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blodngoods

Anyone Ice Fish Without A Shelter/Shanty?

43 posts in this topic

Greetings everyone. New guy here. Moved to Wisconsin from "down south" about 5 1/2 years ago, and thinking about adding a winter hobby. Just curious as I contemplate diving into equipment purchases if I can get away without a shelter. I have no plans for an ATV or snowmobile, and I really don't want to buy a $300 to $700 portable shelter that's gonna add weight for me to drag anyway. Kind of thinking I'd be a mobil type of fisherman, dragging a small sled with nothing but auger, flasher, seat, couple rods, tipups and bait bucket. Seems like I'd be out in the open most of the time anyway, tending to tipups, drilling new holes, jumping from hole to hole to find fish, moving to new holes when one hole goes dead. I think if I got comfortable in a portable shelter with a heater when it's cold outside, I'd grow inclined to not move when I should to stay on fish. Can't say I'd want to be out in the open when it's near zero and blowing 20 to 30 mph either, but then again, I probably wouldn't go on a day like that. Kind of curious if anyone fishes without a shelter, or if you do use a shelter, what percentage of the time are you actually in it, as opposed to hole hopping outside anyway.

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I bought one of those plastic sleds that kids use that is around 6 or 7 feet long to use on nice days. It works ok, but there isn't really room for my power auger and everything else. If I drilled a few holes on the sides of it I think bungie cords would hold my auger steady. It is easy to pull though. Another idea would be to go to a farm store and buy one of the tubs that farmers use to pull new born calves in. They are about the same thing as the tub for a portable shelter. I have a fleet farm store in my town that sells them.

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another option would be the new Glide-light from Strikemaster, it will carry all your gear, and has a place for you to sit on. They are going to retail for around $79

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I got one of those kids sleds and the auger fits on it ok. If the weather is right, we don't use a shanty. It's more fun, and you can walk around and shoot the breeze a little. Wind is more of the problem with the plastic sleds, as without weight, they can go flying quickly.

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Get on hsolist, you can get a shanty in decent shape for cheap. Hate to say it, but on a cold day (arent they all that time of year?) you aren't going to stay out very long, and giving up mobility for longevity would be in your favor.

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I am fairly new to ice fishing at least ice fishing with decent knowledge base and equipment. I had a suitcase style house, that I never took out more then 2 times, way too heavy. So if I wanted to go out I had to go out with friends who had shelters or just with my own little arsenal. I have a flip over to use this year, but in past experiences when it was decent outside I would still go out and hop around and just use the house to warm up in if necessary. Nice thing about this site is you can meet many people that are willing to take you out with them that have more equipment or different styles of houses so you can learn what you need vs want....good luck

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Just give in and buy the 'fishtrap'... its about 400 bucks, and well worth every penny. It has room to carry everything you need, and is light as heck. There is no reason you cant go out on those extremly cold days when you have a fishtrap and a lil buddy heater... Plus you'll need the power auger, because unless your one of them mean ol' hard workers from alabama, or up there in the iron range, nobody likes hand augering thru 23 inches of ice. If you give in and buy the necessary gear to make ice fishing more comfortable, it would make any ice fishing trip a million times better.

A lot of times, i don't even set up the trap till i've drilled a good 12-15 holes, and then bounce around, and once they start biting, or I know i'm in a good spot, i set up the shack.

It is extremely easy to set up and take down... less than 5 minutes to have everything set up.

Yes you could do without, but It really, and i mean REALLY sucks alot without shelter, and storage to carry your gear. (unless its a nice 35 degree day)

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Used to do it all the time many years ago and just dressed accordingly. If you can get out on days when there's little wind, it should be fine for you and like you said, you probably will be much more mobile than you would if you had a shelter. You'll know after a couple of trips whether or not you like the sport without a shack. welcome to the sport of ice fishing.

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The first year I started I had a hand auger, pole, a little tackle, and a bucket!

The second year I bought a shelter and a heater.

