Break a skid house free from the ice

How to Break a Skid House Free From the Ice

After your skid house has been sitting on the ice a while or even after a long day of ice fishing on the lake, it is common for your skid house to freeze to the ice. Although this can seem like a huge inconvenience when you are trying to pack up and head off the ice, it is not that big of a deal.

We have a couple of simple tips that will help you break a skid house free from the ice, but first, some background on why skid houses freeze down.  The skids of your ice fishing house will freeze to the ice when water comes out onto the ice.  This mainly happens when you are drilling your ice fishing holes. Another factor that contributes to a stuck skid house is the snow that you place around the skids and the ends of the skid house to provide some protection from the wind coming up through the fishing holes.  This snow creates insulation and will tend thaw and freeze when you are ice fishing with a heater. So how exactly should you break your skid house free from the ice?

Breaking the Skid House Free From the Ice

Our recommended method to break a skid house free from the ice is to pry it up off the ice. This method may seem like you need to bring your muscles, but it is very easy.  All Ambush Skid Houses come with a removable tow bar.  This tow bar can be used in the front and the back to pop the skid house free from the ice.  To break the skid house free:

  1. Detach the tow bar and remove the pins to avoid damaging them.
  2. Insert the wide part of the tow bar in the opening between the skis
  3. Once you have a strong grip, pull upwards on the hitch end of the tow bar. If needed, have your fishing buddy grab ahold, too!
  4. You can also use a log or other item as a fulcrum and PUSH DOWN. This allows you to use your full body weight to break the skid house free.
  5. Be sure to let the bar do the work.

If this method doesn’t work, the other way to free a stuck skid house involves using a jack.

  1. Start with a spud bar or long chipping bar and break up some of the ice around the outside of the skis.
  2. Next, place a Farm Jack (also known as high lift jacks) or any other jack on a piece of wood and slowly lift the skid house. You can even store the jack under the seats in your skid house for easy storage!

Either technique will help you free your stuck skid house from the ice. The first option is recommended simply because it doesn’t require any additional equipment or tools.

Check out our ice fishing techniques while you are on the lake. If you are interested in an Ambush Skid House, find a dealer near you to learn more.

Watch this video on Breaking your Skid House Free from the Ice!


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