Best Snowmobile For Ice Fishing

10 Best Snowmobile For Ice Fishing | 2024 Purchase Guide

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Ice fishing is a terrific way to pass the time in the winter when everything outside is virtually frozen solid. A good snowmobile is also required if you wish to go ice fishing in a rather difficult-to-access region. But the right snowmobile is difficult to choose and also important for this specific task.

Here we will help you decide your best snowmobile for ice fishing. But before that, we will discuss some important questions and factors to consider before making your purchase.

Top 10 Snowmobiles For Ice Fishing

Are Snowmobiles Safe to Ride on Ice?

Snowmobiles are built to operate in almost any type of winter environment imaginable, including ice. However, there are some factors to consider when purchasing a snowmobile that shines on ice.

One of these factors is traction, and riding on hard-packed ice can be a completely different sensation than riding in heavy snow. These factors determine how well our snowmobile will work under different conditions.

Most snowmobiles will work perfectly fine on ice as the main principle of movement remains the same. Just make sure that the ice is not completely free of friction otherwise you will get stuck with your snowmobile.

How To Choose The Correct Snowmobile For Ice Fishing?

Choose The Correct Snowmobile For Ice Fishing
Credit: Snowmobile

While any type of snowmobile can be used for ice fishing, fan-cooled models perform better than liquid-cooled ones. This is because fan-cooled sleds do not require snow to cool. The fan handles all of the efforts of pumping cool air onto the engine and keeps it running while you’re on the ice.

Snow must be directed up onto the heat deflector of liquid-cooled snowmobiles for the system to function effectively. Unless you run ice-scratchers, this isn’t always possible when riding on ice. Therefore it becomes important to use a fan-cooled snowmobile on ice.

What To Consider When Buying A Snowmobile For Ice Fishing

Here are a few things to think about while selecting a snowmobile for ice fishing. Without considering these factors, you might get in trouble if you use just any snowmobile on ice.

The Cooling System
The Cooling System
Credit: Power Sports

As previously stated, a fan-cooled system is preferable to a liquid-cooled system for ice fishing. A fan-cooled snowmobile can keep the engine cool without needing more snow whereas a liquid-cooled snowmobile for ice fishing will cause some troubles.

The cylinder head of the air or fan-cooled engine is covered by a network of thin fins. As cool air rushes over them via a network of cooling fans, these fins enhance the surface area of the cylinder head and aid in the rapid dissipation of engine heat.

Without snow, in freezing weather, or at milder temps, the system cools properly. When the sled is moving, cold air is tunneled to the cylinder heads via a series of air scoops on the body and shroud of the snowmobile.

Because of its capacity to cool effectively in low or no snow circumstances, the fan-cooled engine is the best choice for ice fishing.


Any snowmobile should be dependable, but this becomes much more vital when venturing off the usual road to a remote ice-fishing area. If you break down out here, there won’t be much aid available.

As an excellent beginning point for dependability, look for models created by reputable manufacturers. Many people believe that 2-stroke snowmobiles are more reliable than 4-stroke ones, yet current 4-strokes can also be used.

Capacity for Towing/Hauling
Credit: Off-Roading Pro

If you plan on going on an extended ice fishing expedition, the towing or pulling capacity of your sled becomes important. You should be able to bring all of the necessary gear, equipment, and supplies without comprising on speed and maneuverability.

Utility sleds are frequently the greatest choice for towing capability and come equipped with all of the connectors required to haul behind. Touring sleds will have a wider profile, allowing you to carry more gear on the sled without towing.

Engine Power

The least engine size you should consider for ice fishing is 450cc. This is the perfect balance between power and economy. Anything less would make it difficult to propel your sled over deeper snow and tough frozen terrain and you might get stuck there.

Another factor to consider is weight. If you are going to tow heavy equipment or goods, then having an engine above 600cc is recommended. If not then our above recommendation should be enough.

Drivetrain and Transmissions
Drivetrain and Transmissions
Credit: AMSOIL Blog

Snowmobiles use a CVT transmission, which stands for Constantly Variable Transmission. All of this implies that centrifugal force causes a pair of clutches to transfer the drive belt to different pulleys at different rates in order to cause gear changes or shifting. The technology is similar to the automatic transmission in your car.

