You can’t ice fish until you cut a hole in the ice. The other day I watched an older guy use an axe to cut a hole in over a foot of ice. Chunks were flying and the hole wasn’t pretty, but he eventually found water. The noise alone must have scared every fish into the next county. The rough sharp edges around the “hole” are just dandy for cutting your line.
Ice augers are money! Yea they may cost you a few hundred bucks, but they are durable and will last a lifetime. I started with a sharpened spud bar. That worked great until it went down the hole. Next came a hand auger. For ice under a foot thick, you could cut a clean hole and build up your biceps. On deeper ice, you cut your holes and stayed there for the day.
Power augers are the best solution. They cut holes quickly and quietly. Gasoline, battery, propane, and drill powered offer great alternatives. Currently I use a Strikemaster auger that cuts a 6-inch hole. It runs on gas and always starts. I maintain the fuel and spark plug along with keeping the blades sharp. You can get augers in different sized holes, but 6-10 inches is a good compromise. This powerful auger can cut holes to 4 feet and rip off your shirt. Safety is important and all hands are required.
The newer Battery Drill operated augers are the best. My son bought one and we have used it on ice to a couple feet deep. It cuts like butter, always starts, and is very easy to control and safe. If I was new to the sport, I would buy this style auger.
Support your auger with a small snow shovel to clear ice and snow. Use an Ice Ladle to clear the hole.
Once you have a good hole cutter, you are not afraid to move. Now you can search for the fish instead of staying on one hole and getting skunked.
Cut Clean Safe Holes!
For more Montana Grant, find him chillin at www.montanagrantfishing.com.