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MT Net

Portable Fish Houses

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I saw and played with the Quick Flip III at Fleet Farm last November. The price was a good price at about $350. When I got the funds to purchase it, they had already sold out of them. Just as well, lots of home projects kept me busy all winter.

Last spring, I purchaesd the Fishtrap Voyager from Gander Mtn. for over one hundred off the normal price! What a great end of season deal! I have yet to use it, and am looking forward to breaking it in this winter.

The thing I liked better about the Eskimo was the padded bench seat vs. Fishtraps, 2 bucket style plastic seats. In a pinch, a fold up camp chair will accomodate 3 people inside the Fishtrap. Adding a 3rd bucket seat might make it too crowded.

The zip open door on the Eskimo zips open to the side; the Fishtrap zipper door zips open upward. I think the Eskimo zipper door will work better than Fishtraps, my opinion.

The Fishtrap seemed to have more storage pockets, and a storage net under each seat.

The on ice skirting on the Eskimo was quite a bit wider than the Fishtraps on ice skirting.

I guess you can't go wrong with either model you choose. The Otter was more than what I wanted to spend.

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I saw the Eskimos at Fleet too last year and really wanted one. I did get to fish out of one last winter and was not impressed. The canvas was so thin that at night you could see every light on around you and it got difficult to keep it warm when it got cold. Might have just been an issue with that paticular house but I would get a few opinions from people that bought them before I spent the money.

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I've got a QF3. Got it two years ago when they still came w/ bucket seats. I like the house, except for the weight - the bugger is heavy to pull by hand. Bought the tow bar, and this year, snow permitting, will use the snowmobile to move it around.

UG

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I have a voyager thats 3 years old, and have not had any problems with it. I use it mainly when I can't get my hard side on the lake. Or when the fish aren't bitting where the big house is we go out from there. I will be putting it up for sell in the selling forum. Going to go with a smaller one, the wife doesn't want to fish out of the voyager any more she wants to stay in the big one.

[This message has been edited by Nutty Fisherman (edited 08-17-2004).]

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i have a two person trap, then i mounted swivel boat seats on the benches, then i bent the braces holding the benches so i can take them off, make it easier to mut things in the bottom, then i lay tose on their side to make a rectangle, which is the right size for my arrow case that holds my rods.

best fishes
chris

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Matt, any interest in getting rid of your fishtrap when you get your new one?
I am looking for a decent portable,preferrably used ,wife is cutting my funds since buying a new boat this year..

------------------
If people weren't supposed to eat animals.
Why are they made out of meat??
FM Stickersl

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rtwills,
I'll still keep my one-man trap for when I go solo. The older two-man style house I have is shot and got trashed last winter. I'll keep an eye out for a used portable for you.

I ordered some decals last sunday, looking forward to seeing them!

Good Fishin,
Matt Johnson

------------------
Matt Johnson Outdoors
[email protected]
Metro Area Ice Fishing and more...

Iceleaders
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Myself, I own two suitcase style shacks, made by trophy. I think the same shacks can be found by eskimo now. one is 5x7(1 man) the other is 7x8(2 man)
I like the fact that its contained. I have a floor, I know how many steps apart the holes need to be for both houses to get the placement right, and if im not moving too far between spots,Ill leave it set up(hole covers on) and the heat on if its cold. I can do all the outside stuff, drill/clean holes,etc, and slide the house over the holes, bank it, take my coat off and get in, warm. the hole hopping seems to be just as easy if not moving too far as owning a flip style. even then its not that big of deal to put them down and throw them on the sled.

The sled i have (I made)holds my auger, 2-20lb propane w/heat, 12v bat if needed, 2-5 gal pails, and 2 fold up chairs,and a shovel, everything I need can go into this sled for 2-3 people, and it has a lid to keep the snow out, also i have one of those 'Packer 45' tool boxes on the back for more covered storage, then the house/houses get straped on top. I pull it all with an 02 panther 2up. the bro and I (both on the snowmobile) were goin 50mph on LOW last year w/ all in tow, I was impressed!
the only real downfall is that if I need to get at the auger, its in the sled under the houses, so I need to know where im going to illiminate that need. the vex stays on the rack on the back of the panther for depth checks along the way. I love this set up!

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Minneman, Sounds like a Great set-up. I use a fishtrap for just me and a Fishtrap AND Guide Pro for the 4 of us. All towed on the 5X8 trailer the 4-wheeler was towed in on. Everyone gets a ride out and everyone gets a chance to drive, out or back. Sometimes "back" takes a little longer as driver gets detoured. Bites on cold nites! Seems to be a good system, until I find better.

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Phred, you kind of touched on something that Ive tried too. using the trailer(in my case an 8.5x10 snowmo trailer)to put everything on it when the snowcover is say, less than 6" with a 2" ball on the hitch of my snowsled to pull it around on the lake with all the stuff on it.
Just seems logical, to use the trailer on the ice for hauling your stuff "with" what ever you had on the trailer, ATV, snowmo, argo, what ever.
kind of on the same lines as having a crankup fish house with a large enough door on the back to put your "secondary" tow vehicle inside the fishhouse, to pull the house to its location early ice.

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Minneman has a real nice portable that I very much enjoyed on LOW while northern fishing this past season.

Thanks Minneman!

Now that I have a vehicle that's large enough to hold my Scout II once it's assembled. It'll be the first time I use it. Any hints/tips to share?

BTW, if you ever have the chance to take advantage of Gander Mountain's price match guarantee, do it. I got the Scout II for $50. It normally retails for $200.

