Winter can be rough in Vermont – short days, long nights and enough snow and ice for the Abominable Snowman to build a palace – but New Englanders are hearty folk who how to make the most of it. A favorite winter pastime of Vermonters young and old is ice fishing. A few tasty beverages, fishing pole, and an ice auger and you have yourself a nice little Sunday afternoon. In that spirit and after a few adult beverages ourselves, we built the Hotel Vermont Ice Shanty.
Ice shanties (also called an ice shack, ice hut, bobhouse, etc.) are traditionally used as a portable shelter placed on a frozen body of water for ice fishing. Using a chainsaw or an ice auger (don’t try this at home, kids) to cut a hole in the ice, the shanty is placed over the hole so that the fishermen can keep warm. With over 90 species of fish, Lake Champlain is a recreational fisherman’s heaven. Most commonly targeted fish are perch, crappie, blue gill, and northern pike.
We have been working hard with our friends at Lake Champlain International and the Vermont Fresh Network to get the word out about Lake Champlain as a food resource. For the last few decades there has been a stigma against eating fish out of the lake; however, fish from the lake is both safe to eat and delicious! Chef Doug proudly serves Lake Champlain yellow perch at both Bleu Northeast Seafood and Juniper Bar & Restaurant.
While we realize ice fishing season is dwindling down, we welcome any guests or community members to come ask us about a visit to the shanty on the Burlington Waterfront. A number of our staff members are more than happy to discuss the ins and outs of ice fishing. If you’re interested please contact our Front Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, please remember to fish within the regulations set forth by Vermont Fish and Wildlife, including a valid fishing license and safe ice conditions.