Ice Fishing Shelter Mobility
My first winter of ice fishing consisted of drilling a hole with a hand auger through 24 inches of ice. I was dripping with sweat after 15 minutes, and although my sister-in-law was with me, we fished one hole, outside.. without shelter.
It was a beautiful day, almost 35 Fahrenheit, with no wind. Sunny. We cranked the tunes and had fun...but we didn't catch any fish. This was before I even had a Vexilar!
After that day, the weather took a turn for the worse, and fishing in the open was not a good idea. Oh, I LOVE to be outside in the open when the weather permits it....but North Dakota is sparse on those days. (And if you have ever fished Devil's Lake on a windy day...you know what I'm talking about. Devils Lake can be COLD!)
When the weather is cold you need an ice fishing shelter. Now there are several shelters available to buy, and a lot of people make their own with those blue tarps and plywood. You know the ones....they weigh about 100 lbs. and crackle in the wind.
If you consider there are several portable shelters on the market nowadays, I will chime in and say that MOBILITY is the key to good ice fishing. These portable shelters are the key to keeping warm and keeping up your MOBILITY.
I don't need to go into why mobility is important here, it's obvious. If you aren't marking/catching fish: MOVE!
Here is the cycle:
Drive to a spot, drill holes, start fishing. No fish? Time to move. Cycle begins again...
There are 3 steps:
Driving...(you can't avoid this..)
Drill holes...(get a gas powered auger)
OOPS! I forgot! We need to pull that 150 lb ice fishing shelter out of the truck and lay it on the ground, and then we need to mark our holes so they line up with the pre-drilled holes in the plywood, and then try to set up that ice-house in the wind and then we need to bring all our tackle and heater and rods and bait and...and.. and......
MOBILITY consists of being FAST.
I fished my first season with a 'clam-style' ice house...and it was not fun. The wind made it slide across the ice... and setting it UP in the WIND?
What a hassle!
My SECOND season with a Fish-trap style fish house. There is absolutely NO comparison.
Dump that lousy, cumbersome, heavy, and precious-time consuming house and get a fish-trap style house! My fishing partner (Dewy) and I can be set up and fishing in less time than you could imagine.
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