Ice fishing is a popular activity in Cascade, Idaho, especially during the cold winter months. With a variety of fish to catch, it’s no wonder this destination is a must-visit! 

Lake Cascade’s water temperatures make it an ideal spot for anglers looking to catch some trophy-sized yellow perch.

The breathtaking views of the lake during wintertime and the pristine outdoors make ice fishing an unforgettable experience. 

Whether you’re an experienced angler or a novice fisherman looking to learn something new, Cascade, Idaho, is the perfect place to get started.

Best Places For Fishing In and Around Cascade Idaho

  • Lake Cascade If you’re looking to catch some perch, Lake Cascade is your go-to spot! Not only has it been home to the largest Yellow Perch ever caught in Idaho, but two national record fish have also been pulled from its depths.
  • Horsethief Reservoir Idaho Fish and Game proudly owns 258 acres of Horsethief Reservoir located just six miles east of Cascade. Complemented by its frequent rainbow trout stocking, this body of water is perfect for any recreational fishing enthusiast!

What Equipment Do You Need to Get Started With Ice Fishing?

Ice fishing has become a popular pastime due to its simplicity. To get started, you only need an ice fishing rod and hook, bait, an auger, a bucket, a ladle, and some warm clothes.

If you’re looking to make the most of your ice fishing experience, you can up your game by setting up an ice tent and bringing a heater, fish finder, chairs, food, and drinks.

Keep in mind that the more items you bring, the more things to lug around! In fact, many avid fishermen opt for using a snowmobile or sled to easily transport their gear.

If you’re visiting Cascade Idaho and new to ice fishing Tackle Tom’s is a great place to rent all your gear and get the scoop on the fishing conditions.

Recommendations for Ice Fishing Gear

  • Ice Auger-When equipped with an ice auger, you can easily drill holes into the ice. A manual auger is relatively inexpensive and can be purchased for less than a hundred dollars. Alternatively, you can opt for a gas-powered or cordless drill-attached auger to make your task easier!
  • Slotted Ladle-With a slotted ladle, you can make sure that your fishing holes remain free of ice and open for business!
  • Rod-A jigging rod and/or ice-fishing tip-up rigs are convenient tools for fishing, but a standard-size rod can be just as effective. In fact, using both rods and tip-ups gives you an edge when it comes to catching fish since you’re able to cast up to five lines!
  • Bait-When selecting a bait, the classic hook and worm is never a bad pick; however, there are many different jigs, sinkers, and tackle to choose from. To make sure you’re using what works for your area’s fish population at that time of year, stop by Valley Bait and Tackle in Cascade – where knowledgeable staff members can provide you with the best advice on what will work!

Types Of Fish You Can Catch On Lake Cascade

Trout and Perch are the two most frequent species caught when ice fishing; however, you may also be able to snag some Bluegill, Crappie, Kokanee, or even Bass. 

Tips for Ice Fishing In Lake Cascade:

  • To locate your catch of the day, vary your fishing depths. Perch are typically found at greater depths between 10 to 40 feet and lurking near the floor. On the other hand, Trout tend to swim throughout all water levels, with some being caught just a few feet beneath the ice!
  • A reliable strategy to pinpoint the depth of your fishing excursion is to lower your bait all the way down and count the number of times you reel in. By doing this, you can accurately determine where fish are biting so that you may come back later and be successful.
  • Jigging is an incredibly effective way to catch fish. To jig, lift your rig about a foot and let it settle back down, then repeat. The motion of the bait can draw in any curious fish looking for its next meal—it’s no wonder why so many anglers rely on this technique! Alternatively, some anglers prefer to just set their line and wait patiently until they feel a bite; either approach will likely yield great results!
  • Small hooks and bobbers are the way to lure Perch, bluegill, and crappie to take a bite. Plus, don’t forget the gentle finesse you need when trying your luck!
  • Generally, Trout are roaming, and active fish, but Perch tend to stay in one place. If it’s Perch you’re after, then you’ll need to conduct a thorough search – they won’t come looking for your bait the same way that Trout do. Even so, when fishing for Trout, it is wise to take advantage of their roving nature as often they will find your lures without having too much effort from yourself!
  • If you’re having trouble finding bites, try a new spot and drill some more holes. This especially holds true if others around you are catching fish!
  • Perch are fish that swim in large schools, and the action is fast-paced once you locate them.