The drive system consists of a chain that directs power to the tracks and into the earth. There is no such thing as reverse gear. You shift the sled into reverse by pulling a lever that alters the rotational direction of the gears.

The same is true when purchasing a used snowmobile. Choose a sled with a wider, longer track. Wide tracks provide more traction, but they slow you down slightly.


Individual A-arms and fully adjustable coil-over spring-loaded shocks are preferred for front suspensions. Make a decent front end as well for smooth steering and minimal wear.

The rear suspension is more complicated. To dampen shock absorption and side-to-side roll, they use mid and rear-independent A-arms with coil-over spring-loaded shocks gliding on dual side rails. Check that the shocks are fully adjustable.

The suspension system is not a place to cut corners. It is preferable to use the greatest suspension components you can afford. A well-tuned suspension can be the difference between being beaten up and feeling ready for more.

Fuel Capacity
Capacity for fuel
Credit: Snowmobile Association of Massachusetts

Another thing to note is that when it comes to picking snowmobiles, fuel capacity is very important. The top bikes will have adequate gasoline range and gas capacity to get you through your entire day excursion without needing to refill.

You want a high horsepower engine because these engines are designed to run on low-octane fuel. Also, high cc engines will consume significantly more fuel so keep this in mind to have a balance between power and economy.


The size of the snowmobile is significant since it must fit into small locations without hurting anything. If your machine is too enormous, it won’t be able to go between obstacles, and other individuals will have difficulty maneuvering on a large piece of equipment when things are in their way.

As a result, a compact snowmobile is usually the greatest choice for fishing because it’s small enough to move around obstacles while also being large enough that you won’t feel cramped or uncomfortable while riding it.

Snowmobiles come in a variety of forms and sizes, so no matter what kind of weather your area suffers, there should be something out there created just for your needs.

Planning a snowmobile trip? Make sure to check our 15 Best Snowmobile Places In Michigan 2023 article.

Best Snowmobile For Ice Fishing

Ski-Doo Skandic

Ski-Doo Skandic 11 Best Snowmobile For Ice Fishing
Credit: Ski-Doo

The Ski-Doo is ideal for ice fishing since it features a powerful engine, excellent brakes, front lights, and an easy-to-clean fuel tank. Its powerful engine provides the power you need to get started, while the SC-5U with ACS provides smooth flying over any terrain.

With utility-inspired features like stroke max power adjustment, which gives users complete control over how much horsepower is provided per wheel, this monstrous machine makes the task fun again. This makes it one of the best snowmobile for ice fishing.

With a perfectly sized track, this snowmobile has everything you need to conquer any conditions making it a highly recommended ice-fishing snowmobile.

The Ski-Doo Exploration is a symbol of both liberty and adventure. The ergonomic handlebar provides instinctual security, and the big snowmobile footprints allow for simple transforming at higher speeds on off-trail terrain, a nod to its free-roaming past.

This unit can easily handle large footprints; it has great flotation capabilities that will keep you safe while working in deep powder or heavy slush difficulties, as well as a nimble handling style ideal for taking on any surface thrown at them during long days on-site!

Yamaha Venom Transporter Lite

The trail model has a newly developed lightweight frame, which helps to keep the price low, making it Yamaha’s entry-level sled and an excellent fit for both rookie riders and kids. Its 2-stroke engine is very powerful to conquer the snow and ice terrain.

The Venom Transport Lite is a superior choice because it has a longer and wider track than the SX Venom making it a superior track. The Transporter Lite also includes a large built-in baggage rack to keep your essentials.

The route design employs a newly developed lightweight chassis that aids in price restraint, making it Yamaha’s entry-level snowmobile and an excellent choice for both novice motorcyclists and amateurs.

  • Engine Power: 400cc
  • Track Dimensions: 146x16x1.6 inch
  • Dry Weight: 215kg/475lbs
  • Price Range: ~$9,499
  • Official Site: 2023 Yamaha Transporter-Lite

Polaris Voyageur 155

The Polaris Voyageur 155 should be a good choice for our readers. Polaris’ entry boasts a powerful 2-stroke, fan fan-cooled engine designed for intermediate and advanced riders.

