Homemade Ice Fishing Stuff
Hockeyguy, putting an electric air pump and air stone in your bucket when at home is a great step. That's what I started with. However, I found that keeping them in my bucket made my foam insulator smell terrible. You also need to change the water frequently if you have more than half a dozen fish in there. I got the aquarium setup because it made for better, more active bait fish and allowed me to take only what I might use in my bucket.
I keep the aquarium in the unheated garage so it's more like outside water temp without freezing.
Regarding the aquarium set up, you honestly don't even need the tank. I bought a fish tank aerator for $8 at Walmart and just put the diffuser stone in my bait bucket. I leave it plugged in and change the water out every so often. I just used up the last suckers I had from the end of October, so they'll keep for quite a while. And it's a lot cheaper than batteries!
FYI if you keep your minnows indoors that you'll need to let them acclimate before using them or putting them back or they'll die of shock. They don't handle going from warm water to cold water well, and they handle going from cold to warm even worse.
I decided my bait bucket was terrible for keeping bait in between trips, so last year I got a small aquarium to keep them in. It was great. It's a pretty minimalist setup to extend the life of your bait. Whatever you don't use just put back.
Decided to build a permanent shanty this year. Still like my one man popup but more and more fish the lake close to me and would like to stay out all night like I did years ago.
Coming along pretty good. Walls are made from the centers of insulated vinyl doors (1 1/2" foam, vinyl on both sides) . Got these off craigslist years ago from a guy who works at a door company, they cut out the centers of doors to put in glass.
The holes in the floor hold a bucket with the bottom cut out. Saw this on a show last year. keeps snow and wind blowing under the shanty out of the hole and shanty. One more bench, door latch and a few little things to go.
BigwoodsHunter asked me about my home made ice fishfinder that doubles as my open water sonar. Part of this set up is the Humminbird sonars (matrix 37, and the newer 597dHD). I mention both because this gives me two of the snap on mounting brackets so I don't have to unscrew the boat one to use on my cedar ice fishing box in the pic. The best part is; the transducer for the 37 works great with the 597 so I can drag around the unit with a mapping chip out on the ice, by unsnapping it from my boat and popping it on my "ice box". The close up is for how I bolted and taped the 'ducer to the Tite-Loc clamp built to make any unit portable ($40 bucks? from Fleet). Note the little hardware straps that allow the connection of the transducer. The middle pic shows the parts laid out, including the taped up insulated "bag" I made to help the battery keep it's charge on the colder mornings.