DIY Ice Fishing Shacks

Ice fishing shacks make up an integral feature of fishing in the north or wintertime. Dropping a line through a hole cut in the ice and standing there for hours with nothing to protect you from the brutal winds except a coat would prove a miserable experience. Follow a few tips to build a permanent or semi-permanent fishing shack from scratch—a task that definitely lies within reach of the do-it-yourselfer.

  1. Basics

    • You most likely have the correct impression of an ice fishing shack: a small structure with varying degrees of spartan accommodation or luxury, within which the fisherman sits while fishing ice-covered lakes in the wintertime. If you choose to build a permanent fishing shack, you can either assemble it on site or construct it at home, then bring it in by trailer and lower it slowly onto the ice. If you build a semi-permanent fishing shack, incorporate wheels into the design so you can raise them by crank, allowing the shack to sit directly on the ice. This design's portability allows the fisherman to follow the fish.


    • The most popular fishing shack design incorporates a box structure. Make it as simple as a wooden or plastic frame covered with a tarp, or build it like a manufactured home, complete with insulated walls, shingled roof, windows, doors and such amenities as a kitchen, bedroom and bathroom. To build the simple style requires only beginner-level carpentry skills and minimum investment for materials. More complex structures require a higher level of skills and outlay of cash for materials. Consider your specific needs, such as whether you plan to fish alone or with buddies. To keep as warm as possible, build the floor with regular wooden flooring. Cut holes through it in various locations to access the ice for fishing.


    • Although you can purchase plans for a shack online at a variety of prices, visit (see References section) for a set of simple plans that provide enough detail to build with no other resources required. Use these plans for a simple, functional ice fishing shack that serves the basic purpose of protecting you from the elements while you fish.

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  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/ Images

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