Safety And Protecting Yourself While Ice Fishing

Understanding ice conditions is essential for successful and safe ice fishing, so even when you have checked the report, approach it with a skeptical eye. Ice can change rapidly.

The optimal time of year to go out on the lake is late January through early March. While the overall thickness might be sufficient in springtime, the structural integrity could weaken and be unsafe.

It’s essential to drill a test hole before taking any risks on the ice, and always remember that it’s your responsibility to determine if you’re safe.

If you’re hitting the ice on a snowmobile, keeping your speed in check is essential; if not, pressure cracks can be hazardous. Even more so when there is slushy terrain, navigating a snowmobile through those conditions can be tricky.

Be Sure to Follow These Guidelines for Ice Safety Around Cascade Lake

  • For a single person to walk on ice, there must be at least 3-4 inches of solid thickness. The more people you have in your group, the thicker the ice must be for safety purposes.
  • A firm 10-inch layer of ice is essential to safely traverse an ATV or snowmobile.
  • The ice is rarely strong enough to support cars or trucks in Idaho’s reservoirs and lakes.
  • For optimal safety, drill test holes to determine thickness. Keep in mind that the depth of these holes may not always be consistent, and they can be no larger than 10 inches in diameter for safety purposes.
  • Be mindful of areas where ice may be thin and weak, including inlets and outlets, springs, or near docks that can absorb the sun’s rays which causes the ice to become thinner.
  • When ice fishing, it is essential to consider visibility. Poor lighting and fog can quickly lead you astray on the ice or cause difficulty distinguishing others nearby; therefore, bringing along a GPS from your phone or a portable unit is very useful.
  • An ice condition report can be found on the Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s website and is also posted locally by the local outdoor shops.

Regulations For Ice Fishing In Cascade Idaho

To ensure the safety of all ice anglers and prevent overcrowding on the lake, certain regulations have been implemented that differ from traditional fishing rules. Be sure to check the official fishing regulations booklet for details.

  • As an angler, you can have up to five poles or lines at a time and attach no more than five hooks per line. Don’t forget that the law requires you must attend all your lines while fishing. Also, note that having two-pole validation does not allow exceeding the maximum of 5 lines when ice fishing. Certain waters are regulated with specific rules that limit the number of bait and rods used for ice fishing, so review these regulations before heading out!
  • The daily trout limit in this state is six fish; however, there are no caps on Perch, bluegill, or crappie. Before you begin fishing, be sure to glance over the regulations specific to the waters you plan on visiting – they may contain extra standards that should be considered before casting your line!
  • Anglers are only allowed to fish with a hole of up to 10 inches in diameter.
  • With no limits on the number of holes, you are free to create as many as you desire.
  • Gaff hooks should only be used when landing fish through a hole cut or broken in the ice, as long as the waters have no length restrictions nor harvest closures for that species.
  • Ice fishers who utilize any kind of enclosure or shelter and plan to leave it unattended overnight on the ice should ensure that their name, telephone number, and current address are marked legibly on two opposite sides. These shelters must be removed before the springtime melt begins.

Is Cascade Lake Good For Ice Fishing?

You bet it is ! Cascade Lake is a prime destination for ice fishing. It has plentiful populations of many different fish species. With its crystal-clear depths, you can easily spot hungry fish cruising around below the ice.

Ice Fishing Tours And Rentals

For those new to ice fishing, rentals and guided fishing trips can be found at Tackle Tom’s in Cascade ID or Tamarack Resort. They can provide all the necessary equipment and tips on how to stay safe while out on the lake.

You can also follow them on Facebook for updates on ice conditions and tips from experienced anglers.

Get Out And Explore Winter In Cascade Idaho

Whether you’re an experienced angler or just starting out, ice fishing in Cascade, Idaho, is an exciting way to spend time outdoors this winter season!