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Ice Cold

Auger size for lake trout fishing - is 8" enough?

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Ice Cold

For all you experienced at icing lake trout. Is an 8" hole big enough? I would assume 10" or at least a 9" is preferred but is an 8" that big of liability. What is everyones experiences and/or preferences?

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Fur Fish and Feathers

I've witnessed the catch and release of a 40" trout in a 6" hole. I've caught many trout 30-35 inches and the thought has never occured to me that I need a bigger hole. Then again you get guys that hunt whitetails with 7mm's and .300's so it's probably how much weight do you want to lug out there (a 3hp motor on a 10") and how much ice do you want to cut. I guess you could say the thing a bigger auger, 7mm's and .300's have in common is that they're all going to blow a big hole, but it might be a little unneccessary.

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Ice Cold

Thanks for the comments Fur. I guess the question is geared more towards what size hole is preferred. I know it is possible to pull a big fish through a small hole. But I would guess that it is not the optimal situation and can lead to some trouble. The reason I am wondering is that I am purchasing a new gas auger and am trying to determine what size would be best before the purchase is made.

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Down Deep

I've been using an 8" auger for years and have never had a problem pulling a laker through the ice. I've had them up to 20#, but rarely. I think the only difference between and 8 inch and a 10 inch is that it is easier to get the fish's head into the hole.

This might be more info than you asked for, but one of my fishing buddies has a 10 incher and we've had two guys step into the hole and soak thier boot. A couple years ago I was witness to a guy in another group who steped into a 10 inch hole that someone had left and kicked snow over. His boot went through to the bottom of the hole (about 18 inches of ice) and he couldn't pull his boot out. There was a guy in thier group that had a spud bar and they were able to chip his foot out in about 15 minutes. The guy had a pretty cold foot and had a bad sprain to his knee. Moral of the story is that if you end up getting a 10 incher be careful walking around and mark your holes when you leave.

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Fur Fish and Feathers

If I were getting a new auger it'd absolutely be a laser and either a 6" hand or 8" power.

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Ice Cold

Thanks for the thoughts guys. Right know I am pretty much choosing between the 8" and 9" lazer mag express. They are the same price and the only difference I can think of is the weight and the time to cut a hole. They have the same power head so I imagine that the 8" will be quicker. The website says that the weight difference is only 1 pound. (24 and 25 lbs).

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tearin' lips

I like the 3hrs. 10" just because it is easier to keep the line away from the edges of the hole. This is helpful, especially when fighting bigger fish.

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fishane

When I used to bob for lake trout a lot all we ever used was an 8 inch auger. It is plenty. On Lake Superior we always carry a spud bar anyway to check ice conditions and if we were concerned about hole size we would use the spud to widen out the bottom of the hole a bit. Of course, this is easier on 6 or 8 inches of ice than it is on 18 inches. One consideration for me is that it is possible to kick a vexilar down a 10 inch hole but not an 8 inch one. I have also seen many nice fish come up through a 6 inch hole, because that is all the bigger auger that we would carry into the bwca as it is a lot easier to use a small auger when hand drilling into 2 feet of ice.

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tearin' lips

Very true. I fish in inland lakes in canada, we can always snowmobile or 4-wheel there. If I was doing alot of fishing on the big superior of packing into the BWCA I would want a smaller auger too. Our average fish is 9 -10 lbs up north and we get chances at alot of monsters, so that is why I like the bigger hole.

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Lucky Tuta

If I was buying a new auger that I was only going to use for Lake Trout, I would get the 10 inch. You may be able to get a big trout trough a 6 inch hole but getting them in the hole is hard. When I fished the BWCA years ago, we used ice chisels and always made the hole 10 or 12 inches and flared it out at the bottom, so it made it easier to get the fish started in the hole.

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chris63

Get the lighter auger and then if you want a bigger hole just drill 2,3,4 or how ever many next to eachother in a triangle pattern.whala instant whatever size hole you need!c63 grin.gifimo, lighter is always better!

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Surface Tension

A 10" hole has its benefits. Its easier to start a lake trouts head up the hole. This is a fish that will thrash its head, combine that will swim baits that will catch the hole.

You don't get many tries before a trout will get bumped off.

Downside has been mentioned. Heavier auger makes for more effort and things fit in a 10" hole like a flasher and a foot. I've never had my foot go through a 8" hole but I have stepped into a 10" on a couple occasions. I went completely down. Thats better then being bound at the knee with the persons upper weight like I've seen happen. I know your suppose to watch where you walking. I my cases I had a fish on and there was an abandoned hole near by.

I have landed some very large lake trout through an 8" hole but needed a gaff to do so. In fact the 12 lber (although not a huge laker) I caught at the Bash come through and 8" hole but was gaffed after 6 failed attempts to get its head started. By laker odds I should have lost that fish at the hole. Even an average sized laker will give you fits at the hole so fitting isn't a problem its that head shake.

I have coned out my holes with a chisel but lets face it your not going to move around much if you have to cone all your holes.

If I only fished lake trout I go with a 10" power auger. Since I don't just fish lakers and can't justify owning 2 augers I use an 8" auger to coverall my fishing needs.

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