How To Build An Ice Fishing Shack To Provide Shelter During Ice Fishing

How to Build an Ice Fishing Shack
As an Amazon affiliate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

A good ice fishing shanty offers protection from cold weather, allowing you to enjoy your adventure. It is portable and easy to carry around. Purchasing​ is not always an option, especially during financially lean times or when you want something customized. The good news is that you can build an ice fishing shack and use it as a portable shelter.

Basic Shanty

Basic Shanty

This post strives to show you how to build an ice shelter that can hold 3 anglers. It utilizes an exoskeleton type of room to give you more space while remaining snag-free and smooth for winter clothing. You can use the unit as a lean-to during the summer or close it up on cold days.

What you need

  • One piece of 4’ ​x 8’ ​plywood for flooring
  • 25 2’ x 4’ x 8’ boards for framing
  • 1 box deck screws
  • 1 bottle wood Glue
  • 1 box of small fishing nails
  • 4 hinges
  • 6 sheets of utility panels (2.7mm 4’ x 8’)

Materials to build an ice shanty

Materials for Shanty Project

Being a straightforward process, building an ice shanty doesn’t require special tools beyond what you already own. The following tools will suffice:

  • Tape measure
  • Portable drill
  • Hammer
  • Pencil
  • Protractor
  • Saw

Portable Drill

Portable Drill

Basic Tools

Basic Tools

BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Cordless Drill and Driver, 3/8 Inch, With LED Work Light, Battery and Charger Included (LDX120C)
  • Lithium Ion Technology and 20V MAX: Lighter, more compact, no memory, longer life
  • 11 Position Clutch: Provides precise control for drilling into wood, metal, plastic, and all screwdriving tasks
  • Features integrated bit holder under drill handle that includes double ended bit
  • Variable Speed: Allows countersinking without damaging material
  • Ideal for drilling into wood, metal plastic and all screw driving tasks

Last update on 2023-04-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Build the Frame

The first thing you’ll need to do is make a frame for the floor. Start by cutting five 2” x 4” boards to 45 inches each. Next, lay the two 2’ x 4’ x 8’ parallel to each other. Be sure to space them 24” apart and center to center before screwing them in place. You will need deck screws for this.The next step is to nail pieces of scrap wood to the underside of the floor. They should be 0.5 inches thick and 8-feet long. The pieces of scrap wood will function as runners on the ice. If you want to use a wood sealer, this is the ideal time to apply it. Attach the thick sheet of plywood to the floor frame with deck screws. Make sure you flip the frame over such that the runners are on the ground before you start framing.

Assemble The Frame

Assemble The Frame

Back wall supports

Cut five 2′ x 4′ x 8′ boards. They should be 52 inches long and have a 26.5-degree angle at the top. Attach them along the back wall and like the floorboards, space them 24 inches apart center to center. You will want to ensure that the corner boards don’t overlap the sides of the floor.

Sidewall supports

These are also crucial when it comes to building the housing. Cut two 2’ x 4’ x 5’ boards. Like the back wall supports, these should be 52 inches long with a 26.5-degree angle on one side. Square them up with back supports and fasten using deck screws.

The next step is to cut two 2′ x 4′ 8′ boards with a total length of 52 inches and a 26.5-degree angle at the top. These should be attached to the floor frame without allowing them to overlap to the front.

Roof supports

Cut five 2’ x 4’ x 8’ boards with a total length of 56.5 inches. There is no need for an angle. square up the supports and attach them with deck screws.

Front door supports

The front door supports will have a total length of 75.75 inches and a 26.5-degree angle at the top. You will need two 2′ x 4′ 8′ boards. Be sure to square them up with the wall supports and attach them using deck screws. Cut a 26.5-degree angle across the side of a 2′ x 4′ x 8′ to create your top span. Square it up and secure with deck screws.


Now that you are done building the floor and housing frame, it is time to attach the wood panels. You need wood glue and finishing nails for this task. The back panel will most likely fall into place without requiring any cutting. Make sure that you measure and cut the sidewalls carefully. You will need a full panel and a few scrap strips cut from the door for the roof. The scrap strips will fill in the last inches of the slope. When it comes to the sidewalls, it’s important to note that the sides will be a little different due to warping from the lumber yard. The sidewall panels should be cut to 6′ x 4′ x 4′ with a 26.5-degree slope.

Ice Fishing Shanty Floor Plans

Ice Fishing Shanty Floor Plans


Of course, doors are an essential part of an ice fishing shack. They protect you from the elements and help retain heat inside. Cut the two 4’ x 8’ panels to 4’ x 6’. The door panels should be 46 inches wide. There are different ways to frame the door. You can use 2’ x 4’ x 8’ boards or split the 2’ x 4’ x 8’ into 2’ x 2’ boards with a table saw to reduce weight on the door. Attach the wood strips to the wood panel using finishing nails and wood glue. Allow time for the glue to dry up before attaching hinges and hanging the doors to the structure.

Finishing touches

Finishing Touches

Finishing Touches

At this point, you can apply paint and weather sealing products to ensure the longevity of the shack. Consider going around the edges with silicone caulk to seal up any points where rain or wind can get in. You can put other personal touches in the shelter like jigging holes on the floor or built-in seating. Some anglers opt to cut out windows on the side and back walls. This allows for ventilation and clear views of the surroundings. Keep in mind that additional features like built-in seating and shelves will make the shelter heavier and more difficult to transport. It is up to you to decide what feature you’re willing to forego.

This project probably seems complicated in writing but as you progress through the various steps, building a shelter will become easier and more enjoyable. It is a great project for when you are stuck at home and your kids will love helping out.

Save this article for later by Pinning it on Pinterest. Just click the button below.

About The Author

4 thoughts on “How To Build An Ice Fishing Shack To Provide Shelter During Ice Fishing”

  1. Great job, Joe. I just loved all the texts and pictures here. Truly, the entire article is highly informative. I have started my ice fishing journey since 2017, so I need it extremely. Thanks & best wishes for you.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *