Fish House Break-ins

Ice fishing  house break-ins happen.  Unfortunately the ills of society are sometimes reflected on the ice.  Not only do these morons break-in and steal anything of value, which could be as little value as a coffee pot, they for some reason like to trash the place, and many accounts you hear as part of the vandalism someone has to urinate or defecate in the house.  Its enough to make you want to catch these losers and string them up on to the nearest tree!

I have had a permanent house on Mille Lacs at Barnacles Resort  since 2001 and fortunately have never been “hit”.  I think all the resorts do a great job keeping theft down.  They know their customers cars and their fish houses.  There have been several occasions where I drove a relatives car to the fish house, and was promptly greeted at the door by the resort staff because they didnt recognize the car.   This is one of the many benefits of being an ice fishing resorts customer.  That said, they can’t be on the ice all the time, and with houses spread out over several miles, break ins do happen.

I have read all the suggestions, don’t leave liquor, electronics, anything you wouldn’t want stolen in the fish house,  leave the door unlocked, etc….  Others have (tounge in cheek I hope) say they have shotguns rigged to the door,  explosives, etc… probably not the best solution.

With technology so advanced.  I think a multi-pronged approach is best.  If my house is broken into, I want to catch the losers red-handed, and I refuse to leave my house unlocked.  Here is my suggestion probably nothing new, but maybe a few things you havent thought about.

#1. Get to know your ice fishing neighbors.  Just like the resort folks know you and your car.   Make note of the cars and fish houses around you.  Take a minute and introduce yourself.  If they meet you, they are more likely to come up if they see suspicious activity.   Last year, a strange truck was at the fish house behind me stuck in a drift by the front door.  I gave them about 20 minutes to see if they could get it out, before I came over (hey I thought they were making progress!).  Turns out it was the owners buddies truck and we soon had them on their way.  (some ashes from the charcoal grill under the tires did the trick).  This could have been a break in attempt gone wrong.  I wasnt going to confront them if I figured that out, but I would have taken a license plate, description, and called the cops.

#2 Install a hidden camera.  Think trail-cam that looks like a can of soup. There are many types of cameras in the shape of wall clocks, rocks, pencil holders, cameras that you can install thru a tiny peephole in a wall, ceiling lights, etc….   They operate on batteries, are motion and heat activated, and can not only take pictures, but full motion video.  Again think trail cam but in a different shape.  Just google hidden security cameras you will find many options.   I found one that installs in the wall and looks like a power plug receptacle.

#3.  Install an interior motion light.  This will light up the inside and give you a better picture from your hidden camera.  Even though cameras have night time infra-red technology, a full color lighted picture of the perpetrator in your ice shanty would be most useful.

#4.  Install an audible alarm.  The security camera will help you catch fish house thieves after the fact, but you want to keep them out of the house once they break in!  If they get thru the door but get scared away before they can steal, vandalize, and or relieve themselves on your bunks, all the better.  An audible alarm can and will help.  How they work is they detect motion either thru movement of the door, or interior motion.  They then produce ear splitting sound that takes away the thiefs most precious assest.  Stealth.  They may grab and dash, but they wont stay around long.  Remember, on the ice there is no where to hide.  If an alarm sounds, and someone nearby looks that way, its easy to spot the escape vehicle.  pm and dont want to set off the alarm and run to turn it off.

I refuse to let ice fishing become a victim!  Fish on!  And for all you criminals out there, know if you break in while I’m not there, there is a good chance you will be caught.  If I am there, well it ain’t gonna be pretty!

You can comment on this article by logging in and clicking on “comment”  I would love to hear your points of view!


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