Ice Fishing Houses – What IS an Ice Fishing House?
Ice fishing houses are what all avid ice fishermen strive for although making the decision to go “permanent” can be a big one. There are many factors involved when deciding on whether you want to just have a portable shanty like the Eskimo, Clam or Frabill shanty’s or go all out and build or buy a semi-permanent or permanent ice fishing house.
If you plan on spending almost every waking moment of the ice fishing season “on the ice” and you want every creature comfort that you have in your own home then that puts you in the right category to start looking for a permanent home on the ice. For purposes of this article we will say that an ice fishing house is defined as a semi-permanent to permanent structure that has solid walls, solid floor and a solid ceiling.
Types of Ice Fishing Houses:
Towed Trailer (single axle, excluding RV’s):
Any ice house that sits on a trailer that is towed by your vehicle onto and off the ice. These ice fishing houses are usually less than 200 square feet but can accomodate either 3-6 ice fishermen in relative warmth and a few creature comforts or can just be a luxurious ice pad for 1-2 avid ice fishermen who need the extra space for all of their gear and their lounge chair!
RV ice Fishing Houses:
Usually Dual axle minimums that have hand or automated crank winch systems. Many have rooftop air conditioners and 30,000+ BTU furnaces built in withe medium to full size refrigeratorsfreezers and full cooktop stoves with ovens.
They usually come with twin bunks of various sizes so that the entire family can easily enjoy the ice fishing events. In many cases the bunks convert into dining room tables with full stereo’s! Many have 8 or more lighted fishing holes that you never have to worry about freezing over!
Wooden Fish Houses:
Wooden iice fishing houses -These are usually transported to the ice on trailers and then put on ice sleds (or the ice sleds are built in) and then can be raised or lowered via winches onto or off the ice. Because of their heft and weight they are very cumbersome and usually only accomodate 1-2 people.
Ice Fishing Houses – Rent or Buy?
While many of the portable clam shell or heavy cloth shanties such as Frabill, Clam or Eskimo can be had for a one time payment of from $200-$2000 ice fishing houses are much more expensive.
Trailer towed houses can be self built or bought from $1500 to over $5000, depending on what features options you want in your structure. Although this may seem like a one time fee, maintenance costs on a poorly built structure can easily double or triple the intial outlay over just a few years.
RV Ice Fishing houses can be had on the used market for $3000 on up. New models will run many thousands of dollars, again depending on what optionsfeatures you want in your ice fishing home away from home. Many can easily cost $30,000+ for the jet set or fishing club markets.
Renting an ice fishing house for a week or two is an option to consider if you are just spending your two week paid vaction every year on the ice. Rental rates are usually $175-200 mid-week per day to up to $400 per day on weekends. Most rental units accomodate 4-8 folks so this may be just the right avenue for you to take when making your event or vacation plans. Remember to book as far in advance as humanly possible, especially if your family is attending one of the more popular ice fishing events that take place acroos almost all of the northern climes.
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