Eskimo was the first ice fishing pop-up tent maker and they make reliable tents and have a good warranty system. We’ve dealt with them for years, back when we didn’t quite know what to do with the very first models that opened up in the corners. Pop-ups have come a long way since then with reliable poles and hubs, good zippers, and convenient little extras. Nowadays, I’m at “just pic one and go fishing – pick a thermal”. Price and quality-wise, you won’t go wrong with an Eskimo (and several other brands, for that matter). That being said, there is a lot of merit in fishing with a pop-up. They are relatively inexpensive, highly portable, roomy, and make fishing fun when you get out the the wind and add heat. Now, you can have all this and more with a $17,000 wheel-house that puts your suitable-to-tow truck at 8 MPG for those long trips to Lake of the Woods. Plus, there is insurance on the wheelhouse, storage, and wear and tear. Then, you get to pay to access the lake when you get there. Then, you get to drag the rear end of your wheelhouse on the ground as its wheels go airborne because none of those private ice road accesses seems to know how to taper the landing in the summer when it is NOT frozen. (I keep hearing stories…) After you finally get onto the ice, you, your big fat truck and the 24 foot trailer behind you crack the ice all the way. You get set up in the middle of nowhere, have it snow really hard and then have slush come in over night or better yet, while your house was out on LOTW and you where home about 200 miles away. That’s gotta be really special. When you get there, you have the honor and pleasure of figuring out how to unstick that which is stuck really hard to the ice. Neato. Maybe you get to hit slush with your truck and freeze in both differentials. The possibilities are endless just so you can say you sat in a lazy boy fishing and watching the game in socks your wife knitted for you for Christmas. It’s no small wonder I see so many wheelhouses by the roadside with a “For Sale” sign on them. (Or, maybe the crazy fools are buying bigger ones.) They are tons of fun when the conditions go to crap; and conditions always do…
Get a snowmobile, a cargo sled big enough for your gear, a real ice fishing suit (not some hodge podge carpentry get-up that soaks up and freezes) and go. Don’t like that spot? Knock it down in 5 minutes, load up and go somewhere else. It’s called mobility and variety. There are those of us who like to sit around in our socks, and those of us who like to put on our boots and go. That’s what pop-ups are for. Plus, when you hit springtime, stuff it in a corner in your garage. It’s that simple.
108″L x 108″W x 84″H(setup); 63″L x 11″W x 11″H (collapsed). 64 sq. ft.
- four to five-person capacity
- IQ Insulated fabric and extra-long skirt seal out elements
- Detachable hook-and-loop windows
- Innovative hub design sets up in about 60 seconds
- Self-tapping ice anchors
- Wt: 45 lbs.