Long a sport for the winter-hardy, ice fishing—which has begun for the season in far northern Minnesota—might soon also attract those who insist on warmth and (relative) luxury with their cold-weather walleyes.
What began not many years ago as an experiment in mobile fishing houses built on retractable wheels has blossomed into a business with many competing manufacturers, each seeking to upgrade winter anglers to amenities unknown to previous generations, reported the Star Tribune (Minneapolis).
Sarah Coates Lange, general manager of Coates RV Center near Forest Lake, Minnesota, which sells Salem Ice Cabins, said winter anglers have provided a big boost to her recreational vehicle trade, which slows in winter.
“The Ice Cabins have been very, very popular,” Lange said. “They’re made to RV specifications, and we outfit about half the units we sell with air conditioners, so they can be used in summer as travel trailers.”
Choose one of three models each with plenty of room to move about in while you wait for the big one. With six fishing holes in each model there should be plenty of action. You’ll even have a place to fry up a few when you get hungry on the 3-burner range/oven.
There is also plenty of sleeping space with the fold down bunks (standard or optional) depending on the model you choose. You can even choose an optional XXXL bunk or have a queen bed pull-down in T8x20SV above the dinette. Or, enjoy afternoon fishing while kicking back on the sofa watching the game on your portable TV (optional cable).
Salem Ice Cabins range from 14 to 20 feet, with show prices from $11,000 to $16,500.
Forest River, Inc.
Elkhart, Indiana-based Forest River, Inc. was founded by Peter Liegl in 1996, which today makes all classes of recreational vehicles, cargo trailers, utility trailer, pontoon boats, light and medium-duty buses (primarily shuttle buses), portable offices, and structures to use for temporary schools.
The company operates 60 manufacturing facilities throughout the Mid West and West Coast and employs 5,400 workers.
Forest River currently manufactures motorhomes (Berkshire, Charleston, Forester, Georgetown, Lexington, Sunseeker, and Tsunami), travel trailers and fifth wheels (Cardinal, Cedar Creek, Cherokee, Day Dreamer, Flagstaff, r-pod, Rockwood, Salem, Sandpiper, Shamrock, Sierra, Surveyor, V-Cross, Wildcat, and Wildwood), park models (Kabana, Quailridge, and Summitt), and modular and hud homes (Sterling and Hart Homes).
Forest River, Inc. is a Berkshire Hathaway company.
Other Manufacturers of Portable Ice Fish Houses
Ice Castle Fish House Manufacturing
Based in Minnesota since 1993, Ice Castle Fish House, is the largest manufacturer of portable ice homes in the state, with sizes ranging to 24 feet.
Address: 3134 E. Highway 7, P.O. Box 326, Montevideo, MN 56265
Phone: (320) 269-5428 or (877) 269-5428
Custom Cottages Inc.
Custom Cottages builds “hunting, fishing, camping mobile shelters” of aluminum alloy frames and shells.
Address: 3005 East 4th Avenue, Shakopee, MN 55379
Phone: (612) 221-3214
It’s a beautiful day for it.