Pardon the pun, but there’s no cooler transportation than a snowmobile—at least where icefishing is concerned. Fun aside, there’s also no disputing the logistical benefits of a ride that defies winter’s worst weather to carry anglers and their gear to and from the day’s objectives.
A well-equipped snowmobile is both workhorse and trail mount. For most, the strategy involves using the snowmobile for big runs and then working an area on foot. From a parked machine, lightweight pop-up shelters and portable electronics are easy to carry from hole to hole.
Racing and thrill rides seldom coincide with the ice angler’s need for functional efficiency, so top-end speed is probably a mid-list consideration. More important are stability, accessibility, and storage space.
A larger machine offers more room for customization, from high-tech electronics to utilitarian gear racks fore and aft. However, you can get the job done with just about any trail model. Just picture how you’ll be using the snowmobile for your style of icefishing and then equip and accessorize accordingly.
Wider is better for maximum contact over varying levels of snow and slush. You want long tracks for better contact with sketchy surfaces. You might sacrifice speed for stability to avoid bogging down. Tracks typically intake natural moisture for lubrication, but on bare ice, squirting dish soap into tracks helps prevent seizing.