Archive of Fishing reports

November2010

Winter is here!

Posted: November 28, 2010

Winter is here! It is time to start thinking ice fishing as the temperature has dropped of late and we are seeing ice starting on the lake. Summer fishing was great on Devils Lake as Bry’s Guide Service had our busiest summer to date and we had many clients leave with smiles on their faces, which is what this is all about to us. We are anticipating a solid winter bite for walleyes, pike, and perch. We have spearing for northerns as well. Check us out on the web and shoot us an email or give us a call and we will get you on the ice. We have a 4 door Geo Tracker with mattracks ready to go!! We should be able to handle just about anything that mother nature wants to give us this winter. Have a good one and ice fishing reports will be coming as soon as we get on the ice…

Courtesy Bry’s Guide Service

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Current Ice Conditions Unsafe

Posted: November 24, 2010

North Dakota Game and Fish Department water safety coordinator Nancy Boldt advises winter anglers to remain patient this Thanksgiving weekend because current ice conditions are not safe enough to support much weight.

With temperatures expected to reach the upper 20s this weekend, anglers will be enticed to venture out on an area lake. But Boldt says it is too early.

“We’ve only had about a week of temperatures that are conducive to formulating ice, and that is not enough time,” Boldt said. “We need a consistent stretch of several more days of freezing temperatures to form solid ice.”

Boldt recommends anglers and trappers study ice conditions before accessing any of North Dakota’s frozen waters, and strongly suggests visiting with locals, including other anglers and people at local bait shops, before going on any lake, especially one that is unfamiliar.

Some tips to be aware of are:

  • Snow insulates ice, hampering solid ice formation, and makes it difficult to check thickness. Snow also hides the blemishes, such as cracked, weak and open water areas.
  • Avoid cracks, pressure ridges, slushy or darker areas that signal thinner ice. The same goes for ice that forms around partially submerged trees, brush, embankments or other structures.
  • Ice thickness is not consistent and can vary significantly even in a small area. Ice shouldn’t be judged by appearance alone. Anglers should drill test holes as they make their way out on the lake, and an ice chisel should be used to check ice thickness while moving around.
  • Daily temperature changes cause ice to expand and contract, affecting its strength.
  • The following minimums are recommended for travel on clear-blue lake ice formed under ideal conditions. However, early in the winter it’s a good idea to double these figures to be safe: 4 inches for a group walking single file; 6 inches for a snowmobile or all-terrain vehicle; 8-12 inches for an automobile; and 12-15 inches for a pickup/truck.

These tips could help save a life:

  • Wear a personal flotation device and carry a cell phone.
  • Carry ice picks or a set of screwdrivers to pull yourself back on the ice if you fall through.
  • If someone breaks through the ice, call 911 immediately. Rescue attempts should employ a long pole, board, rope, blanket or snowmobile suit. If that’s not possible, throw the victim a life jacket, empty water jug or other buoyant object. Go to the victim as a last resort, but do this by forming a human chain where rescuers lie on the ice with each person holding the feet of the person in front.
  • To treat hypothermia, replace wet clothing with dry clothing and immediately transport victim to a hospital.

 Courtesy of  North Dakota Game and Fish Department

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Darkhouse Spearfishing Opens Dec. 1, Anglers Must Register

Posted: November 22, 2010

Additional opportunities highlight this winter’s darkhouse spearfishing season, as more lakes have been added to open waters. However, Patterson Reservoir (Dickinson Reservoir) in Stark County has been removed.

Carlson Lakes (Ward County), Gravel Lake (Rolette County), West Napoleon Lake (Logan County) and all waters open to public fishing in Ramsey County have been added to the list of lakes open for darkhouse spearfishing.

North Dakota’s darkhouse spearfishing season opens on most state waters Dec. 1, with the exception of Spiritwood Lake which opens Jan. 1. The season runs through March 15. Legal fish are northern pike and nongame species.

Darkhouse spearing is allowed for all residents with a valid fishing license and for residents under the age of 16. Nonresidents may darkhouse spearfish in North Dakota if they are from states that offer the same privilege for North Dakota residents.

All individuals who participate in darkhouse spearfishing must register with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department prior to participating. Registration is available at the department’s website, gf.nd.gov, or through any Game and Fish Department office.

Winter access difficulties in 2009-10 were reflected in the number of darkhouse spearfishing participants. Although the number of registrants remained relatively stable, overall harvest last winter, when nearly 700 participants speared more than 2,300 pike, was the second lowest on record. Lake Laretta (Nelson County), Devils Lake (Ramsey/Benson County) and Buffalo Lodge Lake (McHenry County) were the top three lakes for harvest.

