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Best Portable Ice Fishing Shelter

If you spend any time at all on the ice fishing, you know the value of a good portable ice fishing shelter. If you’re a serious ice fisherman, a good, preferably portable ice fishing shelter is essential to your enjoyment and success.

Some people think that anyone who spends any time at all on a frozen lake has got to be at least a little crazy. For some of these people, you couldn’t pay them enough money to go ice fishing. And I understand that. But I doubt that any of those people have ever been in a nice, warm and comfortable (and modern) ice fishing shelter or they wouldn’t feel that way. Their only thought when they hear “ice fishing” is cold and miserable.

One of the biggest advantages of the many different models and styles of ice fishing shelters on the market today is their ease of collapsing, setting up and moving. In deciding on what type and which options with the various types of ice fishing shelters, it is important to keep in mind the type of fish you will be after, how long a period of time you wish to fish, and what conditions you can reasonably expect to encounter on the ice.

Best Portable Ice Fishing Huts For 2019

 Rating:Price on Amazon:
Eskimo Quickfish Ice Fishing Series

5.0 (Best Price)
Happybuy Ice Fishing Tent Waterproof 8 Person

4.9 (Fits 8 People)
Ice Cube 3 Man Portable Ice Shelter

5.0 (Warmest Option)

Many winter fishermen make decisions on ice fishing shelters on one or two factors, but often this can lead to a poor match between the ice fishing shelter you really need and the ice fishing shelter you end up with. Some of the questions you need to ask when purchasing one of the many types of portable ice fishing shelters include:

Modern Ice Fishing Shelters

Fish houses, ice fishing shanty, ice fishing shelters or ice shack. No matter what you call them, they all refer to the same thing. Something to keep you warm in the winter on the ice while you attempt to catch fish. Today’s modern fishing shelters that we’re talking about are also portable. It’s the portability that really makes the difference in the number of fish that you catch because it’s so easy today to find fish and follow fish.

Modern ice fishing shelters have come so far. Especially in the last 20 years. Prior to that, it was pretty rare to move your fish house because it wasn’t portable and usually it was frozen into the ice making it very difficult to move to a new location.

I’ve been fishing since I was very young so it’s never been a big deal to me to spend hours and hours on a frozen body of water chasing elusive fish. I’ve also spent hundreds of hours without a good fish house. Some of those fishing days I’d kinda like to forget. Brrrr.

But even in the days when I couldn’t afford a portable ice fishing shelter of some kind, I still had a blast out there. Mostly because I chose the days and times when the temperature and wind was a little more moderate. But the beauty of today’s ice fishing shelters is that they are not only comfortable and convenient but they’re also very affordable.

It’s so much nicer today to go out fishing with my kids or my friends and know that they’re not gonna complain about the cold weather but they can have fun fishing and just being outside.

With the many varieties, sizes and price range available today, there really isn’t any reason why every fisherman or woman (or kid) can’t enjoy a day on the ice thanks to the wonderful ice fishing shelters that are available.

Questions To Ask Before Buying A Portable Ice Fishing Shanty

1. How much money do you want to spend?

Portable ice fishing shelters can range in price from under a hundred dollars to several hundred dollars. Typically the biggest factor in the price of ice fishing shelters is the type of material that the ice fishing shelter is made of and the additional features that are included.

2. How long do you typically fish at one time?

If you only plan to fish for an hour or two, it is less important to be concerned with long-term heat retention and other additional comforts of the ice fishing shelters. Since most portable ice fishing shelters are designed to act as a wind break and heat trapping system, the less time you are out on the ice, the less critical this feature will be. Many simple three-sided or drop front ice fishing shelters are great for those who only need a couple of hours protection and these ice fishing shelters will be less costly that more complete ice fishing shelters.

3. How many people will use the ice fishing shelter?

Ice fishing shelters are typically made to comfortably seat one, two or four people. Larger ice fishing shelters are available. Typically the larger the ice fishing shelters the more they will cost and the heavier they will be to pack and move from place to place. Larger ice fishing shelters will also be harder to heat and to keep warm for extended periods of time. Cramped ice fishing shelters can be both uncomfortable and will make landing and keeping fish difficult.

4. What type of fish are you after?

Some species of fish such as pike will move around the lake very rapidly as they follow the baitfish. Highly mobile and portable ice fishing shelters such as flip-over ice fishing tents or three-sided ice fishing shelters are very easy to take down and put up, even in very windy conditions, and you can more easily change your spot.

5. Will the ice fishing shelter be durable enough for the conditions you fish?

It is important to keep in mind that the ice fishing shelter you choose is durable enough to match the conditions where you fish. On lakes and areas where winter wind is a concern, canvas and very lightweight materials will not be strong enough to withstand the cold winds, so choosing a heavier weight canvas and sturdier frame will be a more practical choice for an ice fishing shelter.

