How an ice machine can benefit a fishing business


Ice machines are a vital part of any foodservice business here in the US, but we’ve been seeing demand recently from an industry you might not have expected – the fishing charter business. 

Why would a fishing charter or fishing boat hire want a commercial ice machine? Well, it turns out that these machines can make a huge difference to these businesses: reduce costs, increase customer satisfaction and also save lots of time too. 

We outline how all this is possible below: 

What can an Ice Machine do for your business?

We’ve recently been supplying businesses in the Florida Panhandle  – helping businesses on the Emerald and Forgotten Coasts – these businesses are making their living either taking customers out to fish the beautiful waters for trout and more, or hiring out kayaks or boats for visitors to find their own fishing grounds. 

Ice really matters for these businesses – here’s where they use it: 

Ice for customers to take

Customers heading out on water for the day want their drinks (and their bait) cold. Many business owners offer this as a complimentary part of their service, but if they don’t have an ice machine, it can be an expensive add on for them – with 10’s of lbs of ice needed for each hire, costs soon mount up. 

Ice for bait and the catch

This really is vital for many charter businesses – keeping bait, and the fish your customers catch, cool is really important. Also, on a large charter, businesses can find themselves using hundreds of lbs of ice, which they may need to stock up twice a day. 

Ice for drinks

Fishing can be thirsty work – serving your customers warm drinks is a sure fire way to ruin their day. But this is again an expense which falls at the business owner’s door. 

Time AND Money

It’s important to remember that buying your ice in bags can also have a second cost: your time! Businesses without their own ice machine can find themselves driving to pick up bags and bags of ice, and then finding somewhere to store them too. This laborious process can steal hours from each day for business people already pressed for time. 

Manitowoc 53lb Ice Machine
Scotsman Ice Machine

The alternative – your own ice machine

Getting and installing your own ice machine can guarantee you a supply of ice and, just as importantly, somewhere to store it at your premises, ready for use every minute of every day. 

Once you’ve connected your machine to a water supply, you can leave it to just do it’s thing – regularly and reliably producing all the ice you need to keep your customers happy whilst keeping costs down; one 20lb bag of ice costs $3, so once your machine is installed, you are saving money (and time)  every single day. 

Rental a quick and easy way to bring in your first ice machine

If the idea of owning an ice machine is attractive, but you’re worried about the upfront costs, then rental could be a good option for you. FER has a great option in Try It Buy It – which is a cheaper way of getting an ice machine into your business and saving you cash. You choose your model, select a one or two year contract and then pay three months rental as a returnable security deposit. We’ll then arrange delivery and you can have your item on site really quickly. 

At the end of your contract you have three options – you can continue renting under the same terms and conditions, buy the equipment for a reduced rate or send it back with no penalty. If you hand the equipment back or buy it, this is when your security deposit is returned to you. 

It’s a really quick and cost effective option to get brand new equipment on site. 


So, an ice machine can save you time and money if you have a fishing business – it will help you impress your customers, save hundreds of dollars a season on bagged ice, give you back hours each week and also solve the problem of where to keep all the bags too. 

If a brand new item looks too expensive, check out rental options – and our Try It Buy It is a great place to start….

Koolaire Ice Machine
Follett 650lb Ice Bagging Machine