Whether you call it an ice house, shack or shanty, you still need to haul it out on the ice every winter and back in again before the spring thaw. Although an ice "house" is generally bigger and semi-permanent compared to a lightweight shelter or shanty, ideally you can still move it easily on the ice to wherever the fish may are biting.
Fasten two parallel 2-by-4 inch or 2-by-6 inch boards on the bottom of the shack. These are the skids, or runners, that allow you to move your ice house while on the ice. Some houses come with wheels that you can crank up and down to lower the house onto the ice or lift above the ice for easy moving.
Round the ends of the runners to avoid digging into snow and ice. Or, if you want it to really glide, fasten an old pair of cross country skis to the boards. Cross country skis are better than downhill models because they curve up at the front.
Back up your truck, flatbed trailer or tilt bed trailer to the finished ice house. Tilt the house slowly onto the truck or trailer bed. You can avoid this step if you construct the house directly on the trailer.
Winch or slide the house the rest of the way onto the bed until it's centered over the axle of the trailer, or as far as it will go on the bed of a truck. You can place PVC piping or thick wooden dowels crosswise on the trailer bed to assist in rolling the house into position, but you shouldn't leave them underneath during transportation.
Reverse the process in Step 4 once you're ready to unload the ice house. Unload it runner-side down. If you're unable to drive directly onto the ice in your vehicle, use a snowmobile to transport it to and from your truck, or to other spots on the ice.
Tips & Warnings
- Ice strength and thickness are extremely variable. Know where the weak spots commonly occur in your fishing area before going out. Never drive onto frozen bodies of water unless there is a good 8 to 12 inches of hard ice.
- Don't fish alone, and remember to bring safety gear.