Its just snowballed from there!! grin

The beauty of a good portable shelter is its portable. Flip it up, pack it up and your moving to the next spot in less than thirty seconds. Punch wholes flip it over and your fishing again.

Can you do it without you sure can but on those chillier days you'll be more likely to stay home. The coldest day of the year last year I was in my Otter on the St. Croix and fished all day comfortably and with little traffic!

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Greetings everyone. New guy here. Moved to Wisconsin from "down south" about 5 1/2 years ago, and thinking about adding a winter hobby. Just curious as I contemplate diving into equipment purchases if I can get away without a shelter. I have no plans for an ATV or snowmobile, and I really don't want to buy a $300 to $700 portable shelter that's gonna add weight for me to drag anyway. Kind of thinking I'd be a mobil type of fisherman, dragging a small sled with nothing but auger, flasher, seat, couple rods, tipups and bait bucket. Seems like I'd be out in the open most of the time anyway, tending to tipups, drilling new holes, jumping from hole to hole to find fish, moving to new holes when one hole goes dead. I think if I got comfortable in a portable shelter with a heater when it's cold outside, I'd grow inclined to not move when I should to stay on fish. Can't say I'd want to be out in the open when it's near zero and blowing 20 to 30 mph either, but then again, I probably wouldn't go on a day like that. Kind of curious if anyone fishes without a shelter, or if you do use a shelter, what percentage of the time are you actually in it, as opposed to hole hopping outside anyway.

I believe what you're describing would more commonly be referred to as "Run and Gun."

Which on the one hand... I don't agree with the hole "Hole Hopping thing, because the fish moved on." Fish are always on the move... It's about feeling out structure that keeps them coming back, and techniques that make the most out of that structure.

On the other hand... Run and Gun can be a great way to move with a pod, say on a reef line etc... Or a great way to say find the preferred depth on a Friday, so you can hammer it on a Saturday.

Run & Gun is a great way in December to pattern the fish, and more importantly, it helps build your "Cold Tolerance" for the rest of the winter.

It's also a great way to fish in March, when it's warm and there's a nice day out...

But from Jan & Feb... Forget that [PoorWordUsage] man... On anything other than a Beautiful day... It's just pure punishment... And even with some of the best gear available... You'll still be longing for a shelter after an hour or two.

*****

What about getting a $99 pack shack, and a buddy heater? Still super portable, but at least you can get some warmth, and wind break (Just make sure you sit with your back to the wind etc...

*One thing that's a must if you're really going to go on an all day run and gun trip... And carry a second pair of waterproof gloves. Leave the boot and hand warmers behind... You can have "Pocket Warmers" to slip your hands into after grabbing a tip up... or needing to get some dexterity back to tie a knot etc...

But the amount of exposure to your hands and contact with ice for your boots, you'll risk sweaty feet... And you'll risk sweaty hands... Both of which are BEGGING for frost bite problems...

Better to have your toes a little bit cold, than sweaty! Because the warmer is a diminishing return...

All of a sudden you're 2 miles out, feet and glove liners soaking wet, and the warmer is keeping you warm any more... And another warmer, is just going to turn up the sweat problem. (Which increases your chance of frost bite by 12-25 times, depending on boots and conditions.)

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I would go with a pak shak. Cheap and get's you some shelter. You can do it old school if you want. If you aren't sure if this is the hobby (which turns to addictions rather fast) for you, you aren't out much if you don't invest much. Try to go out with folks with shelters and see how you like them. I will drill I bunch of holes when I go out and scout it, then I'll set up my shelter. If nothings bitting I go out and scout some more. But at least you can warm up. If you are going without shelter, look at getting some arctic armour, at least you'll stay warm then.

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I have a FishTrap and also an Otter Lodge. One of them always goes with me, but that doesn't mean I always set it up and fish out of it. I prefer being mobile and hole hopping and being outside.

Whether you can fish outside or not depends mostly on the weather, and also on how you're fishing (some presentations will work in cold or freezing conditions, some just won't work if it's freezing). Tying small baits on light lines can also be tough to do in the wind with cold fingers.

