Ice fishing shelter has become widely popular and essential to keep you warm and comfortable when the snow flies, the winds howl, and the temperature falls.
It is great winter gear for enjoying a cozy day of ice fishing in freezing temperatures.
This article will cover the buyer’s guide and review both. If you are in a search of the best ice shanty for ice fishing, stay with me to know every hack and secret to choose the best ultimate gear.
Why Do You Need an Ice Fishing Shelter?
Ice fishing is no more fun when you’re freezing seriously and dealing with extreme weather conditions. It is not that easy like spending a day on a sunny lake in the summer.
You need shelter in icy cold to make it a bearable space for you. A good ice fishing shelter is necessary so you can stay out of the elements and on the fish in the cold season.
They are very convenient to transport to different places. Choose a portable shelter to enjoy fishing in different waters every time. You can have the best shack of icy conditions without any license. However, a shelter license is required for all permanent
Ice fishing shelter. These amazing ice fishing shelters also have the heater set up inside and outside the door. It protects fishermen from cold weather, provides warmth, and keeps fishing holes from icing.
Types of Ice Fishing Tent
There are several different types of ice fishing tents. The most popular types of ice fishing shelters are Flip-overs and Hubs. They both have their pros and cons. You can choose the best suitable for your needs and requirements.
This is the smallest ice shelter with a base like a tub or a sled. It is typically designed to accommodate 1 or 2 anglers. The design of a flip-over needs to flip it over onto its base just like its name.
These shelters are very compact, lightweight, and easy to transport. They are best for fishing in different locations as they are quickest and easiest to set up and put down.
This style requires no tie-down and withstands in windy conditions. It is the better choice for fishermen who like fishing location changes rapidly.
A Hub-style ice shelter offers more space as compared to flip-overs. It is closed to a tent design and easy to erect. They are spacious and designed for about 2-8 anglers.
They come with a more sturdy structure to keep the wind at bay. A hub shelter is considered a large type of portable ice shelter. It is best suited for anglers looking to fish in a single location.
The top benefit of hub shelter is a large fishable area within and great space for multiple anglers and gear.
If you wanna spend the night near the lake, we’ll recommend you choose a 4 season tent.
How to Choose The Best Ice Fishing Shelter?
Don’t miss out on the ice fishing activity this winter. Pick the best portable ice shelter to keep the scorching cold from your back. There are several factors to consider when choosing the shelter for icy conditions.
This article covers all the elements that will help you to choose the best portable ice fishing shelter. Let’s explore all the features breaking down by shelter size, floor, portability, setup/tear downtime, and material quality.
There are different types of shelters available in the market depending upon insulation. You can choose from fully-insulated, non-insulated, and sometimes with top insulation that suits your needs and budget.
Insulated versions of ice fishing shelters are expensive in comparison to non-insulated versions. But if the price is not an issue for you then insulated ice shelters are highly recommended.
It provides provide more protection from harsh weather and keeps you warm and safe from freezing temperatures. Think about location conditions to decide on shelter with proper insulation.
The shelter should be lightweight. The heavier your shack, the more difficult it for you to pack it and carry it away. A portable ice shelter is convenient for chasing fish from one spot to another.
You need a shelter that is portable through either lightweight or coming with a sled or backpack to move it around in. You need to be very careful in choosing the right weight of your ice fishing shelter because its weight adds weight to the ice.
There are chances of ice cracking or breaking with any extra weight. Go for a tent with easy transportation otherwise, you will probably require a towing vehicle to move it around on the ice.
Sizes and capacity mostly depend on personal preference. Before deciding on size ask few questions to yourself.
- Are you fishing alone or with a group of friends or family?
- If so, how many people will be joining you plus how much gear you have?
- Do you need a bigger seat or tent in general?
- Are you an average height or tall height person requiring a taller ice shelter?
Consider all the above factors to know the best size of tent for all your needs. Choose a spacious tent that accommodates all members and equipment inside comfortably.
You can choose a tent from 1 person to 8 person shelters. Moving up a size increases your cost, but the extra space is worth the investment.
The ice fishing shelter with a floor is best for ultimate protection from frostbite. A laminated PVC floor is highly recommended for people who spend several days or weeks for fish on ice.
