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Device for melting ice at a fish hole in the ice

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Title: Device for melting ice at a fish hole in the ice.
Abstract: The device for melting ice at a fish hole in the ice includes an enclosure having first and second sidewalls hingedly connected to first and second end walls together with a cover formed in two portions, each cover portion hingedly connected to a sidewall. A partial bottom is hingedly connected to an end wall. One of the cover portions is formed with an opening through which a fish line extends into the enclosure with the cover portions closed and carries a window for visual inspection of an ice hole over which the device is placed. One of said cover portions has a baffle connected thereto which extends into the enclosure with a heat shield mounted on the underside of the cover and over the partial bottom, creating a heated chamber, with an opening in one outside wall through which heat is provided by an external propane heat source. ...

- Cloquet, MN, US
Inventor: Emil E. Godbout
USPTO Applicaton #: #20060185198 - Class: 037227000 (USPTO) -

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Related Patent Categories: Excavating, Snow Or Ice Removing Or Grooming By Portable Device, With Melter
The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20060185198, Device for melting ice at a fish hole in the ice.


[0001] The invention relates to a device for preventing the formation of ice at a hole in the ice covering a lake.

[0002] Numerous patents have been developed to aid individuals interested in ice fishing with keeping their ice fishing hole from freezing over. Many inventors have tried to improve on this inventor's prior patent U.S. Pat. No. 4,131,107 issued Dec. 26, 1978 to Godbout. Most include some type of containment design around the ice hole, similar to Godbout. One makes use of a semi-collapsible design similar to Godbout. Many include a tip-up device for alerting when a fish is on the line as an improvement.

[0003] This inventor's prior design (Godbout) called for use of a combustible internal heat source such as "Sterno" T. M. canned heat. Many follow-on patents use candles as an internal heat source (see U.S. Pat. No. 5,598,656 issued to Strasser; U.S. Pat. No. 4,945,668 issued to Keller; U.S. Pat. No. 5,282,333 issued to Klinkhamer), although some rely on other combustible materials as an internal heat source such as charcoal briquettes (see U.S. Pat. No. 4,662,099 issued to Stewart; U.S. Pat. No. 4,253,262 issued to Johnson), and several make use of solar energy designs (see U.S. Pat. No. 4,980,986 issued to Harper; U.S. Pat. No. 4,953,317 issued to Ruchel).

[0004] These prior art designs make use of heat sources which are not easily controllable and therefore cannot provide consistent performance with varying temperature conditions. Ice fishing can involve temperatures ranging from thirty degrees Fahrenheit above zero to thirty degrees Fahrenheit below zero or colder, making a heat source that is adequate when temperatures are higher entirely lacking when temperatures drop significantly lower. If there is any wind, lighting a candle or charcoal even in a semi-protected enclosure can be difficult if not impossible, and significant windchill can rob heat even more quickly causing ice holes to freeze over quickly even when protected with prior art devices.

[0005] What is needed then, is a device for melting ice at a fish hole which is simple and easy to use, which allows for quick and efficient setup, which is portable for ease of carrying to and from a fish hole, which is inexpensive enough that anyone interested in ice fishing can afford to own and use it, and in particular, which makes use of an external heat source such as a propane torch, that is portable, easy to start, can produce high or low heat, is easily adjustable and can provide simple, consistent and controllable heat.


[0006] The device for melting ice at a fish hole in the ice includes an enclosure having sidewalls and end walls with a first partial cover which covers an open bottom portion positioned at a hole in the ice and is formed with a recess portion through which a fish line is extended for operation in the hole in the ice. A partial bottom portion adjacent to the hole in the ice with an opening in an adjacent exterior wall for providing heat from an external propane heat source and creating a heating chamber adjacent to the ice hole. A second partial cover in alignment with the first partial cover with a heat shield mounted on the underside of the cover and overlying the partial bottom, the second partial cover carries a baffle which directs heat downwardly from the partial top where it spreads laterally to the open bottom portion to prevent ice from forming at the ice hole. The sidewalls and end walls are hingedly connected together and the partial bottom is hinged to an end wall together with the partial covers hinged to the sidewalls whereby the entire device may be folded into a relatively flat state for carrying and storing.


[0007] The present invention may be understood from the description of the embodiment which follows and from the accompanying drawings. The drawings are hereby expressly made a part of the specification.

[0008] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a device for melting ice at a fish hole in closed operative condition and embodying the invention.

[0009] FIG. 2 is a perspective view similar to FIG. 1 but with both covers in open position.

[0010] FIG. 3 is a view on the line 3-3 of FIG. 2.

[0011] FIG. 4 is a sectional view on the line 4-4 of FIG. 1.

[0012] FIG. 5 is a sectional view on the line 5-5 of FIG. 4.

[0013] FIG. 6 is a longitudinal side view of the device in folded condition.


