Ice Fishing Shelters-shantys-houses
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Did You Know?

When ice fishing in Wisconsin you do not need a shelter permit.


Fish Houses

As a kid I can remember heading out on the lake with just a spud chisel to open holes. Only the truly hard-core ice fishermen had augers. Even fewer had a gas auger, holy cow they must have been rich. A depth finder was only a sinker on the end of your line. Gps consisted of lining up between these two buildings and out from that tree. Things have changed since then, and fish houses are no different.

I can remember my first house was made of plywood. We had to put it up on a sled and drag it out on the lake with the old ski doo. When I was in shop class in high school, one of my friends made one of the first portables I can remember. It consisted of a plywood floor with a tarp cut to fit around the two plywood ends that folded down. Crude, but effective.

The portable fish house industry is no different from the rest of the fishing world. The first houses were made from plastic and canvas, and folded up to the size of a big trunk. They required the putting together of poles, inserting them into holes and tying the canvas to them. As the industry evolved to improve itself, changes were made quickly. Over the past few years we have seen the portable industry create some of the sleekest most practical houses ever. Houses are now made directly on sleds for easy transportation. With the sleds came the pull over style house that allows an angler to pull up to a spot and within minutes be fishing.

Anglers can now combine their sled they use for hauling and their house they use for shelter into one. Before sleds were loaded with gear, and the house was strapped to the top. Now anglers can merely stack all their gear into their portable house/sled and hit the lake. Once they reach their spot, it’s only a couple of seconds to extend the poles and click them into place. Drill a couple of holes; flip the top and viola you’re fishing.

One of the leaders in the portable industry is “Otter Outdoors”. The first ice-fishing sled I bought was an Otter. These sleds were made from a durable plastic material. They not only slid across the ice and snow with the slightest pull, they also pulled deer from the woods with snow or not. With such a successful sled design, it was only logical that Otter move into the portable ice-fishing shelter business. Since that time Otter has been a leader. This year Otter has taken the all around sportsman’s needs to heart with the design of the “Custom-Trim Lock system” this allows anglers to attach their shelters to their sleds without drilling. Making it simple to convert the fish house to a work sled in the off-season. Otter also uses square tubing in their frame design. Square tubing being much stronger than round, ensures that your Otter house will last many seasons. With the introduction of square tubing came the problem of binding, Otter has come up with the “Ultra-Glide System” to prevent binding. Couple these new designs with deeper and taller dimensions. Otter is one of the most spacious portables on the market today.

Otter houses come in sizes to accommodate 1,2,3 and four anglers at a time. Otter also has a very large selection of accessories to make your outdoor experience more enjoyable. Items such as auger guards, rod holders, rattle reels, lights for the houses, and rod cases. Otter also makes numerous items for your open water pleasure. Kayaks, rafts, dock bumpers, boat cushions, dock benches are just a few. Check out Otter Outdoors for all your out door sporting needs. Chances are if you need it, Otter makes it.

Chris Haley

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