There might not be a state with more fishing variety per square mile than Rhode Island, and the ice fishing opportunities in this state are no exception. Anglers in the smallest state can target a myriad of saltwater and freshwater species without ever being more than a day’s drive from home.
Whether it’s your home state or you’re visiting, check out these five ponds and lakes once they safely freeze over to get your fill of ice fishing this winter.
Where to Go Ice Fishing in RI
Waterman Reservoir covers more than 300 acres, so it’s not a small body of water per se, but, it’s very shallow.
However, the lake’s northeast corner has a hole that drops to more than 30 feet, the deepest point in the reservoir.
The nice thing about fishing in this area is that you’re just east of two small islands in the lake that are another promising spot to try.
Although the water only drops to about 13 feet near the islands, those steep drops can hold bait and fish.
There are decent numbers of largemouth bass and northern pike in Waterman Reservoir, and anglers catch some giant pike.
Private property nearly surrounds Waterman Reservoir, but you can get out on the ice from Route 44 on the Greenville side. Much of the lake is in Glocester.
About halfway between Charlestown and Narragansett, Worden Pond offers chances to catch pike and largemouth bass.
State officials have stocked this South Kingstown pond with pike some seasons.
Worden Pond is exceptionally shallow. The northeast and northwest corners feature the steepest drops, reaching only 9 feet deep.
The big pike on Worden have few places to hide.
The Worden Pond State Boat Launch is off Wordens Pond Road and provides a small parking lot and walk-in ice access.
Johnson’s Pond near Coventry, also known as Flat River Reservoir, is another lake stocked with pike.
But pike aren’t always the star of the show at this lake: That would be the 11-pound, 3.2-ounce largemouth bass that Brandon Migliore caught in 2016 that still stands as the Rhode Island state-record largemouth.
When you’ve got a body of water that is only 659 acres in size and offers colossal northern pike and potentially state-record largemouth, that’s a pond worth fishing all year, including through the winter ice.
Zeke’s Bridge Fishing Access on the south end of the lake along Harkney Hill Road is a spot you can get out on the ice when it’s safe.
Pull off into Georgiaville Beach off Stillwater Road in Smithfield, and you’ll be at Georgiaville Pond. Largemouth bass are the main draw here, and for good reason.
The deepest drops, at more than 20 feet, are on the far southern end of the pond. The eastern ledge has a relatively steep drop as well.
Also, additional drop-offs might be holding winter bass just off the island in the southern central part of the pond.
Silver Spring Lake
Anglers would be wise to note this North Kingston lake, which is within a half-hour’s drive for many Rhode Islanders.
Why? Because the state dumps in rainbow trout, brook trout, and Atlantic salmon into Silver Spring Lake throughout the year.
The easiest access will come right off Silver Spring Road, which leads through state-owned and protected lands including a fishing area.
The upper section of the pond has thick, almost bog-like vegetation in the summer months and still holds fish once the pond freezes over.
Especially in the southern New England states, where temperatures can vary by day dramatically, please be sure to check ice safety and have at least three inches of ice on all parts of a pond or lake before heading out.
If you can’t find safe ice in Rhode Island, heading north into Massachusetts for ice fishing might make a difference. If not, head farther and you’ll find plenty of lakes with longer ice fishing seasons in New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont.
See our simple guide to ice fishing techniques and tips for safety tips and picking the right equipment, bait and lures.