DIY Ice Fishing Shelter

There are many ice fishing shelters you can build. You can spend a lot on materials and make something elaborate, or you can use some very inexpensive materials to put something simple together.

  1. What Kind of Shelter?

    • Consider what you need before you build. Do you want an ice fishing shelter that will be easy to carry across the ice or a large shelter that can accommodate many guests? Do you prefer one with space for sleeping or is portability your main concern? How about benches for easy seating that maximizes the space? All of these concerns will determine how much you want to spend and how difficult the project will be.

    Types of Plans

    • Before you go shopping for materials and supplies, spend some time in online forums such as or Ice fishermen post pictures of their finished shanties and you may find a style that suits your needs.

      Most members of these forums will offer you their plans or will at least let you know where they got them. Many ice fishermen come up with their own plans after spending lots of time on the ice envying other fishermen's shelters.

    DIY Simple Shanty

    • To make a simple ice fishing shelter you need a waterproof fabric such as canvas or tarp, a staple gun, two large pieces of plywood, several two-by-fours, nails, brackets, and a drill and screws.
      Determine the size you want your finished shelter to be and create a plywood frame. The two large pieces will be the front and back of your shanty. If you want to get elaborate, you can insert a plexiglass window into the frame. Connect the front and back at the top and bottom with the two-by-fours to create a box. This is your basic shanty. For better stability on the ice, reinforce the corners of the box shanty with brackets.

      Use a staple gun to affix the tarp to the frame and attach an old pair of skis to the bottom of the frame for mobility. Now you've got an ice fishing shelter that you can drag across the ice.

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