It protects feet from water, frost, and wind. Many manufacturers provide a removable floor for maximizes comfort and keep you warm. You can place this removable floor under your ice shelter to keep the cold out and heat in while fishing.
It contains an easy opening that provides plenty of access to the ice, so you can simply make several fishing holes of different sizes.
Windows are a good source of ventilation and light inside the tent. It depends upon your fishing conditions that how much light you need in your shelter.
Choose shelter with at least a few windows to let in fresh air and light. You can also find an ice fishing shelter with removable windows and insider covers. They are very convenient and allow you to block some window or open it when you need them.
Material is the most important factor of shelter to consider. You need a shelter made of thick material and high quality to survive in an ice-covered lake.
Most shelters come with a polyester or nylon fabric whose thickness and durability are measured in Denier. For extremely cold weather you need something around 1200 denier.
On average 300+ deniers are considered thick and robust. However, 900 denier is a good option to seals out the cold wind from your ice fishing shelter.
If you choose something with a flimsy structure, you will end up with freezing tears in harsh weather. Make sure you pick a robust structure with high-quality metal support rods. Another quality to look for material is breathable and waterproof fabric.
These features will help to choose the best available in the market. Other than that also consider shelters that are quick and easy to set up and tear down.
Review of Best Ice Fishing Shelter
Eskimo Sierra with Versa Seats Ice Fishing Shelter
Who is this tent best for?
Eskimo Sierra Series is a portable ice fishing shelter. If you like to fishing alone or with your buddy in cold weather, this is a good option to relax and enjoy fishing.
It comes with two comfortable fixed Versa seats. It is a perfect flip shelter with good space for two people.
It is made of durable 300D ice-tight fabric with a higher thread count that can withstand the wind and elements. Runners and gunners can make the most of this sturdy shelter.
What makes this tent outstanding?
Spacious design -The removable flip-over seat design provides more space for peaceful fishing and equipment. You can still have plenty of space to move around even after putting it inside an electronic heater.
Strong & durable- Double-wall hinged bracket offers great protection in windy conditions. High-quality YKK zippers in shelters keep you tension-free from zipping hang up or break due to cold conditions.
Easy to tow-It has an integrated sled that allows you to effortlessly drag it to your favorite fishing spot. If you have an ATV or snowmobile, you can attach Sierra with it for an easier tow.
What do people review on this product?
I bought this thermal flip-over shack and it comes out perfect for 2 men shanty. Thick and durable shelter keeps the weather out. I like its closure and tightening features. Straps work great to tighten up the cover.
What this tent may not fit for?
Not suitable for extremely cold conditions- The shelter with 300 deniers cannot keep you warm and fully protected from extreme cold, windy or snowy days.
Poor packaging- If you are looking for convenient storage and good material carry bag then it, not an appropriate option. Low-quality cover material is tight and small, not fit for long-term use.
Eskimo FatFish Ice Fishing Shelter
Who is this product best for?
Eskimo FatFish Pop-Up Portable Ice Shelter is outstanding quality and value ice shelter option for more serious groups of anglers.
The larger group of 7-9 people can enjoy the spaciousness of this fully insulated shanty. High-quality fabric blocks all the wind and cold and holds heat pretty well.
What makes this product outstanding?
This tent has many outstanding features that let you fish longer and in comfort.
Warm and fully-insulated shanty – If you are seeking an ice fishing shelter that is warm, resistant to wear and tear, and fully insulated, this is a stellar and high-quality option for subzero weather. IQ Insulated Quilted fabric with 600 deniers keeps large groups warm and dry.
Maximum fishable space- The topmost benefit of this shanty is abundant fishable space for six to nine anglers.
In-Skirt Grommets and deluxe tie-down strap- There are in-skirt grommets built into the FatFish. Now you don’t need to hold out the skirt when anchoring the shanty. Super easy tie-down straps will make your life much easier out on the hard water.
What do people review on this tent?
I am an avid ice angler and very picky about my gear. It is very warm and comfortable just after using the heater for few hours only.
Assembling and tear down is not easy but in the end, there was plenty of room for the whole family. I find it heavyweight and not recommended for quick transportation in different locations.
