any uneven terrain you might encounter. Ice cleats can be a valuable addition, offering extra stability on slippery surfaces.
For more information on how to plan for your ice-fishing adventure, check out the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC, and don’t forget to get your licence!
With the serene beauty of the Okanagan as your backdrop and the anticipation of a frozen catch, February ice fishing promises an unforgettable winter adventure!