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Matt unless you get a heck of a deal I would be carefull with Eskimo. A couple friends had the last year and poles, snaps and zippers all went to heck. Great design but they need to get better quality componenets! 1 friend still hasnt gotten his new canvas and the other is still waiting to see what they will do with his zipper that broke the 1st time out.
Myself I use my www.Soderbloom ice houses because they are bulletproof and Jay backs them up 100%. Check out his new portables at Soderbloom.com
Also his Snakors are great when there is little snow and my quickset is great for when I can drive out on the ice!

Note from Editor: (Repairing broken link)

[This message has been edited by Paul Waldowski (edited 08-18-2004).]

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If I am going to be anchored down and not moving much I take my Mankato. I have always liked their houses and bought the largest one a few years ago after many years with a smaller size. The poles are on the outside(very nice), heavy canvas and goes up and down quickly. Made a wood frame sled to transport it with downhill skis mounted on about 18" 2x4's to allow good clearance. Straps mounted to sled and and strap on milk crates for buckets, locators, lantern etc. Auger lays on top and has a rigid hitch. Pop hitch off and has a rope for dragging in late/early season.

For trolling it's the old 2 person fish trap. I'd like to upgrade to a newer flip style with a door!!

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Steve,
I must say, those truck style flip-over houses that Soderbloom had where pretty sweet! I was truely impressed by how those worked when I saw one in action last winter at the ICE Series. Not to mention that Jay is a nice guy as well. If I recall, his son brought in a nice pike last winter during the ICE Series too.

bemduckboy,
Whats a Mankato? I've never heard of one before and they sound interesting. Any place I can take a look at one? If so, drop me an e-mail...

[email protected]


minnieman,
Sounds like you have quite the set-up. Any chance you'd have any pics?

Good Fishin,
Matt Johnson

------------------
Matt Johnson Outdoors
[email protected]
Metro Area Ice Fishing and more...

Iceleaders
Catch-N Tackle and Bio-Bait
MarCum
Stone Legacy
JR's Tackle
Fish Fever

[This message has been edited by Matt Johnson (edited 08-17-2004).]

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Someone asked about portable fish houses in a different thread so I though I'd start a topic about them. Let's hear about what everyone uses and a little advice on why they use it...

When going tandom I've been using a 2-man model I built about 7 years ago. Its been upgraded every year to fit my needs, but it ran its course last winter and it will be time to get a new one this winter.

When going solo I've been fishing out of a Fish Trap Pro. Its larger than the Fish Trap Scout and has more room for gear, head room, infront of you, etc.. It also has a zip-down door that is nice on those cold days when you want to set-up camp without re-banking the house because you have to flip-open the door. I added protective rod sleeves so that I can place 4 rods in them that can be ready for easy use when chaging presentations. I also added a small bench-type shelf which I carpeted so that I can set tackle, bait, or whatever I want on there for easy use as well. The Fish Trap Pro is relatively light-weight and designed for mobility and single person use.

This year I plan on getting an Eskimo Quick Flip 3. The Quick Flip 3 is designed for up to three fisherman and is a very comfortable fish house. I've had the opportunity to fish in one several times in the past and they are very nice. With a padded bench seat, big enough to sleep on, it makes fishing a lot easier and comfortable. The sled is very durable and the canvas is heavy duty and can sustain some beating. It also comes with a zipper door as well. This is a perfect house for guiding in my opinion, its big and roomy, comfortable, and mobile. Eskimo has a full line of portable ice houses ranging from single-man all the way to 6-man.

These are just a couple options out there to choose from. Otter, Frabill, Polar...there are more as well.

Good Fishin,
Matt Johnson

------------------
Matt Johnson Outdoors
[email protected]
Metro Area Ice Fishing and more...

Iceleaders
MarCum
Stone Legacy
JR's Tackle
Fish Fever

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matt -

I beleive the "mankato" being referred to is a suitcase style fish house made by "mankato tent and awning" in Mankato MN (my hometown). Canvas tarp, wood suitcase, typically in a 4x8 or 8x8 set up.

Sounds like he made a sled out of it using old ski's which is also a pretty common set up in mankato since "mount kato" ski resort is there and can usually pick up some old beat up skis for a few bucks.

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My Otter Magnum Lodge has been great the last 2 years. Also have Butt Bridges built off TBone's plans...very nice.

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Thanks bemduckboy, or to whoever e-mailed me the info on the Mankato fish houses, some interesting stuff.

Good Fishin,
Matt Johnson

------------------
Matt Johnson Outdoors
[email protected]
Metro Area Ice Fishing and more...

Iceleaders
Catch-N Tackle and Bio-Bait
MarCum
Stone Legacy
JR's Tackle
Fish Fever

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The butt bridge is a wood slat seat that spans across the width of the otter sled. I'm sure it could be adapted to other portables as well. Here are the plans (on this site)

I made a few changes to these for a little more comfort but they are great as shown.

http://fishingmn.com/buttbridge1.html

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For the past two years I have been using suitcase styles. I have a 5x6 that I use if I am fishing by myself and I have a Clam 6800 that I use when I'm with others. This summer I bought a Otter Den for so that will be my one man for this year. It didn't come with a sled, so I have to wait for winter to get little closer to find the sled for it. My other half also bought me a four person Polar flip over so that will be the house I will use when it will be more than just me. Anyone have one of these double wide flip overs?

[This message has been edited by huntnfish (edited 08-19-2004).]

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Matt you should look at the Grand Caravan, same as the Quick Flip 111, but a little bit taller, I have one and it's the best one man fish house out there, it says three man but the older you get the more stuff you have,and everyone knows you need all of it and then some. If that bench seat would just fold down it would make a real nice sleeper. When I first got it my canvas had tiny holes in it, I just took it back to Eskimo and they gave me a new one, plus they threw in some plastic ends for the poles just in case. I got the whole works at Sportsman Warehouse for $500. House,sled, trailer hitch,cover and hifax runners. Good luck

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