It’s no secret that Alaska is a haven for winter sport. Snowshoeing, dogsledding, skiing, snowmobiling, and – one of our personal favorites – ice fishing. Whether this is your tenth or first time in Alaska, you’ll quickly discover that ice fishing is no joke.
Unfortunately, the season has had a bit of a late start. With the weather as odd as it has been across the continent, this certainly didn’t come as a surprise. In fact, this hasn’t been the first year that the lakes have taken their sweet time to freeze solid. For several years the lakes’ freezing dates have been unpredictable. However, we couldn’t be happier that the season has finally started, no matter how late. The nets are out and catching their share of fish for the community.
If you want to take part in this classic Alaskan winter tradition, there are plenty of ways to get involved.
Park the Alaska Car Rentals, Take a River Tours
If you’re around Fairbanks, pack up your rental for the experience of a lifetime with an Ice Fishing River Tour. With the right tour, though, you won’t have to pack much more than your own winter gear and a lunch.
The Experience Ice Fishing Tour is $135/person with fishing between 1 pm and 5 pm. The experience includes fishing gear and access to the heated mobile ice shelters so you don’t become a human ice block. Hot beverages and even a few more extra winter clothes are available as part of the fee. You’ll also have a local professional on board to teach you all the tips and tricks of proper ice fishing. The only thing you need to take care of is transportation, and when you have Alaska car rentals from Avis you won’t even need to take care of that!
Aurora Ice Fishing & Dinner Tour
One of our all time favorite tours is the 6 hour Aurora Ice Fishing and Dinner Tour. Running from 8 pm until 2 am, you get an absolutely comprehensive experience of Alaska in the winter, combining two of our most hailed activities: Viewing the Northern Lights, and ice fishing.
The tour requires a minimum of two people and costs $225 per person – a fee well worth it, you’ll soon come to understand. You’ll have the use of a heated ice cabin while learning from a local instructor about the proper ways to ice fish. Enjoy hot beverages and a fresh fish dinner before heading out to the open ice to catch a gorgeous glimpse of the Aurora Borealis.
Also included in the fee is fishing gear, tackle, and proper Arctic clothing to keep you from freezing to the ice. The fee even includes a pick up and drop off from your hotel, so you can park your Alaska car rentals for the night.
The “Big Three”
There are three main lakes where the ice fishing is premium: Harding, Birch, and Quartz. You will likely become familiar with these lakes if you ice fish even once while traveling the state in your Alaska car rentals. All three of these lakes are located along the Richardson Highway and offer absolutely supreme fishing opportunities. But be warned – they’re popular, and will likely be packed.
The lakes are between Fairbanks (where the tours we listed above are offered) and Delta Junction. You have a variety of species to fish for: Arctic char, rainbow trout, salmon, burbot, lake trout, and arctic grayling.
Get your ice fishing adventure started on the right track with Alaska car rentals from Avis.