Winter is here! However, our lives will never be as interesting as the lives of those in Game of Thrones. So we have got to find some way to stir things up a bit. Ice fishing is a highly popular and engaging activity that tickles your daredevil tendencies.
However, today we’re adding a little spice and bringing snowmobiles into the conversation. Ice fishing on a snowmobile has a different feel and rush to it compared to any other type of fishing. Moreover, the best thing is that you can utilize practically any snowmobile for ice fishing.
You have mountain and racing snowmobiles that are pretty heavy-duty, whereas touring and trail snowmobiles are relatively less intense. When purchasing the best snowmobile for ice fishing, make sure you consider 5 important factors: track sizes, fuel capacity, loading, storage, and cooling mechanisms.
- Dry Weight: 629lbs
- Power: 4-stroke Engines
- Dry Weight: 478.5lbs
- Power: 2-stroke engine
- Dry Weight: 558lbs
- Power: 165hp
Best For Long Track
- Dry Weight: 215lbs
- Power: 400watt
- Dry Weight: 515lbs
- Power: 650w
TITAN Adventure 155
- Dry Weight: 605lbs
- Power: 4-stroke engine
550 Voyageur 155
- Dry Weight: 478.5 lbs
- Power: Bore x Stroke engine
- Dry Weight: 475lbs
- Power: 2-stroke engine
Best Ice Fishing snowmobiles for 2023
Below are the top choices for the best snowmobile for ice fishing, saving you the time to scroll through hundreds of sites.
1. Ski-Doo Skandic
Quality comes at a price! I always insist that if you’re looking for a class-A experience on the trails, splurge a little bit. It’s always worth it when you find a winning model.
The Ski-Doo Skandic perfectly fits into that criteria. One of the highest-quality utility models in the market with a massive towing ability, it manages to fit all its winning specifications into a compact and highly responsive body.
Don’t even get me started on the engine that springs to life with the slightest touch.
- The first advantage of this Ski-Doo Skandic snowmobile is its utility sled style which calls for extra towable baggage. Next, it is completely customizable, and you can choose from 2 types of engines while designing your beast mobile with maximum durability.
- Users have expressed their disapproval of the liquid cooling systems for long-lasting ice fishing trips.
The Price of “Ski-Doo Skandic” varies, so check the latest price at
2. Polaris 550 Voyageur
The Polaris Voyageur provides you with all the specifications to perfect your ice fishing trip. This machine boasts a 2-stroke fan-cooled engine that is quite reliable and can go for long runs, given that you are ready to fill the gas tank up when needed.
The performance on the Polaris Voyageur doesn’t make you feel in the remotest sense that you are on a long uncomfortable ride in the snow.
The solid suspension system allows you to tow a large load without feeling any bumpiness during your travels.
However, atop that, you can also customize your sled from the manufacturer if you still find it lacks something of key importance needed for your ice fishing trips.
With features like stroke max power adjustment, this snowmobile allows you to have complete control over how much horsepower each wheel gets.
- The fan-cooled models always leave a wonderful impression on the customers as it delivers the smoothest experience.
- Some have reported that one 2-stroke engine seems scanty, and the machine could’ve done numbers with a higher-capacity engine.
Polaris 550 Voyageur
The Price of “Polaris 550 Voyageur” varies, so check the latest price at
3. Arctic Cat Norseman
The Arctic Cat Norseman is notorious for its incredible capacity of strength and torque. This utility sled has the ability to whisk away all your worries and concerns pertaining to storage and space with its highly efficient and reliable specifications.
Little customized additions like an electronic pushbutton ignition make this Arctic Cat Norseman model an easy favorite of ice fishers.
However, heavy loads you have to tow behind you are always manageable with this powerful engine vehicle.
But, the liquid-cooled engine has shown some overheated performance with customers who did pull a considerable weight behind them after their successful bout of ice fishing.
- The electronic pushbutton ignition is a top favorite among many customers.
