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It means "he meant to dip the string through that hole and fish". When the subject is 2nd or 3rd person, というのだ or ということだ work. Otherwise, it has to be ということだ only, i.e. you can't use というのだ for "I mean"(*) or "it means". (* Accurately, というのだ for "I mean" still works when you express your own action through other person's perspective.)

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