Pishtech's Ice Fishing Derby is a 3D game with elements of simulated real-time fishing. Players assume the role of competitors in a five-day fishing tournament in which they must catch different kinds of fish to earn money. The money they earn can be used to purchase better fishing equipment from the bait shop to help them catch as many fishes as they can.
There are two game modes: arcade and simulation. Players can select the arcade mode for a casual game, or the simulation mode for a more advanced level. The locations of the tournament include a deep and rocky lake and a weedy lake of the Midwest. Players can catch different kinds of fish, such as panfish, northern pike, bluegills, yellow perch, crappie, lake trout, walleyes, and rainbow trout.
Players can view their fishing in an underwater camera view, down the fishing hole, and in a first-person perspective. Each day of the tournament poses several challenges; one of the factors that affect the day’s catch is the weather. Players must pay close attention to the weather forecast. As the tournament progresses, the temperature falls, so players must be ready with the right equipment such as propane heaters and portable fishing shanties. These items may be bought from the bait shop.