Ice Fishing Shelters | Outdoor Newspaper

People who don’t live in a cold climate, just can’t understand the concept of driving out on a frozen lake, drilling a hole, and fishing Why would you want to sit out in the freezing cold.

People, who don?t live in a cold climate, just can?t understand the concept of driving out on a frozen lake, drilling a hole, and fishing. Why would you want to sit out in the freezing cold? On the other hand, those of us who live in the land of ice and snow can?t wait for the first ice to set up an ice shelter and start fishing.

I don’t think any who haven?t experienced it can appreciate the peace and quiet that you can have out in the middle of a frozen lake in a fish shelter. If you haven?t ever ice fished in a shelter, make this the year you do.

Growing up in Northern Wisconsin, I have seen and built just about every type of ice fishing shelter you could have dreamed up. One of the first ice fishing shelters, I built was fairly simple. It was a 6 x 6 ice fishing shelter with only a 2 x 2 frame covered with particleboard. To heat the ice fishing shelter I used an old wood stove that I constructed out of a small metal drum – it kept the ice house plenty warm. It was your basic ice fishing shelter. It kept me out of the cold winter element and warm – it was great!

That was about as basic of ice shelter as you could make. My friend who was much more of a fisherman than me had a slightly larger fish house, that was fully insulated, paneled and carpeted with a nice wood stove with a damper. His ice fishing shelter was more like a lake lodge sitting on-top of the frozen wonderland.

As time went on I built several others. I even built a portable unit that had a plywood floor with two plywood end walls that folded down. There was a piece of tarp that stretched between the two end walls. This ice shelter although crude in design was actually fun to use as it was completely portable. I heated it with a small propane heater. It wasn’t the warmest fish house, but it was definitely easy to set up, move, and store.

Today there are many commercially available pre-built ice shelters to choose from. You can get a variety of portable units, most based upon a sled. These are nice for pulling out to your spot with all your gear loaded on the sled. A simple propane heater will heat them just fine. Most of them hold two comfortably, some are designed for just one person.

What is the ultimate ice shelter? Some of the more elaborate pre-built units have bunks stoves and TVs. Many of these are built on a trailer that will lower down flat onto the ice-making them the ultimate in portable ice shelters.

Even thou there are many affordable ice shelters on the market today many ice fishermen still prefer to take the hands-on approach and build their own ice shelters to their specifications. I personally think that’s a great idea and adds a bit of fun to the entire ice fishing adventure. When choosing to build your own ice fishing shelter. I would suggest that building it out of weather-resistant materials and using high-quality insulation is the best route to take. A quick visit to any building supply store will yield a bounty of various building materials that you can use to build your own ice fishing shelter. Make sure to insulate it well, and maybe even run wiring for a 12-volt lighting

As for a heat source, I still like wood, but propane is much easier to use. Whatever you choose make sure you have proper ventilation and a carbon monoxide detector.

So there you are, some basic thoughts on ice fishing with an ice shelter. If you live in a cold climate, give ice fishing a try and make it fun for you and your family with a comfortable ice shelter.

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