Everything You Need to Know About Ice Fishing Shelters

By: FishUSA Staff

January 9, 2023

Whether you’re a die-hard ice angler or just getting started, an ice fishing shelter will help you make the most out of your ice fishing experience. Picture it this way, ice fishing without an ice hut is like camping without a tent, outside, in the rain. The frigid temperatures, wind, and snow make ice fishing incredibly difficult without a shelter to protect you. Your ice fishing line,reel, and guides will freeze, forcing you to have to constantly pick ice off of them, weakening your already light line and increasing your chances of losing a fish. Stiff, bitter winds are not only chilling to fish in, but also blow your line putting a bow in it, making it extremely difficult to feel bites as well as altering the action of your bait. Not only do ice fishing huts increase your odds of a successful day on the water, but they also keep you and your gear safe, comfortable, and warm. Flasher, camera, and auger battery life lasts longer in a warm, heated ice shanty and keeps you comfortable enough to fish all day. Another huge advantage of fishing in an ice fishing tent is being able to comfortably sit down. Obviously, you can sit down and fish outside, but you will get colder significantly faster, and kneeling on the ice isn’t exactly the most comfortable thing to do either.

Now that you’ve learned why it’s important to have an ice fishing shelter, we’ll go over which model may be best for you. There are a lot of different types of ice fishing tents out there, which can make deciding on one overwhelming. The first question you should ask yourself is “Will I be fishing alone or with another person?” If fishing alone, you’ll want to look for a one-person, sled-style, flip-over shelter such as the Otter Outdoors XT Hideout Ice Shelter. Sled-style is exactly as it sounds, this shelter is mounted on a sled for easy transport. It’s also lightweight and extremely easy to set up, making this ice fishing tent ideal for the solo angler. If you enjoy fishing with 1 or 2 buddies but still like the idea of a sled-style flip-over ice fishing hut, check out the Otter Outdoors XT X-Over Ice Shelter. Available in 2 or 3-person models, you still have all the ease of use of a sled-style, flip-over shelter in a larger package. If a larger, more open style of ice fishing tent sounds more appealing to you, check out our pop-up ice fishing huts. These shelters resemble more of a tent and have an open bottom rather than a sled. Pop-up ice fishing tents come with “ice-anchors” that are used to screw into the ice and act as pegs to keep the tent in place. Here’s a list of the pop-up ice fishing huts we offer, the square footage and weight of each one, and the capacity recommended for each:

  • Otter Outdoors Vortex Pro Thermal Hub Shelter
    • Cabin
      • Capacity: 2-3 people
      • Size: 48 sq. ft.
      • Weight: 36 lbs.
    • Lodge
      • Capacity: Up to 5 people
      • Size: 74 sq. ft.
      • Weight: 48 lbs.
    • Resort
      • Capacity: Up to 8 people
      • Size: 103 sq. ft.
      • Weight: 64 lbs.
  • Eskimo Outbreak 250XD Pop-Up Ice Shelter
    • Capacity: 2-3 people
    • Size: 51 sq. ft.
    • Weight: 38 lbs.
  • Eskimo Outbreak 450XD Pop-Up Ice Shelter
    • Capacity: 4-5 people
    • Size: 75 sq. Ft.
    • Weight: 48 lbs.
  • Eskimo Outbreak 650XD Pop-Up Ice Shelter
    • Capacity: 5-7 people
    • Size: 94 sq. ft.
    • Weight: 52 lbs.
  • Eskimo Fatfish Series Ice Shelters
    • Fatfish 949
      • Uninsulated
      • Capacity: 3-4 people
      • Size: 61 sq. ft.
      • Weight: 30 lbs.
    • Fatfish 949I
      • Insulated
      • Capacity: 3-4 people
      • Size: 61 sq. ft.
      • Weight: 44 lbs.
    • Fatfish 9416I
      • Insulated
      • Capacity: 7-9 people
      • Size: 109 sq. ft.
      • Weight: 66 lbs.
    • Insulated huts retain heat significantly better than uninsulated
      • Uninsulated huts are ideal for when temperatures are well above freezing but a shelter is still needed to provide protection from wind and precipitation.
      • Insulated huts are desirable in just about all conditions, as if it’s too warm the heater can be turned off and layers can be shed

Ice fishing is an incredibly fun way to spend the winter months, and an ice fishing shelter makes it significantly more enjoyable! Not only will you be warm, comfortable, and safe from the elements in an ice fishing tent, but you’ll fish more effectively too. Pick up one of our sled-style, flip-over ice fishing huts if you’re going solo or with a couple of friends, or purchase a large pop-up tent and bring your whole crew! Before you hit the ice this season, think about picking up an ice fishing shelter from FishUSA to make your experience one to remember!