Make a trip to Upper Red Lake and rent an ice castle! GMR will put it on the ice for you and drill the holes. You bring the fishing gear!
Lake of the Woods and Rainy River offer fun multi-species ice fishing outings. Transportation providing for your on ice journey!
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Its common to some people but a foreighn concept to many others. Yes, camping on frozen lakes and fishing or just enjoying the solitude is a really popular activities in lakes regions where it freezes lakes. There is a lot to know but its safe if you follow standard rules and operate safely.
It really depends on what your interets are. We always recommend for your first experience or two make sure you are guided by a knowledable person. Most resorts off at least advice, some offer full service on ice guidance. You'll need to decide what your structure will be first. A hubshack, a skid shack or a wheelhouse? When you've decided plan for comfort, warmth being a chief consideration. If you'll be using propane learn about carbon monoxide concerns. Consider a generator or diesel heater as well. Suitable warm outdoor wear and good boots are important. From there bring food, games, beverages, fishing equipment and any other thing you think would be fun on the ice!
Every jurisdiction is different so check your local laws and be sure you obtain your fishing permit plus any structure permit that may be required. Most states have requirements for your fishhouse to be marked on the outside or even have a permit attached to the outside.
While uncommon things can go wrong but most of the things that can go wrong can usually be waited out. Most people starting in this hobby are afraid their fishhouse will just fall through the ice and sink to the bottom. While nobody can say that won't happen, it probably won't happen. Every year thousands of people take heavy campers and trucks on the ice with no issues. It seems like if an issue is going to happen its usually a result of going off of commonly travelled areas and a tire or two breaks through the ice and yes occassionally something goes all the way to the bottom. You can avoid this by sticking to proven routes, getting advice from others and paying attention to the ice ahead of you. I mentioned the problems that do happen, and waiting them out. Its not uncommon to be on the lake and have a crack develop that reorts do no want you to cross so they need time to bridge it. Other things might be snow storms moving in that could last several days. Some of the things that might "scare" you really aren't dangerous or threatening, they are often just new experiences. Have you heard of an "Icequake" sounds scary but its just harmless ice cracking and movement. Those new experiences can test your nerves but rarely ever result in any danger.
I've watched seasoned veterans of the ice jump at the ice cracking. It still can get me too. Thats a normal response and your anxiety about being on the ice will subside with time. For those of us that grew up ice fishing maybe we are a little more accustomed to it. You'll learn that ice cracking is a good thing for the ice and you both. You'll also notice it happens more at night, just when you are trying to sleep! This is because its colder at night and the ice is contracting. As things freeze, they get smaller, even ice. When you think of the ice on the lake as 1 large sheet of ice and its getting colder it contracts, when there is too much pressure it has to crack. It won't shatter into small pieces, the cracks tend to be long lines. As season goes on there are ore and more cracks on the lake and the cracking gets more frequent as the cracks tend to start at one spot and continue until it meets another crack which stops it. When the ice cracks it can seperate a small amount usually under 1/2 inch but it will fill with water and be frozen very quickly again. Be thanful when you hear the ice crack, it is strengthening the lake for you.