Best ATV's For Ice Fishing | Hunt or Shred

ATVs are becoming more popular in the ice fishing scene. They are a great alternative to walking and carrying heavy gear, but you need the best one.

The six best ATVs for ice fishing include the Suzuki KingQuad 400ASi, Yamaha Kodiak 450, Kawasaki Brute Force 300, Polaris Sportsman 450 H.O., Can-Am Outlander 450, and Honda FourTrax Recon. We only recommend lightweight ATVs with rugged tires for unique and icy conditions.

The best ATVs for ice fishing have powerful engines, tough construction, and good traction capabilities. We have gathered reviews through various tests to provide an honest review on these six machines to improve your riding ability and ice fishing experience.  

Table of contents


6 Best ATVs For Ice Fishing

ATVs for ice fishing are a very popular purchase among ice fishermen. They are essential pieces of equipment in the winter and come in all shapes and sizes.

The best ATV for ice fishing can perform well on the ice. It should be sturdy enough to withstand tough conditions and have a good engine. They should also be able to carry a lot of gear without weighing down the vehicle too much.

While many options exist, some models have been proven to be better than others. We have compiled a list of the best ATVs for ice fishing based on their features, design, and performance.

Suzuki KingQuad 400ASi

The Suzuki KingQuad 400ASi is a great ATV option for ice fishing. This four-wheeler has a powerful, fuel-injected, 4-stroke 376cc engine and tracks well on snow, making it perfect for ice fishing.

It also has an automatic transmission, which makes it easy to control and maneuver in tough terrain. The high ground clearance and durable design make it perfect for the job, and it also weighs around 600 pounds.

The QuadMatic transmission increases ATV performance allowing the rugged body machine to handle with precision, even on slick surfaces. The ATV also comes equipped with full racks for added storage.

This ATV also has the option to switch between 2WD or 4WD quickly using the handlebar lever. So when the terrain changes suddenly to ice, it’s easier to get into 4WD for better traction.

Another great thing about this ATV is the dual 35-watt headlights, which provide increased nighttime visibility for anybody risky enough to trek into the ice and snow at this time. Expect excellent durability because of the steel frame too.  

Yamaha Kodiak 450

The Yamaha Kodiak 450 is a great all-around ATV that can be used for hunting, utility, and ice fishing. It is powerful enough to get you through the toughest conditions and is comfortable enough to ride all day long.

The front and rear suspension systems provide comfort and control on uneven terrain. Because of the low center of gravity, riders can expect excellent durability and performance while riding in tough conditions.

This ATV also comes equipped with a 421cc liquid-cooled SOHC 4-stroke, which is an ideal size for thicker ice conditions for ice fishing. Stopping distance is much improved on this ATV because of the dual hydraulic disc brakes too.

It has been designed with an emphasis on comfort and safety, making it an excellent choice for families who are looking to go on hunting trips or other outdoor activities.

Lastly, it comes equipped with heavy-duty 25-inch tires. They have an aggressive tread pattern that allows for more balance and control on slippery surfaces like ice or deep snow.

Kawasaki Brute Force 300

The Kawasaki Brute Force 300 has been rated as one of the top ATVs for ice fishing because it has an excellent engine and is sturdy enough to handle tough conditions.

It comes equipped with a 271cc 4-stroke, 1-cylinder, SOHC engine, enabling it to climb hills and easily over rough terrain. It also has a four-wheel drive system, allowing it to go through the toughest terrain.

Its design is also very rugged and durable, so you can be sure to use it for many years without worrying about anything breaking or getting damaged in any way. It also has an electric start system with disc brakes.

This ATV also has a powerful performance and comes with some impressive features that make it stand out from other similar models in this price range. It provides 500 pounds in towing capacity and a rack with 110 pounds of capacity.

The curb weight of this ATV is 535 pounds, with a length of 75 inches, a width of 42.5 inches, and a seat height of 33 inches. It’s the perfect size for ice fishing.

Polaris Sportsman 450 H.O.

The Polaris Sportsman 450 H.O. is an all-terrain utility vehicle designed for the most rugged conditions with its powerful engine, durable construction, and high-performance capabilities.

This ATV has been designed to work well in the most extreme weather conditions, including ice fishing, as it has an impressive 33 horsepower with 11.5 inches of ground clearance.

It has various features, including an easy-access battery, a rear storage basket, and a power steering system. It has a powerful and rugged engine with a fuel efficiency of 12 mpg and an easy-to-use throttle control for smooth starts, stops, and acceleration.

It has a powerful 499cc 4-stroke engine and a rugged design that can easily take on any terrain. With its low center of gravity, this machine will ensure you are comfortable no matter where you go.

The 4-stroke OHV engine produces more power than its competitors without sacrificing fuel efficiency or emissions. It also has an easy-to-use throttle control for smooth starts, stops, and acceleration.

