Ice Fishing at Deep Creek Lake!

Ice fishing is HOT at Deep Creek Lake. Over the past few years more and more ice fishermen have been traveling to Deep Creek Lake.

This morning, we noticed a few shanties on the ice from our view at Blue Moon Rising. We had to take the opportunity to walk out onto the ice, take a few photos and have a conversation about fishing.


Check out this article featured on USA Today we found about Ice Fishing at Deep Creek Lake.
written by: Robert Kay, Demand Media

Deep Creek Lake State Park lies in western Maryland’s Garrett County, perched on the eastern shoreline of its namesake lake. Deep Creek Lake is the state’s largest man-made reservoir, with 3,900 surface acres, 69 miles of shoreline and an average depth of 25 feet. The state park, which lies at the southernmost edge of Meadow Mountain in the Allegheny Highlands, is open year-round and features a variety of recreational activities, including ice fishing during the winter.

Ice Fishing on Deep Creek Lake

January and February typically are the best months for ice fishing at Deep Creek Lake State Park (, where fishermen dot the lake’s frozen surface, huddled over small holes drilled with ice augers. The lake features a variety of fish; yellow perch and walleye typically are abundant in winter. Other targets 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. Equipment that comes in handy: a chair or bucket to sit on; small portable shelters called ice shanties that help protect you from the elements; tip-ups, which “tip” a small flag when you have a hit on your line; and a skimmer, to scoop slush or ice chips from your fishing hole.

Cautions and Considerations

Ice fishing can be dangerous if proper caution is not used. Two safety rules stand out: Make sure the ice is at least 4 inches thick and wear a life vest under your winter gear. Always test the thickness of the ice with an ice chisel or auger before venturing out. Ice is generally the thickest and hardest where it has a clear or blue color; gray, dark, crisp or slushy areas are danger signs. Dress in plenty of layers and wear boots that are waterproof and well-insulated. Before your ice-fishing trip, familiarize yourself with Deep Creek Lake’s “Ice Dangers and Safety” guide, which is available on the park’s website and tells you what to do in an emergency.

Park Amenities and Activities

In addition to ice fishing, other winter sports popular at Deep Creek Lake State Park include snowmobiling, sledding, ice skating and cross-country skiing. In warmer weather, the park is open to boating, swimming, water skiing, canoeing, kayaking and other water sports. The park features a boat launch area, fishing pier, picnic shelters, hiking trails and an educational/interpretive Discovery Center. For overnight guests, the park has 112 campsites, two small cabins, a yurt and a three-sided “Bear Den” shelter available seasonally from mid-April to mid-December. The park charges a day-use fee and a separate boat launch fee.

Nearby Attractions and Accommodations

If you’re planning an ice-fishing trip to Deep Creek Lake State Park, Garrett County is home to a number of attractions and lodging options. For a night out, Deep Creek Funland ( in McHenry, approximately seven miles northwest of the park, features miniature golf, go-karts, bumper cars, a carousel, climbing wall and snack bar. To learn more about the region’s history, tour the Garrett County Historical Museum and Garrett County Museum of Transportation ( in Oakland, approximately 10 miles southwest of the park. Another state park, Swallow Falls (, set along the Youghiogheny River less than 10 miles west of Deep Creek Lake State Park, features hiking trails that take you past several waterfalls, including 53-foot Muddy Creek Falls, Maryland’s tallest.


  • Maryland Department of Natural Resources: Deep Creek Lake State Park
  • Maryland Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Service: Inland Fishing, Deep Creek Lake
  • Maryland Department of Natural Resources: Deep Creek Lake NMRA Resource Guide

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