The Polaris Cobra track, combined with broad Pro Float skis, bites deep into any frozen lake or hard-packed snow. The RMK adjustable suspension travels nine inches, while the articulated rear suspension travels fifteen inches.

This recreational/utility sled has an integrated luggage rack and towing hitch, which are useful for hauling timber or ice fishing gear. And the Pro-Ride front suspension and the Voyageurs articulated rear suspension let you stay in control, whether you’re hauling goods or riding trails making it one of the best snowmobile for ice fishing.

The Voyageur 155’s drive mechanism is an older model chaincase drive. The chains might extend and must be adjusted on a regular basis so this should be in consideration if you choose to buy this vehicle.

  • Engine Power: 550cc
  • Track Dimensions: 15 x 155 x 1.6 Cobra Track
  • Dry Weight: 217kg/478.5lb
  • Price Range: ~$8,799
  • Official Site: NA

Polaris Titan Adventure 155

Polaris Titan Adventure 155
Credit: Snowmobile

This is the snowmobile you buy for ice fishing, logging, trail riding, and whatever else a snowmobile can accomplish. It comes with a 4-stroke, liquid-cooled sled at first, so it’s larger, but the Titan’s 800cc high output clean fire fuel-injected engine, along with the long and broad Cobra track, will quickly propel the sled through whatever conditions you encounter.

The suspension is a fantastic combination of a verbalized adjustable back suspension and the AXYS front suspension, with flexible Fox QS3 shocks in all pivot points. There are 9.5 inches of travel in the front and 16.5 inches in the back.

Titan’s AXYS system positions the rider for simple riding whether alone, with a traveler, or pulling freight. It offers outstanding control in all riding circumstances and provides ideal convenience as well as excellent handling in fresh deep snow or on windswept frozen lakes.

You may also like Top 13 Places To Snowmobile In Colorado 2023.

The Yamaha Transport 800 

The Yamaha Transport 800 
Credit: Yamaha Motor

The Yamaha Transport is a sturdy utility snowmobile with a C-TEC 2-stroke, fan-cooled, two-cylinder engine that provides both lightweight and power. This vehicle is one of the best snowmobiles for ice fishing.

Arctic Cat and Yamaha collaborated on the 165 horsepower, 794cc C-TEC, 2-stroke engine. This engine provides agility and power. A Camso Bear Claw track delivers power to the ground and effortlessly carries you and your gear to and from any fishing location.

Mountain skis and seats, as well as a built-in luggage rack and tow hitch, make this sled a fantastic choice for ice anglers.

  • Engine Power: 794cc
  • Track Dimensions: 153x16x2.25 Camso Bear Claw track
  • Dry Weight: 215kg/475lbs
  • Price Range: ~$12,999
  • Official Site: Yamaha Transporter 800

2019 Yamaha VK 540 Utility Snowmobile

Yamaha VK 540, has a long history and a good reputation for dependability. This selection is a three to four-year-old sled whose former owner took the blow on depreciation, so you may purchase one for a fair price.

It sports a 535cc fan-cooled twin-cylinder engine with a naturally aspirated, heated Mikuni carburetor. The 2019 engine consumed approximately 25% more gas than the current models which means efficiency has been improved significantly.

Polaris designed the frame to work in any weather situation. It grips frozen lakes with a Casmo Cobra WT track. As a utility sled, the VK 540 can withstand the strain of heavy towing, so you can trust it to transport your ice fishing gear.

Struts are used in the front suspension for smooth handling. A used Yamaha VK 540 is definitely worth considering because, with care, it can tow your fishing gear for years to come at a fraction of the cost of a new sled.

Arctic Cat Norseman

Arctic Cat’s introduction of the 8000 model with the 2-stroke engine was a perfect choice. Even more intriguing, the X version has a track with 2.25″ studs for added traction in heavy snow. The Arctic Cat Norseman is another excellent ice-fishing setup. This sport utility snowmobile offers everything you need for extended days on the ice away from home, where the fishing is fantastic.

