Vermont Ice Fishing on Lake Champlain | Happy Vermont Podcast

Explore Vermont

vermont ice fishing

The Lure of Vermont Ice Fishing on Lake Champlain

Bruce Batchelder was a child when his parents moved from Island Pond to the Champlain Islands. Vermont ice fishing is a big deal in the islands, where the land is flat and surrounded by Lake Champlain. For Batchelder, ice fishing has been an essential part of his life for as long as he can remember.

A former educator and school administrator, Batchelder and his wife Joanne have owned Holiday Harbor Lodge in North Hero for the past 16 years. The lakeside lodge specializes in ice fishing, summertime fishing, and other outdoor recreational opportunities. The lodge includes direct access to Lake Champlain with a boat launch and a live bait and tackle shop.

On a recent mid-February weekend, Batchelder was particularly busy hosting a group of ice fishing enthusiasts from Massachusetts for the Annual Islands Ice Fishing Derby. He took some time to talk about what he loves most about Vermont ice fishing.

“It’s very mysterious and very primal,” he says. “You’re really in touch with the elements, and you have to protect yourself from the cold and the wind. It’s exciting to catch a fish through a small hole in the ice.”


vermont ice fishing

Bruce Batchelder grew up ice fishing in Vermont. He now runs Holiday Harbor Lodge in North Hero, where ice fishing enthusiasts flock to in the winter.


Vermont Ice Fishing Resources for Lake Champlain

At 120-miles long, Lake Champlain includes everything from landlocked salmon to walleye. According to the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, here are fish you can hope to find while ice fishing in Vermont on Lake Champlain.

Northern Pike

Hotspots include Lake Champlain’s Missisquoi Bay, Dillenbeck Bay, Kelley Bay, Carry Bay, Keeler Bay, St. Albans Bay; south of the Sandbar Causeway between Milton and South Hero; and south of the Champlain Bridge between Addison to Benson.

Trout and Salmon

As the season progresses and more ice forms, landlocked salmon can be caught in the Inland Sea north of the Sandbar Causeway.

Lake Trout

If there is ice along the deeper areas of the lake, your best bet is the west shore of Grand Isle and in Outer Mallets Bay, Shelburne Bay, Converse Bay, and Button Bay south to the Champlain Bridge.


A good place to find Walleye is at the southern end of the lake near Benson and Orwell, as well as the northern end of the lake in Swanton and Alburg.

Happy Vermont Podcast: Vermont Ice Fishing

In this podcast episode of Happy Vermont, Bruce Batchelder talks about Vermont ice fishing and why he loves the Champlain Islands. You can listen to this podcast on Podbean, Spotify, or wherever you find podcasts.


Champlain Islands, Grand Isle County, Happy Vermonters, Lake Champlain, Mountains, Lakes & Rivers, Outdoors, Vermont Podcast, Winter
  • Henry Schneir
    Posted at 23:01h, 17 March Reply

    Best podcast I have ever listened to to!!! This bruce guy sure knows his stuff!! His voice is also very relaxing as well as genuine.

    • Erica
      Posted at 10:53h, 24 March Reply

      Thank you so much, Henry! Bruce was wonderful to interview.

Post A Comment