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fishrman

Ice Shelters

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My two friends and I were looking at purchasing an ice shelter. We need one that will comfortably keep us out of the weather, and hold up to those bitter winter winds. Was wondering if you guys had any suggestions as to what would be the best thing for us to buy.

thank you in advance,

Fishrman

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Like Rob, I favor the Clam products. The flip style are the easiest to set up and get out there. I have the Yukon. It is a little bigger than the guide but a lot heavier. If you buy the one of the bigger flips, find a pair of skis and it will make the drag a lot easier. On another note, my father and brother have frabils and they are ok. The fabric, and the seats are no wheres near the quality of the clam but they are much cheaper. The tub (sled) is not as deep on the Frabils either.

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I bought a Clam two man shelter/sled combo many years ago. It has been a great unit- no complaints, very well built. One thing to consider though is hauling these things. If there is hardly any fresh or loose snow the double is not too bad. If there is much in the way of snow though, this unit makes for real tough sledding. Last year I bought the smallest one man unit at an end of the Season sale (they keep changing the names on these things, I would say it is very similar to the Kenai). This unit is much much better suited for tough hauling conditions. Unless you are going to haul w/ 4 wlr or snowmobile I would think hard about the big shelters. Another thing is that I move a fair amount and having to move the double is just more of a chore, especially if you have to roust somebody out of there to do it. My kids will sit in the double sipping cocoa or soup in front of the heater w/out caring whether they are catching fish or not but I want to at least mark fish on the Vex or I'm on the move.

You guys would probably be better off each getting a small shelter so you can split up over an area and find fish quicker, then you can congregate around them, though that's probably not what you want to hear.

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You guys would probably be better off each getting a small shelter so you can split up over an area and find fish quicker, then you can congregate around them, though that's probably not what you want to hear.

I agree with Andy and think that you would all be happier with 3 smaller ones over getting 1 big 3 man unless you are a group that always fish side by side because in one shanty means that the 3 of you can only fish the 6 foot of area that is inside of the shanty but with 3 small ones you can spread out a bit and you can still chat and hear each other. I have had a clam scout for the past 20 years and bought a clam pro last year and a clam Yukon this year which i have yet to try out but will be doing very soon. The pro is still a 1 man shanty but has a bit more room than the scout witch gives you a bit more comfort and room in front of you on the ice if you are using any kind of sonar and camera along with a heater and can get very crowded in a scout . and as Brian said putting skis on the bottom will make it easier to pull and will keep it from wearing though the bottom of you sled .

Anyways keep us posted on what you all end up doing and good luck with the fishing this year .

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What do you guys use for skis on your Yukon and how many do you use, 2 or 4, what is the best way to attach them so they don't pull off. easier pulling would be nice, the yukon weighs 107 lbs without any gear and I got a lot of that. Thanks.

Mark

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Mark everyone i have seen has been with snow skis and only 2 . when I attach them i like to drill the holes though the skis from the bottom so i can drill a counter sink hole for the head of the bolts to set into and i like to use screw head bolts, just my preference and on the pro i used 2 holes per ski but will go with at least 3 on each on my Yukon which i still need to put skis on just bought it for my own X-Mas gift to me, and for the skis i think i an going to try using a pair of water skis, thinking that they mite help it ride up on top of the soft fluffy snow better than snow skis will so this will be an experiment and very easy to change back to snow skis if i need to but first i need to find some old water skis, I know that snow skis are very easy to find at any second hand store or garage sale for just a few bucks . i hear ya on the lots of gear and sometimes i ask myself why i dragged all this stuff out with me and wish i could afford a snow mobile or a 4 wheeler but thats more than i can afford so i will just keep on dragging it along and stopping for a breather from time to time .

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I personally like the shelters by Otter. I have the cabin and it fits two guys well. I like it because I can put all my gear in the sled and drag it around with no problems. The seats give your back support that you don't get from a bucket. Down side, I don't like the new ice camo theme that they have now.

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Thanks JR, was draggin the yukon out for the first time this year. I think there was just a tad bit too much snow on the ice and it was tough pulling. I could see the tub plowing the snow into a wall in front of it and then having to climb over it. Sure got the carbon blown out of me on this trip. Two of us pulling was good for a couple hundred feet and then stop for a breath. I'm not sure even a four wheeler would have the traction to pull it today with the slush under the snow and a few drifts that were a bit thick.

Mark

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A couple years ago I had a light conduit frame built that sits ~10" off the ice in order to pull the shanty in heavy snow. I've pulled as many as three shanties at a time (two Fishtraps on top of an old Clam four person monster) in a couple inches of snow by myself, and in heavy snow it can't be beat. I also had a rigid coupler made to link it to a four wheeler for towing (if I'm ever lucky enough to have a four wheeler for ice fishing). If anyone's interested, pm me and I'll see if I can remember the name of the individual down in Honeoye who built this for me. I think that it was $80-100 to have it made.

