Reel Cold Comfort: 10 Creative Ice Fishing Hut Designs

Ice fishing may seem to be a simple “sport” but appearances can deceive: anglers must be able to tolerate long hours of chilly, silent monotony in tiny, cramped shelters before reeling in their finny rewards. It’s no surprise, then, that some winter anglers choose to add a little creativity toward designing a hut that really kicks butt.

Shamu? Sham You!

(images via: RelaxShacks and

Ron McMullin likes ice fishing and works for a foam insulation company in Minocqua, northern Wisconsin. One cold winter day McMullin decided to combine business and pleasure, the result being the Orca Ice Shanty above. McMullin’s “killer” shelter lacks a blowhole but by the time any amorous Free Willys get close enough to find that out, McMullin’s goose’ll be cooked.

Where There’s a Wilcraft, There’s a Way

(images via: DFP:Blog and FunVblog)

Tom Roering‘s Wilcraft is the jack-of-all trades of ATV’s, as unlike most off-road vehicles the Wilcraft does double duty as an ice fishing shelter. The Wilcraft is designed with sealable fishing holes in the floor; once you get where you’re going – the center of a frozen lake – simply augur down and drop your line.

(image via: FunVblog)

Thanks to its custom-fitted soft top, the Wilcraft provides a warm and windless microenvironment for anglers intent on catching their quota, gale-force blizzard or not. Handy indeed, but Wilcraft owners had best keep the keys in the ignition: polar bears will make quick work of that soft top and whomever happens to be inside.

Henry Cabot’s Ice Fishing Lodge

(images via: Grit)

Ice fishing has traditionally been a rough, rugged, lonely endeavor requiring great hardship for little reward… well the heck with all that! If Oliver Wendell Holmes (not that one, the other one) decided to take his Hungarian-born wife Lisa along, she’d certainly demand hubby buy The Lodge, a veritable fisherman’s palace on wheels. Penthouse view not included.

(images via: Grit)

The builder of The Lodge, Distinct Builders Inc. of Brookings, SD, describes The Lodge as the “top of the line four season trailer, multi use, RV certified fish house on the market” and y’know what? They’re not kidding. From its luxurious wood-paneled interior to the sturdy, metal, polar-bear-proof body to the… hey, is that a TV?? Good lordy it is… forget the fishing, turn on the game!

$100 Homeless House

(images via: RelaxShacks and PSFK)

Derek Diedricksen likes to create ultra-small, ultra-cheap “houses” from junk and surplus materials. All well and good, but what certified homeless person is going to set down roots in the so-called $100 Homeless House? Well, maybe a certified one but we digress. Diedricksen’s designs (at least this distinctive orange one) could work much better as ice fishing huts.

(images via: AntaresOnline)

Sure it’s small but anything bigger and the fisherman’s body heat won’t be sufficient to keep the temperature tolerable. Besides, being compact makes it easy to manhandle – both into and off of a pick-up truck and onto your favorite frozen lake. Now if only we could find some homeless ice fishermen…

The Pink Palace

(images via: Earl Senchuk)

Next time you plan an ice fishing outing with the guys and your spouse asks you where you’re going, do NOT answer “The Pink Palace”… trust me, that little white lie will save you a lot of red (blood) and green (money). Then head on out to The Pink Palace, a 16ft long, 8ft wide, 8.5ft tall ice fishing paradise mounted on a pair of 16ft long aluminum skis. And what a paradise it is: The Pink Palace features full length, bilateral overhead shelving, propane-powered lights and stove, spring-hinged doors, privacy windows and adjustable ventilation. The fancifully painted rolling, er, sliding shelter accommodates up to 8 ice fishermen with two ice holes each… and we mean that in a good way.

Dice Fishing?

(images via: Art Shanty Projects)

Some say there’s an art to building the perfect ice fishing hut, others consider ice fishing huts to be the perfect artform. When the two meet, you get the Art Shanty Project, an annual gathering of artistic builders who meet in vacant lots or, ideally, a frozen lake in Minnesota.

(images via: dICEHOUSES)

Fishing can be like rolling the dice, except instead of snake-eyes you might wind up with a snakehead. One solution is to make the dice too big to roll. One had just better be confident God’s not a gambler.

Scanty Shanty

(image via: Heather Marchand)

Fishing isn’t the main intent of the Art Shanty Project though from the looks of it any one of the cool constructions would be more than practical… as long as they don’t scare the fish.

Hut Painter’s Hut

(images via: TractorByNet)

It might not be camouflage but one creative ice fisherman has found a great-looking way to blend in with the surrounding scenery. Jagged mountain peaks, towering pines, lush palm trees… wait, what?

(image via: TractorByNet)

Global warming’s coming to ice fishing country and when it gets there, this dude’s got it made in the tropical shade. Spooky-eyed dog not included.

Pickup Shack

(images via: Koenders)

The Koenders Ice Fishing Shack might look a bit odd but its techno-mushroom appearance serves a very specific purpose: it fits, snug as a bug, in your pickup truck bed thus negating the need for a dedicated trailer.

This Doctor Makes Cold Calls

(images via: Flick Filosopher, Mark Craig and Geek Mountain State)

Everyone whose ever tried ice fishing can agree one one thing: every ice fishing hut needs to be bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. Now what kind of shelter has that very special property?

(image via: BCBC Media)

Ice fishing might be, how shall we put it… somewhat sedentary as outdoor sporting pursuits go, but that doesn’t mean things don’t heat up a little from time to time. Sometimes they can heat up a lot. Remember, only you can prevent ice fishing hut fires, so play nice, keep cool, and don’t be an icehole.