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tweeder

Positive Fat Fish house review

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tweeder

I have been reading a lot on here about the Fat fish houses getting a bad rap for a few issues, I wanted to share some of my experiences that were positive in case someone is considering one.

Note: I do not work for eskimo, or am being asked or paid(I wish) by them in any capacity, come to think of it this is the first eskimo product i think i have ever owned, anyways...

I have the big big fat fish, sorry I don't know the exact name, just googled it, it’s the 9416.

I got it at the ice show this year for a killer price as i have got to know one of the retailers there and it was late Sunday and he didn't want to haul it back to the store. I have a frabril predator with i really like but if you want to fish more than 2 you’re out of luck. So i was looking at a hub style house to get the kids, dog, wife extended family that once or twice a year want to come out and fish, but mainly for the kids.

First off clearly this thing is a monster, it says it can fish 9, I wouldn’t fish 9 but I would not be against fishing 6 adults in there, it’s huge! They also show it being carried on the ice like a backpack, okay sure the stuff sack for it has straps but I wouldn’t last long doing that and would have no luck bringing anything else with me, so get a sled for it or wait till you can drive.

I was up on leech this past weekend and used it for 3 days and this is what I found.

Set up: I set it up by myself once at the cabin for a trial run, and three times on the ice. One day I had my 7yr nephew help as there was 20-25mph winds (according to weather.com)but outside of that it was all me. Super easy to set up. First day I used no anchors of any kind as it was calm. 2nd day I used two Ice Angel anchors with the provided ropes on the two hubs that were facing the wind, more so that I could try out the Ice Angels than anything.

Wind Stability: This was my biggest concern AFTER buying it I read of others having problems with the poles and hubs not staying in place. With 20-25mph winds I was not even going to bother but we were on leech and I wasn’t going to sit at the cabin and watch others fish, so we went out. I used my truck for a wind block and I do think that helped some but it took a calculated approach to setting it up and not having it blow away. I laid out the house on the ice, hooked up the two Ice Angels on the windy side then popped open the tent, it blew in right away and I thought we were done. I moved the house away from the Ice Angels so they pulled more horizontally than vertically and that helped, I then used the ice screw anchors that came with the house in 6 spots, (each corner and one in the middle on each long side). That house rocked and rattled but in 2.5hrs it never came down. One thing to note, I put the heater on the downwind side just in case the windy side did collapse.

Take down: Taking it down is as easier than setting it up. I also was able to get it back in the bag it came with all 3 times, by myself, on the ice without any extra straps. Maybe the bag for the big one is better suited but I was worried about that after reading on here but I have had no issues.

Overall impression: I was nearly ready to bring mine back before I took it out of the box after reading about it on here but I am so glad I didn’t. the one I have is so big we basically fished out of one half and the dog and kids played on the other half with no issues, the fact I can set it up and take it down by myself is even better. I have not had problems with poles being too tight, getting it back in the bag, or wind stability once I set up the Anchors.

I used my Mr Heater/Cooker to heat the place, never went more than “low”, probably could have bumped it up a notch one of the afternoons but I could have put my jacket as well. It wasn’t super cold but I suspect a heater like that would take care of the place fine for 95% of the days I will fish in it.

I couldn’t be happier with the purchase. Don’t be afraid to look at the 9416 if you looking for the biggest portable you can find that is easy to set up and take down.

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Zmar

I've found that taking a cordless drill to make a pilot hole before screwing the anchors in really helps, especially in windy conditions. I have an Easy Fish 3 I bought last year and had to chase it a good distance across Woman Lake when a snow squall came out of the north and I didn't have it anchored. Bunny boots and 6" of slush would have made an interesting vid had someone been there. Good report.

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tweeder

I probably should have mentioned about the ice anchors that I used on the shelter itself (I think it came with about 8 of them) I wasn't sure how those would go in, but the eskimo ones went in pretty smooth actually. I think a drill could help but i feel like i fill my yukon xl up already with [PoorWordUsage] so don't want to bring another thing along!

The ice angels were given to me and I thought those would be better for pulling/holding the hubs into the wind and they worked nicely.

good advice about putting something in the ice with it incase the wind comes up, if that happened the first day i was out with it i would have been screwed cause it was just sitting on the ice free as a bird.

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govikes211

Glad to see a positive review for the Fat Fish. I'm tempted to buy one, but I think I'm gonna wait til the end of the season or wait for their updated version

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tweeder

after reading more here and talking to more owners, it seems the insulated version is the one that is having the biggest problem. not sure if that extra weight is the problem or not.

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54fighting

I too was a little hesitant after reading a couple reviews but went ahead and got the larger uninsulated one on sale. I have to say for the price I could not be happier. Only been able to use this a couple of times so far this year but both times i fished 4 people in there and we had plenty of space. The second time we had a good wind going on Mille Lacs and had no issues. I found if you set it up with a corner facing the wind and then us the tie downs on the two sides adjacent to that corner we had not issues at all. I did change out the cheap tie down straps they give you with longer trailer tie downs. I think this helped and we were able to move the anchors a little farther from the house and get a getter angle. All in all I have to give this unit a thumbs up. Hope it keeps working.

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