- The liquid-cooled engine, for starters, stirred up some questions. On the other hand, the starting price of this snowmobile halts at $14,000.
Arctic Cat Norseman
The Price of “Arctic Cat Norseman” varies, so check the latest price at
4. Yamaha VK540
A household name, Yamaha, that no one is immune to, has always impressed the masses with its makes and models.
The Yamaha VK540 is a hybrid beast of a sled with a 2-stroke engine and 540 cc horsepower. Not to mention it has a heated carburetor that eases and optimizes performance by cutting down drive time to half.
You can either purchase the snowmobile with a manual or electric start that differs in its startup process, but in either case, this sled has a 20-inch track width.
Some have commented on how this is a letdown from its predecessor, but in my opinion, it makes it a small and compact option at an affordable rate.
A fan favorite feature is a reverse gear that helps users quickly extract themselves from tricky situations and easily slice through any challenging pile of snow.
- It is a common belief among people in this sport that usually, where a predecessor model is concerned, the successor brings its best features alongside more. However, in the case of the VK540, many of the preceding model’s features were absent.
The Price of “Yamaha VK540 ” varies, so check the latest price at
5. Ski-Doo Tundra
The Ski-Doo Tundra model is an easy-riding machine that can effortlessly pass up as anyone’s favorite. With its cleverly organized set of features that adhere to every ice fishing enthusiast’s skills and needs, it has everything you need.
Although slapped with a price tag of a Tundra model, it incorporates the smooth and trustworthy operation of a Ski-doo.
This gem of a model is known as one of the most affordable snowmobiles on the market, and although it packs no fancy features, it is highly efficient and practical in use.
With this cost-effective model, you get useful features (that may seem small at first but make a world of a difference), like an analog speedometer and digital LCD information screen that substantially ease your driving experiences.
- With increased stability and precision thanks to the REV platform on this Tundra, users have adored the extra safe and risk-free journeys you can embark on.
- The dual-seating option alongside the cargo add-on system makes a wonderful pairing if you wish to bring a partner along.
- The narrow body of the Tundra has made some disapprove of its design.
The Price of “Ski-Doo Tundra” varies, so check the latest price at
6. Polaris Titan Adventure 155
The Polaris Titan truly is a titan with its high-end features that you can find nowhere but only on this brand’s models. But, getting right down to the aspect that attracts all snowmobilers is the famed Polaris Suspension technology on this beast of a machine.
A hybrid mix between AXYS front suspension with a fully adjustable back suspension topped off with flexible Fox QS3 shocks; there is nothing that this Titan won’t bulldoze right through.
It has a 4-stroke liquid-cooled engine with long wide tracks bound to leave behind generous snowmobile footprints.
Its Cobra track (measuring 155 x 20 x 1.8) promises complete control over all and any areas. So whether it is fresh deep snow or windswept icy lakes, this Cobra Titan would never waste your time or money.
You best believe you’ll get your money’s worth and more on this one.
- The control this snowmobile provides the rider has always astounded and impressed the customers.
- With all the features on this snowmobile, it’s hard to find a bad spot, but the liquid-cooled engine has proven to be too high maintenance for some users…and they expressed their frustrations.
Polaris Titan Adventure 155
The Price of “Polaris Titan Adventure 155” varies, so check the latest price at
7. Polaris Voyageur 550 155
The Voyageur has a solitary track with a horsepower of 550, giving it an honorable mention on the list of efficient and powerful snowmobiles for an ice fishing rig.
Known as one of the best snowmobiles for ice fishing, you get royalty features like an automatic start, hand warmers, and power steering, and it even holds heating spaces.
A popular pick amongst every ice angler in 2021, this baby has a horizontal in-line engine with a drive axle and steel tracks. There is nothing that could get in the way of this machine as it zooms through as you experience deep snow!
The heated seat has also raised significant applause among customers who have enjoyed the extra perk during their freezing ice fishing trips. You also get a flexible windshield to shield your body, machine, and fishing gear from any flying onslaught of snow.