Lakes open to darkhouse spearing are:
Barnes County – Eckelson Lake Complex
Benson County – Devils Lake, Silver Lake
Bowman County – Gascoyne Lake, Kalina Dam, Spring Lake
Burke County – Powers Lake
Emmons County – Rice Lake
Foster County – Juanita Lake
Grant County – Heart Butte Reservoir (Lake Tschida)
Griggs County – Sibley Lake
Hettinger County – Blickensderfer Dam
Kidder County – Alkaline Lake, Cherry Lake, Etta/Alkaline Complex, Fresh Lake, Helen Lake, Horsehead Lake, Lake Josephine, Lake Williams, Round Lake
LaMoure County – Diamond Lake, Flood Lake
Logan County – Beaver Lake, West Napoleon Lake 
McHenry County – Buffalo Lodge Lake
McIntosh County – Clear Lake, Coldwater Lake, Dry/Goose Lake
McLean County – Crooked Lake, Long Lake
Mountrail County – Stanley Reservoir
Nelson County – Lake Laretta, Stump Lake
Ramsey County – All waters open to public fishing
Renville County – Lake Darling
Richland County – Grass Lake
Rolette County – Carpenter Lake, Gravel Lake, Island Lake, School Section Lake
Sargent County – Buffalo Lake
Steele County – North Tobiason Lake
Sheridan County – Coal Mine Lake
Stutsman County – Mallard Marsh, Spiritwood Lake, Sunday Lake
Ward County – Carlson Lakes
Williams County – Cottonwood Lake, Tioga Reservoir
Lake Oahe – South Dakota border to MacLean Bottoms boat ramp and all tributaries upstream to the first vehicular crossing
Lake Sakakawea – Garrison Dam to U.S. Highway 85 bridge at Williston and all tributaries upstream to the first vehicular crossing.
Courtesy of North Dakota Game and Fish Department

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Jason Mitchell Outdoors

Posted:

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Jason Mitchell, host of Jason Mitchell Outdoors recently filmed several waterfowl hunting episodes for his television show near Devils Lake this past week.  Mitchell filmed with Rick Darling from Leeds, North Dakota for one segment.  Mitchell was also joined by Joel Brice of Delta Waterfowl along with several other retail partners through out the week.  Mitchell believes that his film crew hit the peak of the migration and they were fortunate to capture some of the best hunting of the season on film.  In four days of filming and hunting, over two hundred birds were harvested with the bulk of the harvest being snow geese.  Besides some incredible snow goose hunting footage, the film crew was also able to film some spectacular mallard hunting.  “Hands down, some of the best waterfowl hunting on the continent takes place right around this Devils Lake region of North Dakota.  Hunters are lucky to live here or travel here because  this is some of the best of the best in my opinion,” added Mitchell.  Mitchell’s production crew was headquartered out of Woodland Resort located on Devils Lake. These segments will air this upcoming fall and winter of 2011.  Jason Mitchell Outdoors airs on FSN North and FSN Midwest, along with several regional broadcast stations covering North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska, reaching over nine million households.  During 2010, Jason Mitchell Outdoors boasted one of the highest ratings for outdoor programming on FSN North.               

           

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Fish are hungry and feeding to get ready for winter!

Posted: November 12, 2010

Hello fisher people and deer hunters. Lets talk a little about fishing in November and deer hunting. The fishing side of things not a lot of people are making out because of the cooler weather and of course Deer hunting season going on. If you do happen to make it out on the lake, bridge fishing is usually pretty good this time of year. Jig and a minnow of course are working the best right now. Mornings and evenings are the best if you can handle the cold, but as well as during the day as well you can pick up some nice fish. Fish are hungry and feeding to get ready for winter. So give it a try, 57 bridge, 6 mile bridge, 20 bridge and mauvis coolee are good chioces. You can also try the deeper points in rock piles…Lost Jig, Bird Island, Rocky and Military Point, 5 crows, the towers are some good spots.

Courtesy Ed’s Bait Shop

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Dead Stick Walleyes

Posted: November 5, 2010

Dead Stick Walleyes (taken from the ice fishing chat website)

November 1, 2010

By Jason Mitchell

There are many environmental factors and conditions that can pin you down and keep you from making a lot of moves on the ice. Extreme white out conditions, arctic winds, deep slush and heavy snow cover can slow down the mobility concept in a hurry. There are situations where you can’t go everywhere and have to choose an area and ride out the storm. Other factors might also put the fish into a funk where they are really difficult to trigger or the window where they open up is short and sweet. In a nutshell, there are situations where the people who sit on good spots where there are fish sometimes catch more fish than the people who run all over the lake. Patience can still be an important virtue in fishing, even in today’s world where mobility on the ice has never been easier.

