Updated: January 15, 2023
Already thinking about how to get out of the house this winter? The struggle is real, and movie nights are getting old. We decided to mix it up a bit and try ice fishing! Last year my kiddo and I went ice fishing with my brother and my then 7 year old thought it was the coolest thing! He has been begging to do it again, but without having the proper equipment ourselves it wasn’t happening.
Then I got the idea of renting an ice fishing shack from an ad I scrolled past one day on Instagram. Perfect!
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Finding & Hiring an Ice Fishing Adventure
There are quite a few companies that offer ice fishing adventures in Alberta. Many of them come with the enclosed shack or a tent that has some type of heat source, washroom (typically a porta potty or an outhouse with a bucket), fishing rods and bait, pre-drilled holes in the ice and more. Some even come with underwater cameras, TV screens, video games, wood stoves and mini kitchens.
In my search I learned, like anything, there is a range of prices for this type of thing. It all depends on how rustic you’d like the experience to be as well as if you would like to stay overnight or just take a day trip. Though I am not sure there’s any way of getting around the bathroom set up!
Alberta Ice Fishing Shack Rental Companies
In my search for an ice fishing hut for my family to use, here are some of the companies that I stumbled across:
- Cold Lake
- Gull Lake
- Lac La Biche
- Lac Ste Anne (Alberta Beach)
- Lesser Slave Lake
- Sylvan Lake
- Cool Toyz Rentals (780) 242-3686
- Wabamun Lake
- Mountains (Spray Lakes/Upper and Lower Kananaskis):
- Fly-in Fishing Spots
If this list isn’t extensive enough, be sure to check out Alberta Fishing Charters or look on Facebook and Kijiji for private rentals.
Tips for Going Ice Fishing
We’ve learned some great lessons to make the best of an ice fishing trip. Keep these tips in mind so everyone has the best time possible:
- Bring lots of sanitizing wipes, there will not be running water and touching bait and fish is gross.
- Try to get your hands on an underwater camera if possible. This was so much fun to actually see the action under the water, even without catching anything.
- Make sure all adults have current fishing licenses.
- Bring hot chocolate and coffee mixes (we love the Gourmet du Village themed hot chocolates)
- Do not forget slippers or indoor shoes for inside the shack- with warm socks!
- Pack a deck of cards or a board game (consider “Let’s Go Fishing!“).
- Try to bring easy to cook and eat foods. Think hot dogs or even a pre-made charcuterie box!
If you’re new to ice fishing, give it a try over the Family Day long weekend, during the Free Fishing Weekend. Many lakes around the province host events where you can try before you buy equipment, even!
Our Overnight Ice Fishing Hut Rental
We booked our more economical option with Adventure Ice Fishing at Gull Lake for a trip in 2021. For under $200, we got a rustic shack with everything we could possibly need – including scented candles!
We showed up with our bedding and some food and were good to go. If you don’t want to cook there is even a concession run by the owners with a hot lunch special most days!
Sleeping on a frozen lake in the middle of winter in Alberta is an experience like no other. It is cool, but also weird if you think about it too much – kinda like flying.
Also, please be reminded that ice cracks and can make scary sounds, even when it is indeed very much frozen.
We didn’t actually catch any fish (might need some work on our jigging), but still felt happy with our experience. And, truthfully, maybe a little relieved that we didn’t need to deal with a fish flopping around inside the shack where we planned on sleeping!
Looking for More?
Looking for more winter fun in Alberta? Why not check out some of our other posts!
- Take an Alberta stay-cation – this list of Alberta hotels with awesome pools can help you find accommodations across the province.
- Go tubing! No matter where you are in Alberta, this is a classic winter activity.
- These winter activities can be done at home or the ice shack!
Can you make this article better?
We’re always looking to improve! Have you noticed a spelling or information error, know of something we left out, or would like to share anything else, reach out to us!
Kim Ouellette is a mom, wife, friend & Realtor with Schmidt Realty Group in Edmonton, Alberta. She loves adventure, outdoors and all things to do with living in Alberta! Reach out to her at firstname.lastname@example.org