How to Build an Ice Fishing Shelter / Shanty

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Instructions on building an ice fishing shelter.

If you've never been ice fishing, you simply must go. While the thought of fishing on a sub-zero surface may not appeal to you, if you enjoy fishing, you will love the thrill of fishing through a hole in the ice. One necessity you must have is a bit of shelter. It's fairly simple to build an ice shanty that will be portable and provide the shelter you will need to have a comfortable fishing trip.

The process of building an ice shanty isn't difficult. You will needs some tools and materials to make the shanty. The tools you will need are a hammer, nails, screws, a saw (circular saw is preferable)and a tape measure. The supply list is a bit more lengthy, however you can save a bit of money by using old building materials or buying seconds. The shanty doesn't need to be top of line materials.


  • 2 sheets of 1/4 inch plywood
  • 1 sheet of 3/8 inch plywood
  • 1 sheet of 1/2 inch plywood
  • 10 2x2 boards (
  • 4 2x4 boards
  • 1 Large tarp (at least 14 ft wide)
  • 3 78" fence posts (metal pipe or wooden poles work too)
  • 8 hinges
  • 3 latches

If you would like your shanty to have windows, you will need plexi-glass sheets cut to the size window you will like.

The door- Using the 1/4 inch plywood, draw a rectangle 20 inches wide, by 50 inches tall. Begin your line at the bottom the the piece of plywood. You may choose to center the door or offset it, this choice is yours based on where you want your door to be. Now to cut the gable, it should measure 65 1/2 inches at the peak and 59 and 1/2 inches at the lower point.

Using the 2x2's nail them to the gable and on the sides. Trim the edges to match the gable.Use a 2x4 for the bottom. Cut pieces measuring 24x 52 inches from the 1/2" board. Mark at 1 1/2 intervals around the each piece for the door frame. Cut around the inside be sure not to cut into the marks.Install the hinges with screws. Make sure your door swings freely and opens easily.

The floor-Create a frame using the 2x2's. Attach the plywood to the frame. Determine where you want your holes to be and cut holes at least 8 inches round for your fishing holes.

Attach the three poles in the middle of the shanty, cover with the tarp. Attach the tarp with nails or staples. Add the hasp so that your shanty is lockable.

Your shanty is now complete and you are ready to hit the ice!


lucia anna
Posted on Jan 26, 2011
Johnathan Rapp
Posted on Nov 11, 2010
Posted on May 7, 2009