A $50,000 ice fishing house

An engineer and fishing enthusiast develops a mobile fish house for ice fishing, complete with high-end accoutrements.

By Aviva Erlich, FSB Magazine

(FSB Magazine) -- In past years ice fishing meant pitching a small "fish house" onto the ice, chiseling a hole, and hoping you'd chosen a spot with hungry fish.

That was until Tom Lykken, engineer, avid fisherman and co-owner of SnoBear Industries (snow-bear.com), based in West Fargo, N.D., developed the world's first motorized fish house in his garage.

The SnoBear is a fully equipped fish house that can be driven along the ice on tracks and skis. It lowers itself at the flip of a switch, and built-in power drills cut as many as six fishing holes into the lake's surface.

The vehicles, which cost from $33,000 to $50,000, can be customized with anything from satellite TV to GPS-enabled fish-tracking devices. They also come equipped with escape hatches, just in case.

"Summer fishing went from rowboats to speedboats, and ice fishing has too," says co-owner Greg Hatten. "We've created a wintertime boat."

The SnoBear is now in its second year on the market. The company, which employees a staff of 15, took in just under $3 million last year; it expects revenues to double in 2007.

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