: Size of the Ice hole

11-25-2002, 02:50 PM
I can't seem to find a good reference on what size hole is the best for all round fishing. I like the largest so that there is lots of room for the tranducer and such. I was talking to someone today that told me that the hole should be no bigger than 8" so the fish can't turn around and make a run for it. I have also heard that 7" is big enough....... What are you thinking, worried about losing stuff down the hole?


11-25-2002, 02:57 PM
Put all of that information together and then decide what you want. All the info is relevant, and has marit. I use an eight inch auger and find that it is just right.

size matters?
11-25-2002, 03:19 PM
I've heard if you got a power auger, go big.
If you're turning the auger by hand, 7" is about as big as you want to go, unless you're Popeye.

Walleye Express
11-25-2002, 03:30 PM
If your going to be fishing mainly for perch and panfish, a 6, 7, or 8 inch hole will be fine, always. An 8 inch would also be adequate for walleye in most circumstances. I find the problem comes when you have really thick ice, and why I prefer the 10 inch hole for walleye. When the ice is thin (lets say 12 inches thick) a large fish cannot get his tail wedged in the hole before his head is coming up and out of the water. Of course by then its to late. You either have him grabbed or gaffed. But if the ice is 25" plus, he can indeed wedge his tail as he comes up and through the hole. Now you have to either go hand diving, or get the gaff in behind him. I have never seen a big walleye that could turn around in the hole either. He may wedge his tail and pull himself back through the bottom of the hole, but turned around? Another hint. I bought myself a little 4 inch auger that I cut a hole between the two 10 incers with. This is where I put the ol'FL-8 Vexilar transducer. This little 4 inch Mora cuts through the ice like butter.

11-25-2002, 03:48 PM
Most people will tell you that an 8 inch hole is plenty big, me included. Some people prefer bigger ice holes, but I don't like having a bunch of 12 inch holes around for me to put my boot through in the dark or if they get filled with snow. I have yet to catch anything in SD that I can't pull through an 8 inch hole.


curt quesnell
11-25-2002, 04:01 PM

The only reason I use an 8 inch auger is because I can step into
a 10 inch hole (and seem to whenever there are 10 inchers around)
The bigger the better for fishing through, but for me 8 inches
does the job for any fish I hunt for.

Curt Quesnell

11-25-2002, 04:27 PM
The wife says shes satisfied with the 8"er...no need to go any bigger! :+

11-25-2002, 05:46 PM
>The wife says shes satisfied with the 8"er...no need to go
>any bigger! :+

She'd think different after fishing with me!!!

11-26-2002, 08:34 AM
I have a 10" auger and love it! Fished with a ten inch hole for 10 years now and have never stpped into it.

11-26-2002, 10:06 AM
Just a thought, but can a small child fit through a 10 inch hole? My leg sure does. Might be something to think about.

11-26-2002, 10:30 AM
Don't know about a kid, but I will say this... I have a 10" and in general like it. I wish I had the smaller auger for these reasons however. I have put my size 11 through the ice once or twice, quick end to the day, also I worry that my vexilar or camera might fit, never tried, lastly I wish I had less weight on occasion. I have a jiffy and the 3 HP motor, maybe 25-30 pounds. I think an 8" lazer would be a good balance between size, weight, and other factors. If a guy did a lot of big fish fishing maybe a 10" would be justified, I think for walleyes 8" is a good size. That said, I'm obviously not annoyed enough with it to spend 80 bucks on a replacement bit nor have I tried to sell it and get a lazer, yet. For me, a 8" lazer with the 2 HP motor would be a good balance. I was young and dumb when I bought the biggest and badest auger, only now do I see the light.

Hope this helps. As a side note, as capt. dan said a 4" hole next to where you are fishing will, at some time, save you a few fish. We all have lost a few fish when they get you tangled in that transducer, a good idea to note.

Good luck, Joe

11-26-2002, 10:43 AM
10" power auger for larger fish, 6" Laser hand auger for panfish.

11-26-2002, 11:28 AM
I have been using a 7" auger for the last 8 years and I have caught with no problem:
Walleye: 8.8 lbs
Northern: 15 lbs
Bass: Approx. 5.5 lbs.(The mouth was almost exactly the circumference of the hole!!)

I did break the line on a flathead catfish, but a 12-inch wouldn't have been big enough.

I also had to increase the hole size with a spud for a sturgeon that was close to 5 feet long!!

None of them were gaffed and all of them were released. The northern was a little of a challenge, but leather mittens helps a lot on the big ones...the little ones usually are eaten.

bus talker
11-26-2002, 03:03 PM
My advice is don't go big if you are using you back! I used to have an 8" laser hand auger and it was a total bear to turn. I have since went to a 6" which had no problem with an eight pound walleye last winter. They shoot up the 6" hole like a torpedo! An 8" is plenty big on a power auger. The round thermal tip-ups don't work well in a 10" hole. Keep that in mind

11-26-2002, 03:37 PM
It's not the size of the hole that counts....It's how long you can keep your jigging rod in.

