Getting through the ice may seem to be hard, but it can be an easy process. There are several tools you can use to make this "daunting task" fairly simple. One of the easisest is an old-fashioned "spud" bar which has been used for a very long time. Spuds are often the most inexpensive ways to cut a hole in the ice and work fairly well on ice that has formed up to about a foot thick. One step up from the spud bar is a hand auger. Although a bit more expensive than a spud bar, hand augers will work very well from light to moderate ice conditions. Try to purchase an auger appropriate to the species of fish that you are seeking. Typically the larger the species, the larger the hole you would like to create for ease of getting the fish onto the surface of the lake. Anglers who fish for yellow perch, sunfish and other pan fish generally use ice augers 4", 5" or 6" in diameter because of their light weight and the speed that they cut through the ice. Anglers who fish for a largerspecies, such as trout, lake trout, landlocked salmon and northern pike, generally will use an ice auger which will make a larger hole -- an appreciated feature during the often-tricky landing of these large fish. But remember, cutting an 8" hole requires the removal of almost twice as much ice as a 6" hole, so don't buy an ice auger much bigger than you will need. For the avid ice angler or for thicker, more extreme ice conditions, more expensive, gas-powered augers provide the ultimate in speed and convenience, albeit at a sacrifice in weight and portability. Power augers come in diameters up to 10" and the size of the hole makes little difference in the speed or difficulty of cutting the hole.