Ice Fishing Exposed

By Andy Whitcomb

Feb 16, 2015

The amount of ice fishing gear depends on your location, weather conditions, and how much you want to be on the ice.

The amount of ice fishing gear depends on your location, weather conditions, and how much you want to be on the ice.

For my early ice fishing adventures, I would take only the gear and supplies that would fit in a 5 gallon bucket, and which then would double as a seat. Even though dressed warmly, my fishing days were limited to “nice” weather, with minimal wind. Plus when fishing this exposed, everyone on the ice can see if you have hit the mother lode of yellow perch.

The number of potential ice fishing days increased dramatically when I obtained an ice fishing hut. Some are lightweight and tent-like. My custom-made model is constructed of heavy plywood and duct tape. Even though collapsible, a hut won’t fit in a bucket.


The downside means that you will now be dragging a sled across the lake. The upside is that you might as well now fill that sled with more nifty ice-fishing gear and creature comforts like that power-auger and thermos of coffee. Boat ramps double as sleds ramps in this area.


For colder climates, anglers may use massive, cabin-like shanties. These are towed in place by trucks or snow mobiles and left on the ice for long periods. It would be difficult for me to stop fishing in such deluxe, carpeted accommodations.

Last winter was brutal so I was more inclined to tow my ice fishing beast of a hut on a sled. This year has been milder so I’ve preferred my minimalist bucket unless the kids are with me and we need additional protection from the elements. The racks of ice fishing supplies at local stores have been bare and there are always anglers, exposed or in huts, when I drive by area lakes, encouraging me to get out there again.

How do you prefer to ice fish? Exposed or in a hut?

Andy Whitcomb
Andy Whitcomb
Andy is an outdoor writer ( and stressed-out Dad has contributed over 380 blogs to since 2011. Born in Florida, but raised on banks of Oklahoma farm ponds, he now chases pike, smallmouth bass, and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After earning a B.S. in Zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fisheries research technician at OSU, Iowa State, and Michigan State.