Ice Fishing Exposed

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.

Ice Sled Loaded

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 Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad. He says there are “people who fish”… and there are “fishermen”.  One of the few things he knows is that he is a “fisherman”...  To the point it could be classified as borderline illness.  Sharing this obsession is rewarding, therapeutic. He likes to encourage people to “stop and smell the crappie."  Enjoys catching fish, but gets a greater thrill out of helping someone else hook up.
Born in Florida, but raised on the banks of Oklahoma farm ponds. Now relocated to western Pennsylvania. He has fished, worked, lived all around the US.  He has a B.S. in Zoology from Oklahoma State as well...
And he met his wife while electrofishing. He has been contributing weekly to since 2011.