January and February are not known for providing balmy weather to the northern parts of the country. Ice fishing certainly leans into that fact, and a good-quality pop-up shelter is pretty much mandatory for any halfway serious ice angler. But those Arctic winds ripping across a lake can mow down even sturdier objects than your little tent. Torn seams and broken poles can be just the cost of doing business for a good bite.
The good news is those problems can be fixed easily and cheaply. If your hut took a beating last season, now would be a great time to get it tuned up for the upcoming freeze.
For a broken pole, first call or email the friendly folks at Eskimo Customer Service, or your hut’s manufacturer. Tell them exactly which shelter you have and which strut is broken. They’ll have a new one shipped to you in no time.
Next, remove the backing plate from the foot where the broken pole contacts the ground. Use a wrench or vise-grip to spin off the nut, then the plate should slide off. Take note of any webbing or loops on the fabric the pole goes through. Push the broken pole through the coupler, but you should wear gloves if there is any ragged or splintered carbon fiber.
Discard the old pole and slide the new one through the coupler, with the narrow end first. Follow through webbing along the same path as you extracted the old pole. Snug the rounded end of the pole into the coupler then replace the backing plate. Screw the nut back on to secure the whole package. Now you’re ready to stay warm, cozy, and protected for long days jigging on frozen lakes.
Make sure to watch the latest episode of The Fur Hat Ice Tour as Janis Putelis and Jake Andrews go out for round two with the lake sturgeon in Lake Winnebago, Wisconsin.