With its 160 horsepower, the Norseman X 8000 has nothing to envy the competition. The engine, which was completely revamped in 2018, provides plenty of torque from low to high revs. The exhaust makes an exhilarating sound, and you want to play with the snowmobile more.

It has the Arctic Drive System with TEAM Rapid Response pulleys in the transmission, which works flawlessly. The smooth ride and efficiency for swift take-offs and retakes without delay astound us.

This combination is slightly more expensive than previous energy versions and also includes a liquid-cooled system.

  • Engine Power: 800cc
  • Track Dimensions: 153x132x2.25 inch
  • Dry Weight: 253.1kg/558lbs
  • Price Range: ~$13,495
  • Official Site: Norseman X | Arctic Cat

Ski-Doo Tundra Sport 550

Ski-Doo Tundra Sport 550
Credit: Ski-Doo

The new Ski-Doo Tundra Sport 550 snowmobile has several outstanding features for ice fishing. This snowmobile has a Rotex 600 ACE engine and an electric start for power and pleasure.

The Tundra Sport 550 includes cargo racks and a tow bar as standard equipment, allowing you to tow your favorite trailer behind you. It also offers the option of installing all-season or studded tracks, allowing it to be used in any weather.

The twin DS 2 skis have a single keel for an outstanding side-hilling bite on any terrain, allowing you to save money on petrol by easing off the throttle when ascending or descending steep hills.

Its Hydraulic Disc braking system and unique REV-XU suspension system allow the rider to move and influence the sled more freely. This snowmobile is outfitted with a robust engine capable of providing significant power even when traveling at medium speeds or uphill.

It comes with cargo racks and the option of installing studded tracks, allowing you to use it in any weather making it a perfect small snowmobile for ice fishing.

Ski-Doo Expedition SE

The Ski-Doo is ideal for ice fishing since it features a powerful engine that will bring you far, excellent brakes for sudden stops, front lights, and an easy-to-clean fuel tank.

The Ski-Doo Expedition SE is a versatile snowmobile. The Turbo engines provide the power you need to get started, while the SC-5U with ACS provides smooth flying over any terrain.

With a Cobra track, a 7.8-inch wide LCD color screen (option), and Pilot TM 7.4 Skis, this snowmobile has everything you need to conquer any mountain or powder stash out there!

The ergonomic handlebar provides instinctual security, and the big snowmobile footprints allow for simple transforming at higher speeds on off-trail terrain, a nod to its free-roaming past.

This unit can easily handle large footprints; it has great flotation capabilities that will keep you safe while working in deep powder or heavy slush difficulties, as well as a nimble handling style ideal for taking on any surface thrown at them during long days on-site!

With utility-inspired features like stroke max power adjustment, which gives users complete control over how much horsepower is provided per wheel, this monstrous machine makes the task fun again.

Arctic Cat Pantera 7000

Arctic Cat Pantera 7000
Credit: YouTube

Arctic Cat Pantera 7000 is a beast of snow. With its powerful 4-stroke engine, it can sprint through heavy snow and also reliably carry your essentials almost anywhere. It is quite simple to handle this snowmobile. The driver’s seat has been warmed, allowing the driver to remain comfortable.

In this case, the lorry is spacious and highly pleasant for the driver to sit and take long drives. This design has a high fuel capacity while also being reasonably priced. The majority of individuals are considering getting this because of its ease of use and low maintenance costs.

While ice fishing and snowmobiling, it is preferable if you have the opportunity to inspect the key details of your vehicle at all times. You may do the same with ease thanks to the LCD display scale.

It includes 14 distinct readings, such as a speedometer, engine hours, battery voltage, consumption air temperature level, and more. Because convenience is very vital, the backrest is very simple to change to the vehicle driver’s taste.

It includes a large detachable storage compartment. You can take it off when you don’t need it and put it back on when you do. It can also be secured for added security. It is really beneficial to pack the appropriate equipment to enjoy ice fishing.

  • Engine Power: 1049cc
  • Track Dimensions: 129x48x15 inch
  • Dry Weight: 347.9kg/767lbs
  • Price Range: ~$15,499
  • Official Site: NA

Make sure to check our article on Top 14 Places To Snowmobile In Idaho 2023.

