An ice fishing shack isn’t complete without these 11 essential items.
For those of us who are willing to brave the snow and cold, however, ice fishing is a viable and exciting activity that can easily keep us occupied until the weather warms up. In order to make it as enjoyable as possible, you will want to deck out your ice fishing shack with the latest in accessories and amenities.
Check out our list of the 11 biggest ice fishing shack essentials.
1. Clam Bait Bucket
What’s more important to the sport of ice fishing than the bucket that holds your fish? A high-quality bucket that can hold your fish for years without showing cracks or other signs of wear and tear is an essential amenity for any ice fishing shelter. Add an insulated carrying case to make transport of your fish easy and to protect your bucket from drops, freezes, and other factors that might cause it harm.
2. HT Padded Bucket Top Seat
For many ice fishermen, the bucket is not just the place where fish is stored, but the hub of the entire ice fishing shack as well. There are numerous accessories available that can transform your bucket from a simple storage receptacle into other shelter amenities. For instance, by simply installing a padded seat on top of your hard plastic bucket, you can turn the container into a stool that you can sit on while waiting for fish to bite your lure.
3. Bass Pro Shops Hard Arm Folding Chair
Of course, a bucket stool may not be the most comfortable seating arrangement, especially if you are going to be spending several hours – or perhaps even the entire day – out on the lake. If you need some extra comfort and back support, go ahead and splurge on a portable folding chair. Chairs like this aren’t expensive, but are portable and will add a world of comfort to your fishing shack. Throw in some pillows or blankets if you need some extra padding or insulation against the cold. Some companies even make fold-out seats with heating pads, perfect for the aspiring ice angler.
4. Plano 725 Bucket Top Stow Away Organizer
If you do decide to purchase a chair for your ice fishing shack rather than using your bucket as a stool, you should still make use of your bucket as something other than just a container for your fish. That can be done with a bucket top organizer, which can turn the lid of your bucket into a veritable tackle box. With multiple compartments and levels of storage, a bucket top organizer can store everything from fish hooks, lures, and pliers to weights, bobbers, and fishing line.
5. Browning Rear Floor Mat
If you are moving around the shelter much – or even if you are just sitting in one spot with your feet planted on the ground all day – a floor mat or two can help add warmth and insulation to your ice fishing shack while also providing additional traction and safety. No one wants an injury from standing up to fast and slipping on the ice, nor are any anglers too keen on keeping their feet in a pool of melting ice all day long. A floor mat is a simple accessory that can add a world of homey comfort for any ice angler’s portable shelter.
6. Clam LED Light/Fan Combo
Two accessories that should be hanging from one of the aforementioned hooks are an LED lamp and a fan. Luckily, many companies that build ice fishing accessories typically include both of these essential items in a convenient and affordable two-in-one package. The LED light bulbs are bright and energy efficient, meaning you will get plenty of illumination in your fish house on a single set of batteries. The fan, meanwhile, will do nicely to circulate the air in your ice fishing shack and keep the atmosphere from getting too stagnant or stale.
7. Compact Radiant Propane Heater
Even the best ice fishing tents and shelters can become uncomfortably cold on windy mornings or snowy afternoons. A small heating unit can be one of the most important accessories for your ice fishing shack because it can turn an uncomfortable and thoroughly unpleasant experience into a heartily enjoyable one. Just make sure your heater isn’t melting through all the ice!
8. Lowrance Hook-3X All-Season Sonar Combo
With an ice fishing transducer and a suction-cup mounted Skimmer transducer, this Lowrance Sonar Combo can serve duty all season long. Not just ice fishing-specific, the electronics will indicate fish location, bottom contours, structure detail, and bottom hardness. The backlit display is easy to see in the darkness of your shack or the bright sunlight should you take it outside.
9. Otter Outdoors Ice Sled
The Otter Outdoors Pro Sled (available in two sizes) is the simplest way to transport gear from shore to shack. Super strong yet light smooth, this is a no-brainer for any ice fishermen.
10. Frabill Ice Scoop
There’s few things worse than letting slush and ice build up in a fishing hole, especially when they’re biting. Take care of it with one or two swipes of the Frabill Ice Scoop, a necessity for any ice fishing shack, big or small.
11. Ice Fishing Rod Holder
Keep your rod secure while you search for the next hot spot with this ingenious Northland Freestanding Ice Rod Holder. It includes 140 degrees of adjustment and is sturdy enough to handle the big ones. It also collapses for simple transport.