Jeffrey Bothun grew up ice fishing in portable houses because he liked the mobility the canvas shelters offered, according to a report by InForum. That was before he fished in a wheelhouse, the deluxe mobile mansions that have redefined the concept of ice fishing in comfort.
This winter, Bothun is hitting the ice in an 8-by-17-foot “RV Edition” Ice Castle, one of the top companies in the burgeoning wheelhouse industry. Manufactured in Montevideo, Minn., the aptly named Ice Castle has all the comforts of home, including toilet and shower, microwave, fridge, gas stove, two dinettes and enough bunk space to sleep five people comfortably.
Service manager at Grand Trailer Sales in East Grand Forks, Minn., the farthest-north Ice Castle dealership in Minnesota, Bothun is among the thousands of anglers who have splurged on wheelhouses in recent years. Popular destinations such as Lake of the Woods, Devils Lake and Upper Red Lake cater to wheelhouse owners by plowing roads onto the ice and clearing spots off the beaten trail for the houses to set up camp on the lake.
In many ways, the trend has changed the face of winter fishing.
“I don’t think we’ve seen the peak in terms of the wheelhouse craze,” said Henry Drewes, regional fisheries supervisor for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in Bemidji.
For the full story click here.