[0014] Reference is made herein to the attached drawings. Like reference numerals are used throughout the various drawings to depict like or similar elements of the claimed device for melting ice at a fish hole.

[0015] Referring to the drawings in detail, the device for melting ice at a fish hole A is in the form of a box-like enclosure and it includes the first sidewall 10 hingedly connected at one end to the second end wall 12 by means of the hinge 14. The sidewall 10 is hingedly connected at the other end by the hinge 16. Further provided is the first end wall 18 connected at one end to the hinge 16 and at the other end to the hinge 20 with the hinge 20 connected to one end of the second sidewall 22. The other end of the second sidewall 22 is connected to the hinge 24 which is connected to the other end of the second end wall 12.

[0016] The numeral 26 designates a first partial cover including the flat portion 28 formed with the opening 30 over which is secured the inspection glass 32 by means of the frame 34 secured by the metal screws 36. The partial cover 26 is hingedly connected at one edge to the upper edge of the first sidewall 10 by means of the hinge 38. The cover 26 also includes the first depending flange 40 which aligns alongside the first end wall 18 when the cover is closed upon the sidewalls 10 and 22. Formed on an edge of the partial cover 26 is the second depending flange 42 adapted to align alongside the second sidewall 22 when the cover is closed upon the sidewalls, FIG. 1 in particular. The partial cover 26 allows easy access to the hole H in the ice. The flat portion 28 of the cover 26 is formed with the access opening 44.

[0017] Further provided is the second partial cover 46 which includes the flat portion 48 hingedly connected at one edge to the sidewall 22 by means of the hinge 50. The cover 46 allows easy access to the heating chamber. Formed on the cover portion 48 is the flange 52 which aligns alongside the end wall 12 when the cover 46 is closed and the flange 54 which aligns alongside the sidewall 10, when the cover 46 is closed. The inner edge of cover 46 is formed with the flange 56 which extends partially into the device when the cover is closed and acts as a heat baffle as will be seen. The flange 56 is formed with the series of holes 58 to allow heat transfer as will be seen.

[0018] The numeral 60 designates a heat shield formed of the flat plate portion 62 on one edge of which is formed the flange 64 secured to the flange 56 by means of the rivets 66. The outer face edge of the shield 60 is formed with the flange 68 the edge of which is adjacent the underside of the cover 48. The shield is so positioned on the flange 56 that it is spaced from the underside of the plate portion 48. The extent of the partial cover 46 and partial cover 26 is such that the cover 26 overlaps a portion of cover 46 as at "X," FIG. 4 in particular, to thereby seal off the entire enclosure.

[0019] The end wall 18 is formed with the inspection opening 70 covered by the glass 72 and held in place by the frame 74 secured to the wall 18 by means of the screws 76. The numeral 92 designates a reinforcing plate attached to the sidewall 22 by screws 94 and though which an opening 90 provides access to the heating chamber for an external heat source He as will be seen. The access opening 90 can be on either sidewall or the end wall adjacent to the heating chamber. The numeral 78 designates a partial bottom which extends from sidewall 10 to sidewall 22 and is hingedly connected to end wall 12 by means of hinge 80. Secured to the opposed side edges of the bottom 78 are the upstanding flanges 81 and 82 which align alongside the sidewalls 10 and 22, respectively, when the hinged bottom is in operative contact with the lower edges of the sidewalls 10 and 22.

[0020] It will be seen that from the inner edge of the partial bottom 78 to the end wall 18 the enclosure is open.

[0021] In use, the device A is positioned with the open portion of the bottom over the hole H in the ice 1. The cover portions 26 and 46 are both opened as in FIG. 2. An external heat source such as a propane torch He is placed next to the device A with the torch nozzle extending through the wall opening 90 and resting on the reinforcing plate 92 attached to the sidewall 22 and ignited and the cover 46 closed upon the sidewalls. Bait on a fish line L is then placed in the hole H. The cover 26 is then closed with the line L extended outwardly through the access opening 44. Heat created from the source He is shielded from the top cover 46 by means of the shield 60 when the cover is placed in closed position. Further, heat emanating from the source He is directed downwardly from the top 48 by means of the baffle 56 and the heat then spreads laterally into the area of the device surrounding the ice hole H where it keeps the water in the hole H from freezing and the possibility of fish on the line L can be easily viewed through either the glass 32 or the glass 72.

[0022] When a fish is indicated on the line L the cover 26 is opened and the line and fish removed from the device. When the device is not in use the same may be collapsed down into a somewhat flat compact posture as illustrated in FIG. 6 for easy carrying and storage. The device may be constructed of metal, a non-brittle heat resistant plastic, or any other suitable material.

[0023] The method and embodiment of the present invention shown and discussed are by way of illustration and not of limitation, and a wide variety of equivalent methods and embodiments may be made without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention.

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Application #
US 20060185198 A1
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