Building Your Own Ice Fishing Shanty

There are a huge number of models and styles available for pre-made options for building ice fishing shanty. Most of these designs for building portable ice fishing shanties are portable and can be fully or partially collapsed for easy moving off and onto the ice surface. Some of the pre-fabricated portable ice fishing shanty designs also have their own skids or sled runners to make moving the ice fishing shanty as simple as possible. Some may be actual trailers.

Portable ice fishing shanties are different than ice fishing houses. Ice fishing houses are more permanent structures that are typically built on the lake and left in place for the winter. Portable ice fishing shanties are easily moved and not usually intended to be left in place for the whole season.

If you want to be a bit more adventurous or try designing a custom ice fishing shanty, it isn’t hard to do on your own. Most home designed portable ice fishing shanty buildings can be made for under $100, especially if you already have some of the basic carpentry supplies around the house or shop. A pre-fabricated portable ice fishing shanty can cost significantly more than this with additional features all adding to the price of the final ice fishing shanty.

There are many websites that offer basic ice fishing shanty plans for ice fishing shanties that are simple to construct, portable and permanent. Typically the portable ice fishing shanty plans will include a door, windows and interior lighting, a wood stove or alternate source heater, fold down benches or permanent benches and storage area for extra gear and tackle.

Ice fishing shanties may be large enough to stand in and comfortable to move around in for one or two people and even for larger groups. It is important to keep in mind that the larger portable ice fishing shanty styles will take more to heat as well as will possibly need additional people to move it around.

In larger portable ice fishing shelters it is also important to consider the position of the heater in regards to where the benches or ice fishing area will be. Ice fishing heaters are generally best positioned on the end, evenly positioned between where anglers will sit to fish. Positioning ice fishing heaters this way serves two purposes in that the heat is evenly distributed and the heat is also effective in preventing ice build up over the holes.

Finally, a wood and canvas ice fishing shanty is not as durable as a solid construction ice fishing shanty, but a wood and canvas ice fishing shanty is much easier to transport and move around on the ice than an ice fishing house. A wood and canvas ice fishing shanty can be just as warm and comfortable inside, although in extremely windy conditions the canvas or tarp may have a tendency to rip or tear if it becomes loose, so be sure to have additional tacks or staples on hand to complete any necessary repairs.

Why Go Ice Fishing?

For many fishermen, winter doesn’t mean a stop for fishing. Rather winter is just the perfect environment to enjoy the winter weather and the challenge of ice fishing on the many frozen lakes and waterways. Ice fishing offers several advantages to summer fishing although many people don’t realize all the benefits of choosing off-season fishing.

Ice fishing can be done in the open on a sunny or clear day or with the use of ice fishing tents, ice fishing houses or ice fishing shacks, many of which are very portable and easy to construct out on the ice. One of the benefits to using ice fishing tents, ice fishing houses or ice fishing shacks is that portable ice fishing heaters can be used to keep the temperature inside comfortable, even on very cold days.

On a clear winter day when the wind is calm, there is nothing quite as relaxing as finding a nice, clear, open piece of ice, drilling a hole and setting up your chair and sit back and enjoy the scenery and catch some fish.Since ice fishing tends to be less popular than traditional summer fishing, there is usually less competition for the best places to fish on the lake as well as a better chance of getting your limit.

The simplest method for ice fishing out on the lake is line fishing, which uses a jigging rod and reel and a set of lures or bait rather than a casting or fly type set-up. Winter fishing requires greater line depth as fish move away from the colder surface waters down to the deep areas of the lake where smaller fish and food are more likely to gather. Since ice fishing is less equipment intensive than some of the other types of fishing, icefishing is a great family activity and for kids.

There is also a special kind of ice fishing reel and rod holder known as ice fishing tip-ups. Ice fishing tip-ups are handy devices that both keep your line in the water as well as have a flag at the end so that it is easy to see the fish hitting on the ice fishing tip-ups lure at the bottom of the ice fishing tip-ups line. Most ice fishing tip-ups have various settings for either nibbles or strong biters, providing easy warning for winter anglers wearing thick gloves that may tend to decrease the vibrations normally felt on the line in warm weather fishing.

Icefishing tends to be a more social event than traditional fishing. Ice fishermen often gather in one area, share ice fishing tents and ice fishing shanties and even set up impromptu icefishing competitions. There are some areas that host ice fishing tournaments which make for a great day of outdoor winter fun.

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About Jameson Benning

As an apartment renter, having a limited amount of space affects my purchasing habits. I review the best portable items so you don't have to!

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