Snowmobile Ice Fishing Setup


A GPS/sonar unit will be mounted on the snowmobiles of savvy hard-water anglers. It enables them to instantly load lake maps to the GPS, so they know which body of water they are heading out on. It also enables the identification of ice features such as pressure ridges and fissures, which can be dangerous, especially if you’re out after dark. For this reason, most big-water anglers will not venture out without a GPS gadget.

The benefit of having a sonar unit on the vehicle is that fishermen may drill a test hole and evaluate the depth and activity of the snowmobile without having to unpack all of their gear first. There are some very affordable units that work well for this setup and can even be used from within the ice shanty.

Click here to check out some good GPS/Sonars on Amazon.


You’ll need a studded track to grip the ice. A person with average mechanical ability may stud a track in an afternoon using only a few tools. Studs provide traction on ice and hard surfaces while maintaining ride quality and traction on snow and powder.

Click here to check out some good studs on Amazon.

Drilling Holes

Drilling Holes
Credit: Pexels

The third item of equipment you should think about while preparing your snowmobile for ice fishing is something for drilling holes in the ice. Above all else, you must be able to reach the fish. Augers have also gone a long way. Hand augers are affordable, but they require a lot of time and work.

Powered augers are superior and make ice fishing far more enjoyable. Traditional gas augers work fine, but there is a much superior alternative. Electric augers use a Lithium-Ion battery that, when charged, allows them to drill holes all day while being faster and quieter than gas augers.

Click here to check out some good augers on Amazon.

Portable Shelter

Portable Shelter
Credit: Pexels

When you’re out on the ice, you should have the proper equipment to have a good experience. A portable shelter is quite useful for a variety of reasons. It primarily serves to keep you out of the harsh wind and cold.

The gloomy interior lets you see more of what’s happening beneath the ice. If the lake water is clear and you’re interested in fishing, you can usually get a nice view of the action. These shelters are also ideal for parking your snowmobile behind and out of the wind.

Click here to check out some good portable shelters on Amazon.

Towing Haul

A solid tow-behind gear sled is another useful piece of equipment to consider when preparing your snowmobile for ice fishing. When it comes to transporting all of your stuff around on the ice, having one can make a tremendous difference.

This concludes our article on 11 Best Snowmobile For Ice Fishing | 2023 Purchase Guide. We hope you like this and find this helpful. Please share and comment down your suggestions below.

You may also like 5 Safety Tips To Survive An Avalanche On A Snowmobile.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What type of snowmobile is best for ice fishing?

Following are some of the best snowmobile for ice fishing:
1. Ski-Doo Skandic
2. Yamaha Venom Transporter Lite
3. Polaris Voyageur 155
4. Polaris Titan Adventure 155
5. The Yamaha Transport 800 
6. 2019 Yamaha VK 540 Utility Snowmobile
7. Yamaha Transport 800
8. Arctic Cat Norseman
9. Yamaha Venom Transporter Lite
10. Ski-Doo Tundra Sport 550

What is the most reliable snowmobile of all time?

Yamaha 4-stroke sleds are widely regarded as the most dependable sleds of all time. Having said that, regardless of market share, Yamaha is the most dependable snowmobile brand in the industry.

What is better fan cooled or liquid-cooled snowmobile?

Liquid-cooled snowmobiles will improve your performance in a variety of ways. A liquid-cooled engine will provide you with a greater engine size as well as increased speed, power, and torque. But under certain circumstances, fan-cooled snowmobiles are preferred.

What is the most powerful snowmobile?

Yamaha Sidewinder SRX LE 2022 The Yamaha Sidewinder SRX LE is back to defend its title as the fastest-production snowmobile in the world. The SRX will bring you to the end of the lake first, thanks to its Genesis 998 Turbo engine and carefully calibrated iQS, electronically controlled suspension.

What is better 2 stroke or 4-stroke snowmobiles?

A 2-stroke engine consumes oil yet is less expensive, snappier, and weighs far less than a 4-stroke engine. The 2-stroke, on the other hand, will necessitate a bit more upkeep.

About the author
Rahul Gupta


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