I have ice fished for years and often use an ice shanty out on the lake for when it is really cold, but I didn't know there were so many different names for them.

Ice Shanty

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ImagineGolf/Getty Images
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For as long as I can remember growing up in Michigan we always called an Ice Shanty an Ice Shanty. It seems to be the common name in most states but there are other names. A typical ice shanty people use today is one that folds up in a sled or has its own sled bottom that the fishermen pull out onto the ice and you remove it when you leave.

Ice House

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Holcy/Getty Images/iStockphoto
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Ice House is another name that I have heard in Michigan, especially up north where more elaborate ice shanties are put on the ice for the winter. These are usually made from wood and are either on skis, wheels, or brought out onto the ice by ATV, tractors, and even trucks. These types of need to be put on blocks or wood to elevate from theF ice so they don't freeze if there is any water build-up or nearing the end of the season. These types of shanties can have an elaborate heating system and even generators for electricity. I have seen some with lounge chairs and TVs so you don't miss the game.

Ice Shack, Fishing Shanty, Fish House, Ice Hut

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James Brey/Getty Images/iStockphoto
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Ice Shack, Fishing Shanty, Fish House, and Ice Hut are not too far from Ice Shanty. There are so many varieties with some being small and cheap with a plastic tarp over a frame while others can be very expensive as a small cabin. Some of these high-end masterpieces built by fishermen can have bunks for overnight fishing, cooking facilities, and similar amenities like a small cabin in the woods but on the ice.

Fish Coop, Bobhouse and Darkhouse

Ice fishing shacks out on the frozen harbour.
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I am not sure of the origin of Fish Coop or Darkhouse but I do know that Bobhouse is what people call them in New Hampshire. Fish Coop could have come from someone who made their shanty from an old chicken coop or it just looked like one and that was the nickname given.

My first ice shanty was made from a doghouse was for a massive St. Bernard. My friend and I were kids and his dog died and his family didn't know what to do with the doghouse so put it on a sled and dragged it to a lake. We made a door and the rest is history. We named this one the "Doghouse." It lasted two years but unfortunately, we didn't make it to the lake in time to remove it and it sunk to the bottom.

I have heard of other nicknames like Polar Penthouse, Home, Troll Hole, The Fish Inn, Fish Motel, and many more.

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Ice Shanty Folklore

Many fishermen in northern climates that get enough ice to put out an ice shanty will get really creative and decorate their shanty. Some have been known to install a fake toilet

Recently the mayor of Hudson, Ohio made a stark claim that ice shanties could lead to prostitution. I wonder if the picture below gave him the idea?

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Mur-Al/Getty Images
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I will say she can fish with me anytime. LOL!

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