When winter comes to western Maryland, Deep Creek Lake typically freezes over late in December when temperatures plummet to below freezing. The lake takes on a new personality in winter, one that is sure to send a chill up your spine. Bring your ‘adventurous angler’ spirit and do a little walking on water…frozen water that is. If you’re looking for some good Deep Creek Lake ice fishing follow our guide below.
Once a four inch ice layer is formed, the Deep Creek Lake is ready to accept anglers armed with gear to penetrate the ice. It is a good practice to always test the thickness of the ice before venturing out using an auger or ice chisel. As a general rule, the thickest ice has a clear or blue color. If the ice looks gray or dark and slush is evident, this could be a sign of danger. If you have any doubt, get out!
Be sure to bring the equipment necessary for a successful day on the lake. First and most importantly, dress in layers and wear well-insulated waterproof boots. Wear a PFD life vest under your winter coat in the event of an emergency. Tools of the sport include: an auger to cut a hole in the ice, a portable shelter to protect you from the harsh elements, a scoop to remove slush and ice chips from the opening in the ice, a bucket and/or a stool for sitting, and of course, your fishing gear and tackle. Don’t forget your camera to record your record catch!
Deep Creek Lake Lake features a variety of fish; yellow perch and walleye typically are plentiful in winter. Others may include northern pike, bluegill, pickerel, trout, bass, crappie and sunfish. Try keeping your line near the lake bottom, where the water is warmest in winter and fish are more active. You can find out where the fish are biting this winter at Deep Creek Lake by way of the the Maryland Weekly Fishing Report Overview. This informative weekly report provides anglers details of conditions and considerations while fishing Maryland public waters and streams. Be sure to stay up-to-date with weather conditions and record catches.
Before your ice-fishing trip to Deep Creek Lake, get familiar with the lake and its available access points. Much of the shoreline is privately owned; respect private property boundaries and check the Deep Creek Lake State Park website for public access points. Be sure to review the “Ice Dangers and Safety” guide, which tells you what to do in an emergency. It is also important to understand the Maryland fishing regulations and rules regarding Maryland fishing license and catch limits. Stay safe and fish on.
To purchase a Maryland Fishing License, Click Here for a list of local Deep Creek retailers that can provide assistance. While ice-fishing Deep Creek Lake, be sure to share your catch with us. We love hearing about your Deep Creek Lake adventures. Post a photo of your icy experience on Facebook and share with us at Blue Moon Rising.