Skip to main content

Too Large For A 10-Inch Hole: Ice Fishing Hole Size

Too Large For A 10-Inch Hole: Ice Fishing Hole Size
Illustrated by Larry Tople

Ice Fishing

Illustrated by Larry Tople

Some of the most memorable fish are those that barely make it through a big hole. Three of mine come to mind, a lake trout and two pike each of which barely squeezed through 9-inch holes. The lake trout I estimated at just over 30 pounds. One of the pike measured 44 inches and weighed 28 pounds. The other pike hit the ice last season and was one of the biggest ever for television, a fish that was 48 inches and we estimated at over 30 pounds.

I have never had to enlarge a hole to get a fish out, but other staff members have — 50-plus inches of muskie does not fit through an 8-inch hole. Nor does a 40-pound flathead catfish.


The math on hole size is Circumference = 3.14 X Diameter; so a hole with a 6-inch diameter has a circumference of about 19 inches, while a 10-inch hole expands to 31.4 inches. We can get just about anything most of us might normally catch through an 8-inch hole. We can get just about anything most of us might abnormally catch through a 10-inch hole. Still, when I fish for lake sturgeon I cut three 10-inch holes side by side and trim them with a spud bar.


Fish like bluegills and crappies are taller than they are wide. The diameter of the hole is more important than circumference. A 15-inch black crappie is about 8 inches tall. I've not measured the height of any huge bluegills, but like a 15-inch crappie they're a handful, so probably about 8 inches tall.

There's an ice fishing hole size for every situation and it's best to error slightly on the large size — just in case. May the fish you catch this season be too large for a 10-inch hole.

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Drop-Shotting For Smallies

Drop-Shotting For Smallies

The In-Fisherman crew head to Lake Erie to catch smallmouth bass.

The True Story of the Bass Boat Hero Who Broke the Internet

The True Story of the Bass Boat Hero Who Broke the Internet

“If that engine starts without my kill switch on, I ain't the one driving it,” Blake Broussard says after ejection video goes viral.

Lake Superior Whitefish on Ice

Lake Superior Whitefish on Ice

Doug Stange joins Capt. Aron Kastern on Lake Superior near Ashland, Wisconsin where they go after whitefish on ice.

Hobie MirageDrive 360 Kayak Propulsion: Amazing Control and Power

Hobie MirageDrive 360 Kayak Propulsion: Amazing Control and Power

The Hobie MirageDrive 360 pedal propulsion system is the pinnacle of kayak control with more efficient fin designs, glide technology and allows the boat to be moved in any direction.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Fall presents opportunities for both numbers and trophy fish.Stellar Late-Season Destinations for Panfish Panfish

Stellar Late-Season Destinations for Panfish

Steve Ryan - October 25, 2020

Fall presents opportunities for both numbers and trophy fish.

Each are available in 18 awesome colors.Berkley Frittside New Sizes Baits

Berkley Frittside New Sizes

Thomas Allen - October 14, 2020

Each are available in 18 awesome colors.

The effectiveness of swimbaits and other soft plastics for muskies isn't new.Swimbaits for Muskies Pike & Muskie

Swimbaits for Muskies

Steve Ryan - October 14, 2020

The effectiveness of swimbaits and other soft plastics for muskies isn't new.

See More Trending Articles

More Ice Fishing

These fisheries are your best bet for a chance at a whopper-size perch.Best Lakes for Big Perch Ice Fishing

Best Lakes for Big Perch

Steve Ryan - December 08, 2020

These fisheries are your best bet for a chance at a whopper-size perch.

Catching whitefish, what more could the winter angler ask for?Ice Fishing Giant Whitefish Ice Fishing

Ice Fishing Giant Whitefish

Gord Pyzer - December 21, 2020

Catching whitefish, what more could the winter angler ask for?

There's a lot more to it than just catching fish.What It's Like to Be an Ice Fishing Guide Ice Fishing

What It's Like to Be an Ice Fishing Guide

Matt Straw - January 21, 2021

There's a lot more to it than just catching fish.

Yes the burbot or eelpout, has surged in popularity.Prespawn Fishing Techniques for Burbot Ice Fishing

Prespawn Fishing Techniques for Burbot

Jeff Matity - February 24, 2020

Yes the burbot or eelpout, has surged in popularity.

See More Ice Fishing

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the In-Fisherman App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All In-Fisherman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now