I agree with suggestions to look for a used flip-over shelter with a sled. It will hold and haul your gear, give you a place to sit, and most importantly will keep the wind off of you if needed even if you don't use a heater.

Welcome to the winter addiction grin

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I used a downhill sled for a number of years. You had to pack light but it worked great. I also had one of those Jet Sleds, that was even better and for $20, is a great investment.

The best thing about having a flip over is to keep the ice from forming on your rod eyes and line, and to keep the wind off you. But people have been ice fishing long before they made flip over shelters.

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I bought a new flip over last year in ear;y febuary, in over 20 trips after that it was set up a grand total of two times, I don't even know if I like it yet.

You will catch more fish outside hole hopping and staying on active fish than you will parked in one spot, likewise you will also get colder and everyone will think your crazy.

What I'm saying is you can fish with out one, but you still need a sled to drag everything, maybe look at buying an Otter sled this year, and then when you can afford it buy the house to add on to the sled.

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I agree with alot of people on here. I own a fish trap pro and it goes with me everytime I go on the ice whether it is warmer or really cold. It's nothing to pull it on the ice and if its a nice day I will use it to sit on with out flipping it over so I can still enjoy a comfortable day and if the temp drop through out the day then I can just flip it over me and I am comfortable again. I couldn't imagine ice fishing without it.

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I like to think Im a fairly "active" ice fisherman and when the weather lets me be active its no problem without a shelter. Its the cold windy days that you need a house. Up here there are way more of the cold windy days than nice run around days so I make sure I always have my house. At times Ill only use it to warm my hands, have a bite to eat or re tie a line but I always want that warmth there with me.

Some days you have no choice but to hunker down and stay in the warm house.

Look for a used flip style house and a used power auger. A good hand auger like a NIls or a Strikemaster Lazer will do ya good until about 1.5-2' of ice than its more work than fun.

Good luck and enjoy whatever ya wind up with.

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Hole hoping and the run and gun are great tactics if you are solo, dressed appropriately and don't have a lot of wind/snow to contend with. I myself am in the market for a flipover style house, but I currently use a HT Technologies "tent" that works very well for me. I mainly use it like Northlander does, to warm up and eat, but it serves it's purpose well on the cold days. If you want to "test the waters" so to speak, this is a good option as it will only set you back around $100.

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I bought a set of Arctic Armor this year and I am looking forward to throwing my auger and some buckets on my ATV and fishing that way. I also have a flip over portable and a wheel house for the cold weather. There are some sloughs around my area that have panfish in them and I think I am going to enjoy some good fishing if I can find some days when the wind isn't blowing my hair off.

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Last year was my first year ice fishing. I was broke, pretty much, and still am.

I have a hand auger, which is great until the ice gets real thick. It still works, but man... It hurts after a while. It'll reduce your mobility real quick. A power auger will be my next investment.

My shelter was/is an archery blind. It's not as nice as a flip-over, but it keeps the wind at bay (you have to anchor it - I recommend screw-in tree steps - unless you like hang gliding). You might hear a few jokes from other fishermen about how turkey season's closed, or there ain't no deer on this lake, etc., but it's cheap and dual purpose, and it's better than nothing. A good heater is a must, but now that you live in Minnesota, you should have one of those anyhow.

Dress plenty warm, and bring a couple extra layers with you.

I used a kiddy sled, and will be looking for something better this year. Find a utility sled, or calving sled.

It can be done. You may not do as well as the guys who have all the toys, but you can catch fish and have a good time. Eventually, you'll know what pieces of equipment to add, and spread it out over a few years.

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I bought a cheap little one man flip-up, fits most of my gear in it and bought it used for $50. It's not nearly as nice as the new Clam or Otters, but it works alot better than sitting on the ice w/ the wind blowing down yer back!

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And it's real easy to pull, alot easier than carrying all your gear in your hands. Fits in the trunk of my Contour, too.

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