What this tent may not fit for?
Hard to set up in windy conditions – It does not provide easy setup and tear down in windy conditions and freezing temperature. It is best suited for dry weather or mild rain but cannot withstand heavy rain.
Heavy – It is a portable ice fishing shelter but heavy-duty material has made it heavy. This makes it difficult to transport and may not fit for those who like different fishing spots.
No waterproof exterior – This ice fishing shelter has a poor waterproof finish on the outside.
Eskimo QuickFish Large Pop-Up Ice Fishing Shelter
Who is this tent best for?
It is an ideal ice shelter for the angler who wants an easily transportable shelter with essential features. The different size can fit at most 6 people at the same time.
You can set up this incredible shanty within a minute. It is designed for two people with enough space so you don’t have to fish shoulder to shoulder with your friend.
What makes this tent outstanding?
Quickest and easiest setup – Super fast setup and takedown are the most outstanding benefits of this shelter. You can easily assemble your shanty in less than a minute.
Lightweight and portable – It is very light in weight. Thus two people can erect it in no more than 10 seconds. It counts as one of the best portable ice fishing shelters. You can pack it in the provided cinch carrying bag and carry it happily on your back.
Removable windows are great for ventilation – Ventilation is in your control as all windows are removable. It is great for natural air and helpful in monitoring tip-ups while inside.
What do people review on this tent?
Finally, I found a portable, lightweight, and good quality shanty for my multi-day fishing adventure. It keeps you fairly warm even without a heater. I was greatly surprised after assembling by shanty in just 50 seconds.
It is not easy to set up and tear down but super-fast and easier. I am a little disappointed in rains as it started leaking but overall it’s a great option for ice fishing.
What this tent may not fit for?
The shelter is not insulated- This version of ice fishing shelter is not insulated. But it comes with a higher thread count that offers reasonable protection against wind. It is not the best fit for really cold weather.
No built-in sled and floor- If you are looking for one unit that you can pull along over the ice and tie everything to, then don’t go for it. It does not come with a build-in sled and floor.
Thermal vs Non-thermal Shelter
Thermal shelters are modern shelters that retain heat better from heaters and transfers warmth from sunlight into the shelter while blocking out the cold.
They are highly recommended for extreme cold weather. It reduces condensation and keeps you warm and dry. If you are fishing in unbearable weather then thermal shelters are a good choice that provides great insulation and low condensation.
Non-thermal shelters are the non-insulated versions of ice fishing shelters. Most fishermen prefer to enjoy fishing in reasonable weather. They simply need to get out of the wind and light cold.
If you do not want to invest in something expensive, pick a non-thermal shelter for a full day of comfortable fishing. There are many non-thermal cheap-priced ice shelters available that can offer great protection with a good ice fishing heater.
When comes to weight, non-thermal shelter is lightweight and easy to store or carry to your favorite destinations.
Comparatively thermal tents are made of thick material to provide maximum protection against harsh weather.
Though thermal tents are expensive you can save your money spending on propane and heating shelter warm.
We feel that thermal ice fishing shelters are a more reliable and convenient option. It has great insulation to keep the tent warm in cold conditions.
What Accessories Need You Take When Going Ice Fishing?
Many ice fishing shelters offer different accessories like rod holders, interior lights, coat hangers, and storage areas that make fishing inside a shelter easier better and more comfortable.
But don’t need to pack everything for a fishing adventure. Here are some important accessories that you should not miss when heading out on the ice.
Ice Fishing Rods
A wide range of rods available in the market that are specifically designed for ice fishing. One of the most standard ice fishing rod setups consists of a 28-inch long, medium-action jigging rod.
These rods are shorter in length, you can pick a 28-inch long standard ice fishing rod setup. It makes jigging easier in warm weather fishing.
Spinning real is a good option that handles lighter lines well and is good with short ice rods. It ranges from 500 to 1000 in size. People also use an old-style in-line reel that deals with light lines.
Fishing is incomplete without a skimmer. It is necessary for keeping your holes open and your fishing line free to move.
It is an important item of your fishing equipment. A rechargeable, electric ice auger will drill the holes through the ice quickly and easily to get to the fish without the need for gasoline.