A flexible handlebar ensures the rider is in full control of their direction and acceleration, which is further supported by the modern suspension technology utilized on this sled.
Rear shocks will never bother you with the heavy-duty rear shock absorbers rigged to the snowmobile, so don’t hesitate to take a little adventure on some off-trail terrain.
- The high horsepower on the engine, paired with the open deck design, gives users a freeing and comfortably smooth ride experience. Not just that, but the extra weight capacity of 217 kg has definitely been a cause of turning heads on this one. It also boasts excellent towing capacity.
- With all the spectacular specifications of the Voyageur 155, there is barely anything negative to say about it. Some veteran users have pointed out that the drive system is an older chaincase drive style. This causes the chains to stretch and require regular adjustments.
Polaris Voyageur 550 155
The Price of “Polaris Voyageur 550 155” varies, so check the latest price at
8. The Yamaha Transport 800
If you want to take up ice angling any time soon, the Yamaha Transport 800 is your best snowmobile choice. This transport has mountain skis built for the most rugged terrains and comfortable seats to keep you cozy and unbothered as the snowmobile glides through anything in sight.
There is a built-in travel luggage rack paired with a high gas capability, meaning you can enjoy long hours in the snow with all your belongings and snowmobiling gear at your disposal without worrying about a nail.
With impressive tow back and a 153 x 16 x 2.25 Camso Bear Claw track…have we mentioned that you could potentially slide through the toughest snow spots with this bad boy? The heavy-duty two-stroke engine can feel like an incorporated mix between an Arctic Cat and a Yamaha.
- It has a two-cylinder engine functioning with fan-cooled technology and 704 cc of horsepower, making this one of the strongest machines I rode on. It also has an electric start and electronic fuel injection feature that cuts down effort and time in half.
- I may sound prejudiced over here, but there are basically no technical disadvantages to the Yamaha Transport 800. Sorry!
The Yamaha Transport 800
The Price of “The Yamaha Transport 800” varies, so check the latest price at
Buyer’s Guide for Best Snowmobile for Ice Fishing
Ice fishing isn’t a one-day kind of shenanigan. In fact, if you are looking for the right snowmobile ice fishing experience, you must make time for a whole trip. A snowmobiling day takes at least from dusk till dawn, and that’s just for a taste.
I strongly recommend and talk about this a lot, and it is for a good reason! The best ice-fishing snowmobile to take with you on long and wide tracks for prolonged periods of time is one possessing a large hauling capacity. It is also important to factor in how much does your snowmobile weigh.
This capacity is crucial from the perspective of storing extra gear and equipment to accommodate longer hours on the mobile.
Moreover, a bigger hauling capacity is essential for hauling cargo and accessories when you need to. Do NOT look over this feature, as it is never disadvantageous to have extra hauling space, but it is when you have no hauling capacity.
Generally, utility snowmobiles have the most tow hitch capacity, whereas touring sleds give you more interior storage, eliminating the need to tow anything.
Another important point worth bringing your attention to here is if you opt for a machine with a high hauling capacity, then ensure its engine power is proportional from that aspect. Without question, utility sleds are your best snowmobiles from this aspect.
Snowmobiles face the same issue whether they are on or off the snow. Moving a big sled through a garage or driveway can be challenging. We are grateful for the dolly. Anybody going through deep snow must carry the best snowmobile dolly with them.
Where cooling your machine engines is concerned, you can choose between two cooling systems; liquid-cooled sled and fan-cooled engines.
The former engine type works by liquifying the snow on the trails to give itself an ice bath every now and again. On the other hand, the latter engine type works with normal fans that we see on a variety of other types of machines.
Liquid-cooled engines are usually placed on heavy-duty machines that require that extra bit of juju. With heat exchangers, coolants, and radiators, liquid-cooling snowmobiles are considered both complicated and high maintenance (not a fan favorite).
