What’s an Ice Fishing House?

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An ice fishing house is a shelter used to protect anglers from the winter elements while fishing through a hole in the ice. They can be rented, bought ready-made, or easily constructed with sticks, a blanket, and a board. The dark interior illuminates the fish, and snow barriers prevent light from entering.

An ice fishing house is a structure that is used to protect an angler from the winter elements, while fishing through a hole in the ice. The ice fishing houses are kept dark, making the water under the snow-covered ice appear to glow and illuminate the fish. Some ice fishing houses are heated, while others even come with bunks and stoves. Ice fishing houses can be rented, bought ready-made, or you can build your own. A temporary ice fishing house is fairly easy to construct; even a beginner can do it.

Place a large wooden board, such as a piece of plywood, on the ice. Mark a circle on the board to represent the ice fishing hole. You will cut it later. Find big sticks around the frozen lake. The sticks should be as long as you want the ice fishing house to be tall.

Build a frame for the ice fishing house with the big sticks. If you like, you can bring your own wooden stakes to build the frame instead of finding sticks. Secure the sticks or poles together with string. Place the frame over the top of the plywood.

Spread a heavy, dark blanket or large piece of burlap over the frame of the ice fishing house. You can also paint the blanket or canvas with a primer to prevent light from entering. To prevent the cover from blowing away in the wind, secure it to the frame with large safety pins or twine.

Stack a barrier of snow around the edge of the ice fishing lodge to prevent light from entering. Inside the shack, sweep the snow off the ground so you can see through the ice. When the sun outside reflects through the ice in the dark fishing cabin, the water will appear to glow underneath.

Using an ice saw, cut a hole in the board first. You can also use a reciprocating saw for this part if you like. Make a hole in the ice with the ice saw and cut in a circle. Remove the chunks of ice with a slotted spoon. Keep the water from refreezing and cover the hole by periodically scraping the edges while fishing.
Put a chair in front of the ice fishing hole. Insert your fishing rod and wait. If you are spearfishing, it may be easier to just stand and watch the fish through the ice. Bring plenty of blankets and hot cocoa to keep you warm in your very own ice fishing house.

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