Many ice anglers refer to their permanent ice fishing shanties as their "Home Away from Home"...and for good reason! Some of these "Ice Shacks", as they're nostalgically termed, are quite the comfy quarters for those anglers who like to stake out a specific lake or two during the hardwater season and fish in style.
Some of the more quaint ice houses on the lake might offer an 8' x 8' wooden structure, upon a couple of retractable wheels on a single axle complete with a heated 64 sq. feet of fishing retreat, while others go a bit farther than heat...including ice houses that are 24' long possessing microwaves, satellite TV, Playstation 3 for the kids, EZ boy recliners, sleeping quarters, refrigerators, stove top cooking ranges, Kitchen Tables, Card Tables and more!
One Pewaukee resident who has his "tricked out" ice house parked on his hometown lake most winters stated his rationale for owning a giant ice house this way,
"Some people invest a bunch of money in gas and lodging travelling to the Northwoods every weekend to snowmobile and ice fish. I decided to invest my money in a 24' ice house and make my winter vacation retreat a mile from my driveway...I don't spend 10 hours of weekends behind the wheel of car or truck travelling to Vilas County round trip...I'd rather maximize my recreation time with my kids, so I designed and built this beauty. It's got everything I need and more...I just don't get my mail delivered here!"
This past weekend, many ice anglers were not fishing, but instead, moving their temporary 'digs' off the ice.
Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officials say shanties and ice houses on lakes and rivers south of Highway 64 in Wisconsin must be removed by March 3. Shanties north of Highway 64 must be moved after March 17.
As ice conditions begin to deteriorate with the inevitable spring time weather, ice anglers must remove their shanties and ice houses off the lakes or face potential fines or worse...have their significant investments become a permanent residents of the lake bottom.
Chad Leton's blog is an extension of his youth guide service HookedUp101 Fishing Academy which serves Southeastern & Central Wisconsin.