On Devils Lake, North Dakota, we often encounter extreme weather conditions where temperatures can be as much as forty degrees below zero. With the new clothing available now, I am actually comfortable fishing outside all day on my snowmobile in temperatures as cold as twenty below zero but on those days, I let the snowmobile run all day long as I don’t want to take any chances. Catch and release is even difficult as the fish flop once and are partially frozen. When we are guiding, we set up our clients in the Fish Trap Voyageur Thermal X2 houses and these shelters remain comfortable during the worst temperatures and wind Devils Lake can muster.

During extreme conditions however when we can’t see and moving anywhere is a battle, respectable catches can often be scratched together just by maximizing your time. If you are going to camp somewhere however, try to spend time where there is a decent traffic of fish. With walleye fishing in particular, few spots are good all day long. If you are on fish during the middle of the day, chances are that the fish will shift or move during the low light hours of morning and evening and vice versa. My favorite locations to camp out on are obviously spots where I have caught fish recently. Tough conditions become even tougher if you have to find fish. But if you have a good knowledge of the structure present and have a GPS, you can often find the kind of locations I am about to describe.

Deep is relative depending on the fishery but if I have to sit somewhere, I seem to have more luck on deeper spots, twenty five foot plus. Complex structure that also has a lot of breaks and rock of different sizes is also usually necessary. These deep structure spots are often tight and small; less than an acre and it seems like the walleye movements are not as far ranging. When fish move up and down through this type of structure, the movement is often less than fifty yards. What that means is that you can be in slush up to your knees, have your vehicle buried to the floor boards and still range far enough to find the sweet spots. The sweet spots are often the proverbial spot on the spot. Perhaps where large boulders form an edge against smaller rock or gravel or some kind of finger, depression or cup that funnels fish movements. You will mark fish on your electronics when you find the sweet spots. If you have to camp on a location for the day, this is where you want to camp.

Wicked fronts can also put the fish into a tough disposition as well making these fish difficult to catch. Either these fish just follow you up and down without committing or worst yet… showing up and scooting off as soon as you move your presentation. These tough conditions are where multiple rods (dead rods in particular) shine. When faced with these kinds of conditions, throw every rod you legally can at the fish. On some fisheries, tip ups are popular for covering an area. When we encounter tough bites, the walleyes often don’t trip the flag or if they do, they don’t swim off with the bait so we often have to resort to dead rods with a limber tip for detecting the bite or a traditional float. For this dead rod presentation to be successful however, the temperature has to be warm enough to keep the hole from freezing so this often has to be accomplished inside a shelter.

When the Hub style shelters first became popular a few years back, I didn’t think I would have a use for them as I preferred the sled style flip over shelter like a Fish Trap but there are some applications where the large Hub style shelters really shine and this is just such an application. When set up and banked, these shelters take an impressive amount of wind and are really warm, even during some of the most brutal conditions but they also give you a lot of square footage inside out of the elements. This is a huge advantage when an angler has to use dead rods. You can spread the rods out and cover a larger area. These Hubs also take up such little room when stored.

The presentation wrinkles can really vary from day to day but even on a tough bite, you still often need a lost leader… what that means is somebody jigging in the vicinity of the dead rods even though the fish aren’t coming on the jigged lure, it often brings fish into the dead rods. Lures that put off some flash and vibration are often good lures for calling in walleyes. Some traditional lures include the Salmo Chubby Darter, the Northland Buckshot Rattle Spoon and blade baits like the Northland Life Forage Fish Fry Minnow Trap.

The most traditional dead sticking set up is just a plain hook and split shot baited with a lively minnow. My advice is to use a high quality VMC hook that is extremely sharp as you will get better action out of the minnow and stick more fish that don’t have the whole minnow engulfed. During really tough conditions, we often have to anchor the minnow to a small jig or spoon so that the minnow can’t really swim up and away but instead just roll in place. The Northland Tackle Fish-Fry Minnow Jig and the 1/32nd ounce Fireball Jig are a few excellent hooks that add a little color and flash to the presentation for dead sticking.

One last piece of advice that can help if you are missing fish on the dead rods, when you get a fish taking the minnow, let the walleye feel you before you set the hook. Don’t pull the bait out of the fish’s mouth but just offer a little resistance… let the rod tip load slightly. This often forces these fish to latch on harder and flare their gills and the hook ups are often better… kind of like dragging a big red tail chub away from the fish as they attempt to chomp down. This subtle resistance created by the rod tip loading often causes the fish to chomp down harder and flare their gills again resulting in the minnow further back in the mouth when you set the hook. Let the rod load and than crank on the reel to load the rod even more before than giving a little hook set. This can really increase your hooking percentage during tough conditions.

Article from the Ice Fishing Chat website. Check them out!

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