You may have noticed that Green Bay, Wisconsin is next to a gigantic lake. Also, winters are cold in this general region of America. These two ingredients make for an abundance of ice fishing opportunities. I’m writing this post to point out some great spots for ice fishing near Green Bay so you can make the most of your winter there.
I will preface my list of locations by saying that you will need to drive to get to all of these places. The water adjacent to the city itself is not good for ice fishing. With that said, let’s check out some ice fishing spots.
Little Sturgeon Bay
Little Sturgeon Bay is a 1068-acre lake. Compared to this lake’s older brother, you will find serious peace and quiet here.
There is only one boat landing here, so at no time of year is this lake expecting big crowds. There is also a lovely little park on the northwest side of this bay. I think, personally, I would park my car there if I was visiting this lake.
On the east side, there is actually a little place to stay called Ericas Cottage, though I have no idea how to arrange a stay there since I don’t see a phone number or anything listed online. If that could be found, though, it looks like a lovely spot to stay.
In the lake, you should expect to find nothing too unusual for this area: crappie, perch, walleye, etc.
Getting to Little Sturgeon Bay from Green Bay takes just under an hour, which is convenient, though the big Sturgeon Bay takes about the same amount of time to get to if you prefer that one. To drive there, just head northeast on Highway 57 and turn left on County Road D.
The big appeal of this location is how quiet it looks. Of course, crowds could end up forming on more pleasant weekends, but this seems unlikely to happen much.
Some might find it to be a downside that there is not much civilization near the location, on the other hand. If you want restaurants and stores to visit during your trip, this is not the place to go.
But if the peace and quiet of this area appeals to you instead, definitely check it out. After all, it is fairly close to Green Bay, so you will be able to get anything you need there.
Sturgeon Bay is huge, measuring at 4945 acres, which explains why the other Sturgeon Bay is called “Little.” There is also a town nearby with the same name.
This bay is known for containing an abundance of whitefish. This is actually a somewhat recent development. In 2007, around a thousand whitefish were caught, but ten years later, that number was multiplied by ten. (Source) It goes to show you that the conditions for animals are ever-changing, and that means humans adapt, too.
Whitefish are easier than ever to catch in this lake. Of course, you can expect to find other species like crappie and perch, too.
There are 4 boat landings by which you can access the lake. There are also 3 public lands or parks within walking distance of the lake. Plus, there are 4 beaches. Check out this government page to find maps to where these access points are found.
Getting to Sturgeon Bay from Green Bay takes just under an hour, so going here for fishing really makes for an excellent day trip. You could leave before dawn, get some primetime fishing done, and be back early enough to prepare your fish for an evening feast.
Finding your way to Sturgeon Bay from Green Bay is as simple as following Highway 57 northeast the whole way there. For directions to specific spots, see the link I included earlier.
Sturgeon Bay is definitely going to be a fun spot for ice fishing. The only downside is that it is one of the most popular spots for ice fishing near Green Bay, so you may not find yourself with as much space as you desire when fishing here.
Egg Harbor has a lovely amount of restaurants and stores to visit, which surprised me. In case you get bored of ice fishing, you could visit them. I imagine that, given the popularity of ice fishing, a lot of these places stay open during the winter. After all, they exist primarily for the sake of tourists, with not many people actually living in Egg Harbor.
I mention this mainly because it really sets this place apart from the others here.
Going here might allow for the kind of daylong vacation where some family members take to the ice and focus on catching tons of fish while others are able to relax, strolling through the village, perusing the shops there. That sounds like a good deal to me.
As for the fishing itself, there isn’t anything particularly unique about Egg Harbor. Keep in mind, all of the places I’ve mentioned so far are still part of Lake Michigan, so you can’t expect fish species to vary between spots a whole lot. You’ll find whitefish, walleye, crappie, and others.
Getting to Egg Harbor (that name is funny to me, to be honest) from Green Bay takes a bit over an hour, which is not bad at all. The great part about this village being so focused on tourists is that there are plenty of places to stay if you want to stay awhile. I think that if you live in Green Bay, it will be more cost-effective to just drive, though.
Driving there is quite simple. Just follow Highway 57 northward all the way. You will need to pass by the aforementioned Sturgeon Bay to get there, by the way.
If you want to enjoy a charming, slightly cozy experience, spend some time in Egg Harbor. If you want to ignore all the touristy stuff in favor of raw adventure, of course, just ignore the town and just go straight to the lake. But unless the ice is simply thicker here than further south, there’s really no reason to come here if that’s all you want.
Heading further north alongside the gigantic lake, we come to another charming village called Ephraim, which offers lovely views of Eagle Harbor.
This location is similar to Egg Harbor, but things are a bit more spread out. Egg Harbor had almost all its shops on one little street, but not Ephraim.
Ephraim doesn’t seem to have as many shops as Egg Harbor, but it does have more places to stay, and some of them are particularly comfortable. If you are looking for a peaceful getaway that lasts several days, Ephraim could be just what you need.
In fact, the views of Eagle Harbor here are said to be magnificent. You could have a lovely vacation here.
The town is known for its charming white buildings, so it seems like a lovely place to at least visit. Also, there are a couple of museums you can check out, though that’s not going to take you very long.
But enough of me advocating for you to go be a tourist at this place. How’s the fishing?
It should be pretty similar to what you expect anywhere else in this region, so once again, expect to find plenty of panfish.
There is a public beach here that will make getting onto the lake a cinch.
The only real reason I can see to come to Ephraim over the other places I’ve discussed if you don’t want to see the town is if the ice conditions are different here than they are elsewhere, which could be the case. It’s always important to check.
If you are coming to Ephraim from Green Bay, it takes a little under an hour and a half. Just follow the directions I’ve given to Egg Harbor, but keep going a little longer past Egg Harbor.
Ephraim looks like a charming village and vacation destination. If you only care about the fishing, though, there may not be a real reason to visit, but it wouldn’t hurt, either.
Green Bay, Wisconsin is a pretty great place to be for ice fishing, overall. You don’t have to go far at all to get to a good spot for it, so you can make ice fishing a regular hobby throughout the winter. So say what you will about Wisconsin, but it has its perks.