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Ice Fishing - Equipment and shelters

<< Back to IceFishing Guide |Clothing | Shelters | Spuds and Augers | Other Equipment |

Even for a well-dressed angler, ice fishing on a bitter-cold day is often no more than tolerable. But it can be downright enjoyable with a shelter or wind shield. The difference between misery and comfort on the rawest winter days often is merely the shelter of a tiny windbreak, a simple hut or tent.

Ice-fishing shelters range from simple windscreens improvised from a toboggan or sled to elaborate shanties complete with roofs, walls, heaters and floors with trap doors to the ice.

In Nebraska, ice shanties cannot be left unoccupied on public waters without a special permit from the Game and Parks Commission. Shelters registered under such a permit must meet certain requirements concerning dimensions, materials and the minimum height of the runners. If the shelter's floor is too near the ice, heat from the sun collecting inside the shelter can weaken the ice beneath it. The specifications for ice fishing shelters are included on the shelter registration permit application.

A simple temporary shelter or windbreak is ideal for most anglers. Inexpensive and fairly hassle-free, they are also lightweight and very mobile, allowing anglers to move around on a lake in search of fish or to move easily from lake to lake.

The simplest shelters include small, three-poled tipi-like affairs covered with canvas or plastic and open on one side. Others are simple frames covered with plywood, canvas, plastic or cardboard. Some shelters are reinforced and double as a sled or skid.

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