Hole Hopping - How Many Holes?

Photo Credit - Ben Larson - In-Depth Media Productions

Photo Credit - Ben Larson - In-Depth Media Productions

Chris Wojcik asks:

How many holes do you typically drill while hole hopping. And what's your preffered length of rod for hole hopping. 

Good question, but it's highly variable depending on the lake I'm fishing and for what species.  Species like perch that love to continually roam in big schools demand a guy on the drill more than you'd think, with up to a few hundred holes punched after a long day on the ice.  Other species like bluegills in clear or shallower water can require some quiet time until things get back to normal.  You're better drilling 15-20 holes and then fishing them quietly over the next half hour to an hour or so.   

Small lakes require less, large lakes more on average, as with large lakes many of the structural elements you're drilling out can cover an expansive area themselves.  I try to focus my drilling on areas that differ; structurally, substrate-wise, or in depth.  Similar types of the fore-mentioned, and I'm drilling less holes and making what I do drill further apart.  

I'm not the ice-troller that some are, unless fishing large windswept walleye/perch lakes, but certainly don't stay put and wait it out.  If anything, I'm more mobile than not, drilling when I need to, realizing that I can't catch fish where they're not.  Yet at the same time, I understand that you're more easily found (by fish) when stationary and fishing than while out drilling holes.  A line in the water is worth its weight at times.  Speaking of, when out on the open ice, I use a 36" rod.  Most of that is height related, as it's more a function of how close to the ice you want the ice rod to be.

On an average outing on the open ice, I'm drilling at least 50 holes, sometimes more than 100.  Big waters, perch/walleye, and lots of like-minded individuals.....until we're tired.  :)