Seriously...I like an 8" hole especially on cold days when the hole seems to get smaller because you dont clear them out often enough. Also, When jigging it gives enough room for the transducer of Vexlar.

Rich Ferguson

11-26-2002, 06:45 PM
A lot of good arguments for the 8", a lot of good arguments for the 10". I split the difference and use a 9" auger and I can't imagine it not being large enough for ANY walleye. More roomy than the 8", but cuts faster than the 10". It's been a good happy medium for me but to each his own.

11-26-2002, 07:21 PM
I think you better be asking her where she is finding the 8" since you only seem to be able to come up with about a quarter that...

11-26-2002, 07:32 PM
Hi Ryan,

Sounds like a story here, care to elaborate on just how you know your leg will fit through a 10" hole?


Have fun........R

11-26-2002, 09:30 PM
my vote is for 9 inch. tip ups fall into 10 inch holes,they dont on 9 inch. also the big reason is the transmission on the 10s seem to go bad faster. lots of problems when you go over 9.

11-27-2002, 01:33 PM
The answer, as always, is determined by what your use is going to be. I have an 8" and find that it is sufficient for walleyes and pan fish. However, when I go trout fishing I bring my fishing buddy's 10" along.

I also know something about stepping in the 10" hole. I ##### near broke my leg off at the shin two years ago.


Jon Smith
11-27-2002, 02:05 PM
Go with a ten inch. I argue my friend all the time on this subject. He claims that his 8 inch is the best. Trust me, dig into that moldy wallet and pay the extra for the ten inch and you won't regret it. After fishing with my ten inch Jiffy for 10 years, I look at an eight inch hole scratch my head.
Sure, you may be able to fit your foot, a small child or ryan's whole leg in the hole, but if you are carefull none of that will happen. I make everyone in my ice shelter where life jackets just in case they slip and fall in my 10 inch hole.

11-27-2002, 03:20 PM
My buddy took off his boot and sock and put his foot down the hole for 10 minutes for a case of beer once!! And it was a 10 inch hole!!!
He did say that it would have been tougher to do if it were a 6 incher!!

11-27-2002, 03:27 PM
I'll throw this one out.

Here in Nebraska it is illegal to fish through a hole that is larger than 10". Measure a 10" Jiffy hole and it is 10 1/4". Check your regs.

Also the 10" is a heavier, and imho harder to handle.

11-27-2002, 03:44 PM
I just remembered also that I use a flow-troll bucket with the sides cut off it for minnows and float it off the bottom when i go. The 9 inch hole still lets it thru if the hole freezes in some where the 8 is tight right from the start. There are a million reasons, but go 9.

Walleye Express
11-27-2002, 10:01 PM
Your flow-troll bucket idea reminded me of a neat trick my Grandpa used to use to keep the schools of perch in and around the hole longer. He used to take a quart mason jar and put a small hole through the lid. Then took some chalk line, put it through that hole and tied a knot in it. Then filled the jar with water and a few live minnows, put the top back on and let it down the hole to the bottom. Of course the glass jar dissapears in the water and simply looks like a school of minnows on the bottom, in the jar. It was a crack up to watch the perch nipping at the totally protected minnows in the jar. Of coursed once you dropped your own minnow on a hook down the hole, it was grabbed.
He also used to drop Navy beans down the hole in deeper or stained water so you could see the fish better on the bottom when they came in. Them old timers did a lot of thinking back then.

Proven fact...
11-28-2002, 09:54 AM
It's not the size of the hole but how you use it! :7

11-28-2002, 10:55 AM
OR is it what you put into it and what you get back out of it? Chuckles

Davein Walker
11-29-2002, 05:47 PM
8 inch is all that is necessary, unless fishing for lake trout or big pike, if you use a 10 incher make sure you mark your holes before you leave, someone WILL step thru and in! I drill 2 8 inchers side by side, drop transducer in one and fish out of the other and your in business, no fish tangled around cord when you are cranking fish up! This works for me

12-02-2002, 11:02 AM
well, not much of a story behind it, but I can guarantee your whole leg fits down the 10" hole. My friend and I were moving his shack in the dark when I found myself up to my nuts in freezing water. That was enough for me, and besides, tip-ups fall through them, vexilars can fall through them. Find me a walleye that can't fit through a coned 8" hole and I will change. And as for Mr. John Smith, you must only give those life jackets to your Closest Friends or what??? Ha ha.

12-03-2002, 08:05 AM
8" hole will take any fish, 10" should be illegal, dangerous, and if you have to wear a life jacket ice fishing, you shouldn't go. Something is fishy around here.

Jon Smith
12-03-2002, 08:25 AM
Next time we go out, I want to see a tip up fall a 10"?