Since snow is the primary source of cooling for such machines, icy and hard-packed trails prove to not be of much help, which leads to machine overheating due to inadequate snow reaching the heat exchangers.
However, a completely different mechanism is utilized when it comes to air-cooled snowmobiles.
The engine features a set of thin fins that cover the cylinder’s top, thus increasing its surface area and allowing the fast dispersal of engine heat while cold air generated by cooling fans blows on top.
A fan-cooled mechanism is preferred more than a liquid-cooled system as it doesn’t rely on a supply of snow to function but only cool air (which it gets an abundance of as the snowmobile rapidly travels). In fact, it is a standalone system that may work in freezing and warm temperature.
Depending on how long you prefer your ice fishing trips to be, select a snowmobile with an appropriate fuel capacity. The average ride will usually span from frozen lakes to other lakes till you can find the right place with the help of your fish finder.
These long travels are known to suck up your fuel quite a bit. It’s such a waste if you have to return due to low levels of fuel. And you certainly don’t want to manually store and pack fuel with you.
Ensure that your snowmobile for ice fishing has a bit more capacity than the maximum amount you need till you can go for a refill. There is absolutely no need for lugging around cans of gas.
Track Length And Size
No matter your expertise level or how long you wish to travel on the ice, larger tracks are always recommended. The longer and wider track size make your riding situation more comfortable and seamless.
Since the tracks are the part of the machine that grips the ice and delivers a smooth riding experience, pick wisely.
However, this also greatly depends on where you are going ice fishing. If you see a possibility of traveling on slim tracks, then a large track machine won’t exactly be one of the best snowmobiles to choose from.
Nevertheless, it seems almost silly to compromise on comfort and smooth driving just to travel to a specific area with slim tracks. Not to mention long tracks are a lot more prevalent than narrow ones.
There’s plenty of fish in the sea! Don’t skirt the pleasure of a great experience.
Built-in storage is non-negotiable! Ice fishing sleds are practically useless if you can’t have space and storage for all your gear.
Equipment like your snowmobile gloves, warmest snowmobile jacket, camera, snowmobile GPS tracker, spare clothes, snacks, drinks, and sunscreen needs to have a place in your vehicle. Not just that, but you also need ample place to put the fish you have caught as well.
If built-in storage options are a bit smaller and you feel like you will need a lot more than that, then check if there is a place for placing additional storage cargo racks or, even better, a spot to hook up a sled to haul your necessary items.
How to Set up a Snowmobile for Ice Fishing?
This is a question of pure preference, as all ice fishermen vary in their methods and technique. Some prefer to have extra tie-downs and spare straps for all their extra equipment. Others make it a habit to sharpen their carbides before a big trip. You pick accordingly.
How to Prepare to Put Skis on an Ice Fishing Sled?
There is no specific sort of skis that are meant for ice fishing sleds only. In fact, any type of ski, for this matter, shall do. The only important factor is that they should have excellent wear guards and carbides to provide good traction while trail riding.
These 2 aspects will make or break your trip as they keep you in control of your machine (specifically when traveling at higher speeds)
Can I Use a Regular Sled for Ice Fishing?
Absolutely! Just double-check that the trail you’re going on and your track size fit together. Next, make sure the engine hours on that sled are befitting the amount of time you’re ice fishing and traveling for.
Which Kind of Snowmobile Is Best for Ice Fishing?
Yes! There is not really a significant category for ice fishing sleds. However, as discussed above, when it comes to cooling systems, you have to pick one that is self-sufficient, like an air-cooled model. With a liquid-cooled system, you have to be extra careful not to let the machine overheat.
How Thick Does Deep Snow Need to Be to Support a Snowmobile?
Do not travel on snow lesser than 5 inches thick. That is the minimum. The more…, the better!
Your engine and cooling system must be your focus when buying snowmobiles, as they are the determining factors that can make or break your time on the trails.
Moreover, make sure you keep your budget in mind and buy accordingly but never shirk on storage space. Wherever you can find extra storage space, go for it! You won’t regret it.