They are designed specifically for fishing. These are the rigs you set up for over the hole. It contains a spring-loaded flag that releases when a fish is hooked.
You need different lines for different sizes of fish. Use lightweight for small fish and braided line for catching big fish.
Most of the fishermen use bait like earthworms, eggs, corn, minnows, sometimes crustaceans, and grubs. Other than that lures are also a popular choice.
Sleds can make your fishing more enjoyable. It uses the angler to tow things to their spot and then move as required.
Include the following items to save yourself from harsh winters while fishing on the ice
- Waterproof and insulated boot
- Dress in layers
- Gloves with a longer wrist coverage
- Warm jacket and pants
- A stocking cap or hat
Use quality accessories within your budget to enjoy a safe fishing experience in cold conditions. These are just a list of essentials but you can also add other accessories like seats or warmers to make fishing more comfortable and fun.
How to Find a Good Ice Fishing Spot?
Are you bored of catching a similar kind of fish on the same fishing every weekend? Why don’t target some different species? If it sounds exciting to you, read till the end to find the best ice fishing spot.
Fishing in a lake is a good spot to start with. Smaller lakes freeze faster, so you can enjoy a longer ice fishing season. Make your move to the larger lake with the progress of winter because the larger lakes have more oxygen that means more fish.
The smart hack to find the perfect spot is to do some homework in the regular season. Start scouting for spots during the regular season. You can make notes on the good spots using a GPS, maps to record the places.
Once water is frozen check out the marked spots and get ready for your perfect catch. There are big chances of a great number of fish in an underwater structure such as ledges, rock piles, etc.
Most of the fish are likely to gather around in those areas. So it is easy to catch a fish under a rock than chase it down in the open.
If budget is not the issue, ice fishing fish finder is also a good option for new fishermen. It will save them plenty of hours wandering around drilling holes aimlessly.
There are much different ice fish flashers available in different ranges. You can pick one according to your needs. Some other tools can greatly work to pick a good spot.
If you missed out to mark spots then the Navionics app is a good option. It offers a high-definition bathymetry map of the lake you want to fish in.
Try these tips in your next ice fishing adventure for a more comfortable fishing experience.
Good Ice Fishing Location Recommended in the US
Get ready for the thrilling ice fishing adventure in the best destinations of the US. Here is the list of the top 5 places where you can find plenty of fish to make your vacations more exciting.
Lake of the Wood
Our top pick is Lake of the Woods, located in Minnesota. The best part of this location is the great accommodation for fishermen on the sides of the lake.
It is a widely popular ice fishing spot with many resort options. A variety of species is available in the lake for your catch including saugers, Northern pike, perch, whitefish, walleyes, crappies, etc.
This lake is touching many states of the U.S. It is easily reachable by fishermen from Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana states. It is the perfect place to spend quality time enjoying the beauty of nature.
This is not only a good fishing spot but its beautiful views will mesmerize you. Whether you are looking to hunt salmon or trout. It offers plenty of spaces for your stay and any other kind of fish as well.
Devil’s Lake (North Dakota)
It is the best ice fishing place for serious anglers. It offers great options in different fish and very famous for big sizes catches.
Chamber Lake and the Antero Reservoir are two great fishing spots in Colorado. The Rocky Mountains in freezing cool is the best winter holiday location. Anglers head towards Antero Reservoir for rainbow Trout specifically and a variety of fish.
Most beginners’ anglers like ice fishing in Lake Winnipeg for catching big greenback walleye easily.
Choosing the best ice spot fishing by keeping in mind the weather to enjoy to the fullest. Every lake is not fit for beginners, so it’s better to make smart choices or hire a professional fishing guide.
Catching fish in the winter is a great thrilling adventure. If you have been fishing all the time in the hot weather, pick a beautiful destination and start targeting some big catches.
It will bring loads of fun and excitement to your life. Just make sure that you have pack up all the essentials from the best ice fishing shelter to the warm clothes. Even so, ice fishing on frozen water in harsh weather conditions is not fun.
Safety measures are very important to avoid frostbite or any serious injuries. Make the most of this guide to enjoy successful ice fishing to the fullest.