Ice fishing

Missing image
Ice fishing on the Ottawa river, near the capital of Canada

Ice fishing is the sport of catching fish with lines and hooks through an opening in the ice on a frozen body of water.

It is a popular pastime in Canada, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Russia in Europe.

In North America, Alaska, Minnesota, Michigan and other areas with lakes and long, cold winters enjoy the activity. Finnish, Norwegian, and Swedish settlers brought the sport with them to Minnesota; most Minnesotans who engage in ice fishing are from Nordic families. The sport came to Alaska as settlers arrived from Minnesota.

A structure with various local names, but often called a fish house or ice hut, is sometimes used. These are dragged or trailered from shore using a vehicle such as a snowmobile or truck, to a suitable location on the lake. Some fish houses are elaborate, and can be equipped with lights, heat, bunks, cooking facilities, and the like. At the opposite extreme are portable, tent-like structures designed to be easily moved.

In North America, ice fishing is often a social activity. Not infrequently, the consumption of copious amounts of alcohol is involved. Some resorts have fish houses that are rented out by the day (called ice huts); often, shuttle service via snowmobile is provided, eliminating any need for sobriety on the part of the participants.

In Finland, solitary and contemplative isolation is often the object of the pastime, but the copious consumption of alcohol is the same, perhaps more so. In Finland, fishhouses are a rare occurrence, but wearing a sealed and insulated drysuit designed out of space-age fabric technology for emergency rescue teams is not.

In North America, lines of fishhouses often develop over underwater ridges or other areas where fish are particularly plentiful.

A certain number of cars, trucks, SUVs, snowmobiles, and fish houses fall through the ice each year and people die. Current environmental regulations require the speedy recovery of the vehicle or structure in this situation. Divers must be hired, and when the trouble occurs far from shore, helicopters are employed for hoisting.

Another risk associated with ice fishing is carbon monoxide poisoning from fishhouse heaters.

Ice fishing contests offer prizes for the largest fish caught within a limited time period. Some people take their ice fishing very seriously.

In Finland, ice fishing contests have been marred by repeated scandals, where both contestants and organizers have been caught cheating. Contestants have smuggled previously caught and frozen fish with them. And organizers have awarded the prizes to stooges, not really even participating in the competition, to avoid paying prize monies, which often rise to very high sums.

Ice fishing is a major plot element in the film Grumpy Old Men and its sequel.

See Also

Snowmobile skipping


  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (
    • Architecture (
    • Cultures (
    • Music (
    • Musical Instruments (
  • Biographies (
  • Clipart (
  • Geography (
    • Countries of the World (
    • Maps (
    • Flags (
    • Continents (
  • History (
    • Ancient Civilizations (
    • Industrial Revolution (
    • Middle Ages (
    • Prehistory (
    • Renaissance (
    • Timelines (
    • United States (
    • Wars (
    • World History (
  • Human Body (
  • Mathematics (
  • Reference (
  • Science (
    • Animals (
    • Aviation (
    • Dinosaurs (
    • Earth (
    • Inventions (
    • Physical Science (
    • Plants (
    • Scientists (
  • Social Studies (
    • Anthropology (
    • Economics (
    • Government (
    • Religion (
    • Holidays (
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (
    • Planets (
  • Sports (
  • Timelines (
  • Weather (
  • US States (


  • Home Page (
  • Contact Us (

  • Clip Art (
Personal tools