By Montana Grant

Posted: December 25, 2021

Ice fishing sleds are a must for Icemen. Why anyone would prefer to carry their gear onto the ice is beyond me. I have enough trouble standing without having to carry a bucket, rods, augers, etc. Here are some thoughts, pictures, and ideas for creating your own custom ice sled.

Design your sled to fit/ slide into your truck or car.

The pull rope should be twice as long as the sled for easy pulling and potential safety rescue needs. If someone breaks through the ice, you can slide your sled toward them. The rope can also be worn over your shoulder or around your waist. Injured Icemen can be slid off the ice on a sled.

Keep the sled light. You need room for the fish.

Secure and attach gear/augers for safety and security. Wind can blow away your equipment in a moment.

Rods need to be separated into individual holders to avoid tangling. Mount the rod holders high on the sled to keep them out of the snow.

Skis work well in light snow but not deeper snow, or on plain ice. Use the flat bottom sleds for deeper snow. Adapt to the lake that you fish.

Always keep the auger blade cover attached and secure

The sled should be as high as you need for a seat.

A bucket hole allows you to drop the bucket inside the sled or remove it for a second seat.

Use spin off bucket lids to sit on. You will appreciate easy access without breaking your fingernails.

Organize the sled. Everything has a place. Pre-rig your rods.

Make an insulated bait storage unit to keep maggots, mealworms, worms, or minnows from freezing. Styrofoam works well. You can also store drill auger batteries in warm compartments. I also cover my batteries in a warm sock with a hand warmer pack inserted. Cold Batteries are worthless.

Take only what you need. Less is more on the ice. Some guys need a condo and all the extras to stay warm. I fish on better weather days. Great bibs and warm weather gear work great. Guys with tents, and extra gear rarely move spots.

Build your sled to meet the needs for the lakes that you fish.

A picture is worth 1,000 words. Here are a school of photos that Icemen have created. Pick and choose what you need to create your perfect ice sled.

Montana Grant

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