Finally, TripleS made some runners for my FishTrap Pro out of light conduit as well, and they seem to work better than the skis. Just need to bend the conduit so it goes up at the front and screw it on from the inside.

Gator

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I've got a 4x4 4 whlr here on the farm that we have used a little for ice fishing and I can tell you they are far from a great solution to hauling sleds & equipment. Here's why; 1.) Early & late ice are questionable for that much weight. 2.) They take up a lot of space. Unless you have a trailer, it becomes very awkward to get the sleds & equipment & 4 whlr and ramps in one pickup truck. 3.) Park Police and other law enforcement officers can and will prevent you from using a 4 whlr in State parks , public access points , roads etc. It doesn't matter if it's registered. I'm not saying this is right- I'm just saying that you risk getting hassled and under some circumstances issued a summons and fined. This last issue seems to be a case by case and place by place situation. Some places I've never had a problem, others I wouldn't try it again.

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Anyone have any experience with the hub style pop up blinds they have out now? I was thinking of getting one instead of the sled style.

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A couple years ago I had a light conduit frame built that sits ~10" off the ice in order to pull the shanty in heavy snow. I've pulled as many as three shanties at a time (two Fishtraps on top of an old Clam four person monster) in a couple inches of snow by myself, and in heavy snow it can't be beat.

Gator,

The conduit you mention, is that just electrical conduit? I suppose that by cutting through the snow to the ice is probably the way to go instead of trying to surf the deep snow with as much as 200 or more pounds of sled and equipment. Makes sense to me. I remember ice skating in snow covered conditions and it was easy to keep moving. The mound of snow and slush in front of the tub is hard to move plus the tub wants to keep going over it which is like pulling uphill. do you have a picture of the frame?

Mark

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I like the sounds of this conduit runner idea too & would also like to see pix!

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Guys-

Yeah, electrical conduit...TripleS is a union guy :)

I haven't used the frame yet this year, so it's still buried in the basement, but when it comes out I'll try to post a picture. Think plywood-size open bottom with cross bar braces and 6" high sides, all conduit, welded, sitting maybe a foot up on conduit runners. Kinda a simple box frame on runners, but boy does it work. The guy who built it for me was Mark Evanicki down in Hemlock. His brother Tom Evanicki used to own the Honeoye Bait Shop off Rt 20A years ago and in fact I still have five of his old tip downs with his name on them that he sold me. And my graduate student was gifted the small jonboat that Tom sold me for $100. Sorry, momentary lapse of nostalgia...

Gator

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Awwww Man, :( Your gunna keep us all in-suspense waiting for a pic.

I seen a guy last year on I-Bay with a conduit frame but but his was about 2 feet high and it was glare ice so anything pulls nice like that . I was thinking that it looked like a good idea but wanted to see him pull it once we got some snow on top of the ice but once we got snow i never seen him again, But if that guy is still making them i am very interested .

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Nah, my original intention was just to make excuses, then blow off the picture entirely :D

I'll try to dig it out of the basement this weekend.

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1lNu1r.jpg

I think this is what we want. MUSH

1m2XJ.jpg

I found this pic on a michigan forum. Looks cool, but needs a bigger version to haul the ice shack.

Come on Gator, yer basement needs cleaning out anyhow :P:lol: (just kidding) was thinkin about mine :$

Mark

ps

http://www.michigan-sportsman.com/forum ... nduit+sled

This is a crude drawing from Michigan Sportsman. com and a review of its function hauling a clam 5600

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Here's some quick snapshots I took this morning. And look, turns out Mark was right, my basement does need to be cleaned...at least the camera is pointed AWAY from the piles of hunting and fishing stuff. I'm not a pack rat, but I can't seem to convince myself that I won't need that 150 lb ice shelter or those dozen floater goose decoys someday...even though I haven't goose hunted in five years. If I ever have a garage sale, my advice is: come early.

You can probably get a good idea as to the size of this thing by comparing it to the furnace or stairs. That's a removable rigid hitch on the front for towing with an ATV. A Clam 5600 would fit perfectly with room on top for tip-ups, bait, etc..

1nI9KS.jpg

1nIcf0.jpg

1nIeK9.jpg

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back in the day i built a sled from a old pair of downhill skies for runners, with a plywood base it was only 2 ft wide but made it easy to haul the gear and doubled for a dog sled with my 2 springers when the kids came along and got bored, but a 4x4 sheet of 1/2 in beefed up with a few furring strips around the edge would accomadate a standard size hunting blind .mine was about 6 in high but a 1 1/2 (or 2x4 ripped ) would give some spacing between bottom and skies and if ya wanted to get fancy for deeper snow glue a couple old rolled up butt busters (rollup sleds) to the plywood for ease of pulling total weight empty should be about 40 lbs ..you could even rip it down the center toss on a couple hinges and fold it for a hatch back...maybe ill build one down in fla this winter ........ok forget that part...

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Thanks Gator!!!, looks like the thing I was thinking of. Now I guess I need to get to home depot and find some materials. Any body have a sled dog team now for sale? :)

Mark

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