Manitoba Ice Fishing Report – December

The long awaited ice fishing season is well underway in Manitoba. Anglers have been pulling fish through the ice since mid-November on our frozen waterways. Keep an eye out for our monthly Ice Fishing Report where we share the lowdown on action from hardwater hot spots across the province.

master angler rainbow trout

Angler Darren Peters with a beauty 24.25″ Master Angler rainbow trout he caught this week on Corstorphine Lake in the Parkland Region.

Ice Safety

No ice is 100% safe at any time during Canadian winters‘. Those words shared by the Life Saving Society of Manitoba are very important to keep in mind whenever venturing onto frozen bodies of water. Early season ice is notoriously unpredictable and can vary in thickness and hardness in areas as small as one fishing spot. Please exercise caution, utilize safety measures, and practice emergency preparedness when participating in this winter sport.

master angler black crappie

Angler Geno Melegrito with a slab 15″ black crappie he caught this week on Star Lake in the Eastern Region.

The chart in the graphic below is a guideline for the recommended minimum ice thickness to consider when heading onto frozen bodies of water on foot, powersport, or vehicle. For more information about winter and ice safety, visit the Life Saving Society of Manitoba.

safe ice thickness chart

Lake Winnipeg – South Basin

Big Windy is undoubtedly the most anticipated ice fishery in the province for the majority of resident and visiting anglers alike. During most years, foot traffic onto the south basin begins around mid-December. With the earlier onset of below freezing temperatures this season, anglers have been fishing out here for several weeks now.

master angler walleye

Angler Richard Kenyon with a fat 28″ greenback walleye he caught recently on Lake Winnipeg.

The east side shoreline has been productive for many anglers with most of the action owing to huge pods of active eater-sized walleyes. Several Master Angler class greenback walleyes have been reported here and there as well. One of the more popular access points at Balsam Harbour has seen foot, ATV, as well as vehicle traffic on it already. HuntFishMB staffer Keevin Erickson went on an excursion here several days ago and details the ice thickness he found:


The west side of the south basin has been a bit slower to develop safe ice. This is mostly due to unseasonably strong outflow from the Red River still continuing to make its way north and the current of the basin generally flows along the western side of the lake. HuntFishMB Contributor Courtlyn Suszko went out from the Chalet Beach access yesterday and caught a pile of smaller greens. She shares her report here:

Lake Manitoba – South Basin

Manitoba’s other great lake is an early season favourite for many ice anglers. The shallow water bite can be fast and furious once you find an active school of the lake’s chunky and aggressive walleye. Veteran Lake Man anglers know that the best bite on this lake is at last light. Jay Siemens shared a recent video about their successful walk-out excursions including an after dark session within a stone’s throw from shore at the Twin Beach Road access point: Ice Fishing for Lake Manitoba South Basin Walleye

Lake Manitoba

For more information and content about ice fishing in Manitoba, visit our Ice Fishing page.

*Protect Manitoba’s water and resources. Stop aquatic invasive species. For more information on how to do your part visit the Sustainable Development AIS page.