Can-Am Outlander 450

The Can-Am Outlander 450 ATV has an all-terrain suspension that allows it to traverse rough terrain easily. The machine also has a traction control system, which helps you maintain control over your speed and braking power when you’re off the beaten path.

It also has a rugged 450cc engine, making it very easy to travel long distances without worrying about refueling or getting stuck in mud or snow.

This vehicle is also an excellent option for those traveling in remote areas. It can handle uneven terrain and has a low center of gravity. It has more comfortable seating and more storage space than the competition too.

The only downsides to this machine are its lack of ground clearance at only 1.5 inches. However, this is relatively easy when handling snow and ice for fishing.

This ATV also has a set of 25-inch tires and 12-inch steel wheels. They have an extremely friendly and forgiving tread pattern for winter and off-road conditions, along with a set of disc brakes.

Honda FourTrax Recon

The Honda FourTrax Recon ATV is a great option for ice fishing and off-roading. It has many features that make it a popular choice among users.

First, it has an impressive 229cc air-cooled OHV engine with a 22mm carburetor, giving you more power than you need to get through rugged terrain. This engine design is compact and lighter for better handling too.  

This Honda ATV also comes with four-wheel drive, which makes it perfect for driving on snow or other uneven surfaces. The ESP system makes it faster and easier to upshift and downshift when changing speeds.

It has a powerful engine and lots of features to make your outdoor experience more enjoyable. The Recon comes with various accessories, including front and rear racks, a winch, an ice fishing rod holder, and more.

Comfortable seating is another notable feature, and it’s designed with a foam seat and durable seat cover. The rear of the ATV has steel cargo racks to carry all gear for ice fishing allowing up to 66 pounds of support.

What Sized ATV Works Best For Ice Fishing?

You want to be prepared for the unexpected when you are ice fishing. The size of your ATV will make all the difference in how long it takes you to get back home if your trip goes wrong.

Typically, the ice is much thicker during ice fishing, too, so it can support most ATV sizes without an issue. We recommend using a 200cc or 400cc ATV because they handle well and aren’t excessively heavy.  

Typically, ice must be at least four inches thick to ice fish safely. But to use an ATV, it should be above five inches and closer to seven inches to ensure maximum support and safety.

Is It Safe To Ice Fish With An ATV?

Ice fishing is a popular winter activity that many people enjoy. When the temperature drops, ice starts to form on lakes and rivers.

This is when ice fishing becomes more enjoyable and safer. However, some safety concerns are associated with ice fishing with an ATV, such as it is more difficult to get out of the water if you fall in or if your ATV tips over while driving across the ice.

If you go out on an ATV for ice fishing, ensure you know how to operate one and how to get out of the water safely if something goes wrong.

Here are some safety tips to keep in mind.

  • Don’t go along, and always have someone nearby who can assist if needed
  • Always have some sort of floatation device like a life jacket with you
  • Don’t drive on ice with an ATV in warmer weather
  • Read our in-depth article: Are ATV's Good On Ice? Performance and Safety Tips

How To Prepare An ATV For Ice Fishing

ATVs are an easier way to go ice fishing. They can be used for transportation, to store gear, and to provide a faster means of transport when you are on the ice.

But first, a few things to do to prepare an ATV for ice fishing properly. This includes upgrading the tires, installing snow chains, and adding a flotation kit.

Upgrade The Tires

First, we recommend upgrading to wider tires specifically designed with treads for winter conditions. Installing grip studs on tires is a fantastic way to increase traction and eliminate sliding when braking or accelerating on ice.

This is an easy upgrade and one of the best ways to prepare an ATV for ice fishing.

Install Tire Snow Chains

Next, we can equip our old tires or the new upgraded ones with tire snow chains for even better traction. They fit the tires tightly to help the tires grip the ground better.

Add A Flotation Kit

It’s also possible to equip an ATV with a flotation kit, so if anything went wrong and it fell through the ice, it wouldn’t sink. This kit would also better protect the rider from falling into the water and getting stuck.

Key Takeaways

  • The best ATVs for ice fishing are the Suzuki KingQuad 400ASi, Yamaha Kodiak 450, Kawasaki Brute Force 300, Polaris Sportsman 450 H.O., Can-Am Outlander 450, and Honda FourTrax Recon.
  • We recommend using an ATV between the sizes of 200cc and 400cc for ice fishing, but it’s possible to go larger if the weight is under 700 pounds.
  • You should upgrade the tires, install tire snow chains, and add a flotation kit for better safety to prepare an ATV for ice fishing.




45 years old. I'm in business marketing. I write for Hunt or Shred on the side. I love hiking, camping, and everything outdoors with my family. I have 6 years of experience working at an ATV shop selling, fixing, and test driving all brands and models.

Read More About Gary