Archive of Fishing reports

November2011

Great time of the year to hunt & fish on Devils Lake!

Posted: November 30, 2011

brys1

Ice fishing is very close…There have been a few people out on the back bays of Devils Lake, but most of the lake is not frozen or safe yet. So I guess we will have to play a bit of a waiting game for now. Once we get cold weather for a week or so we should have ‘game on’ for ice fishing on Devils Lake.

Remember to use extreme caution during early ice. Also, remember to avoid current areas (culverts, bridges, etc.) until we have some consistent cold weather. The bite should be solid for walleye, perch, and pike! If you are looking for a ice fishing trip, give us a call.

We are also offering sight fishing for northern pike which I think is once of the most exciting ice fishing techniques out there. If you want to experience the thrill of a big pike smahing your lure only feet from you, let us know, we’ll make it happen!

 It’s a great time of the year to hunt & fish on Devils Lake!

Courtesy of Bry’s Guide Service.

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No ice conditions to report yet but the weather is definitely getting colder!

Posted:

Greetings everybody!  No ice conditions to report yet but the weather is definitely getting colder.  We had a wild and crazy summer.  The walleye fishing could not have been better.  I have fished Devils Lake all of my life and it is amazing to me how every year tops the previous one.  It really is incredible.  Lots of good news to report according to our friends at the ND Game and Fish Department the perch numbers are up!!!  We believe them too as we did catch more this summer while walleye fishing that any of us can ever remember. 

 We are gearing up for the St. Paul Ice Fishing Show once again at the Excel Energy Center in downtown St. Paul.  The dates of the show are December 1,2,and 3rd.  We are again teaming up with Woodland Resort and will be answering questions and passing out our new brochures.

We are looking forward to an excellent winter.  Based on last winter’s success and this summer, there should be plenty of perch, walleyes, and northern pike to chase.  Hopefully we can get a winter without 3 feet of snow covering the ice.  Oh well, if we do…so be it.  We are more geared up than ever with mattrack machines to handle it.  We have a great staff of guides again this year and I gaurantee you there’s no quit in these guys!!!

Now is the perfect time to gather your ice fishing buddies and pick a time to come and fish with us this winter.  We encourage all larger groups to call in and make your reservations early while the schedule has room.  The phones and reservations have already picked up and will continue to do so as we get winter started.  We invite you to come and fish with us…We would love to have you!

Courtesy of Perch Patrol Guide Service.

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Anglers Need to be Cautious of Early Ice

Posted: November 28, 2011

Good reminder from ND Game and Fish site!

Winter anglers are reminded to be cognizant of early ice conditions before traveling onto and across North Dakota lakes.

Nancy Boldt, state Game and Fish Department water safety coordinator, said there haven’t been many days where the high temperature has remained below freezing. “We need several consecutive days of cold weather to produce stable ice,” Boldt said.

Boldt urges anglers and trappers to be cautious over the next several weeks. “It’s important to be careful, and to not move about recklessly on early ice,” she added. “In addition, visit with locals, including other anglers and people at local bait shops, before going on any lake.”

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.
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Devils Lake Ice Mean Hot Perch, Walleye & Pike Action

Posted:

Jason Mitchell, of Perch Patrol Guide Service

Good ice fishing is a given on Devils Lake.  According to the top guides, all with decades of experience on the lake, they expect some of the best perch, walleye and pike action ever during the early months of 2012.

Traditionally a world-class perch factory, the numbers of perch have rebounded and are now providing great sport.  Travel was extremely restricted last season which saved tens of thousands of fish.  Jason Feldner of Perch Eyes guide service said, “I feel the deep bite will be there for perch as it has been in the past.  There’s just more water to search now, and our four guides work together on the ice.”

Jason Feldner, of Perch Eyes Guide Service

Hiring Jason or the guides featured in this article means they will have all the portable fish houses, augers, flashers, rods and reels, tackle, bait and in most cases tracked ATV vehicles to get to the hotspots.

Guide Jason Mitchell is one of eight guides with the Perch Patrol.  He said, “We saw lots of summer and fall perch.  When we have good fall fishing, it typically means a good ice bite.”  The Perch Patrol works as a team to find and stay on fish.  “People want to hire local guides to learn to navigate this large lake, plus they can understand and learn the methods and equipment to catch more fish on their own.”

Mark Bry of Bry’s Guide Service with eight guides said, “Perch populations are solid, and with walleye and perch our specialties, the key to consistent fishing is mobility.  We go to the fish.”  Moving on Devils Lake 150,000 acres is also the key for Ross Sensiba of Rush Valley Guide Service.  His guides target perch at mid-day, while devoting morning to pike, and afternoons to walleyes.  He said, “Good ice conditions will mean good fishing this year, because there hasn’t been much pressure for three winters.  Once we find them, we still keep looking.”

When asked to list some Devils Lake perch lures, the guides said: Lindy Rattl’n Flyer and Frostee spoons, Slick jigs, Northland Forage and Buckshot Rattle spoons, Fat Boys, Genz worms, Hali spoons and Rattle Snakie spoons.

Jason Mitchell, of Perch Patrol Guide Service

Winter on Devils Lake offers three options.  Perch are the Number One choice, but with so many walleyes and pike in the lake, they are moving up the popularity chart quickly.  Walleye action starts early and provides tremendous action until ice-out.  Jason Mitchell said the Perch Patrol is really a multi-species service, with walleyes and pike on the menu when customers ask.  “It’s amazing how many walleyes are in the lake, and pike in the teens and over 20-pounds are not uncommon,” he said.

Ross said his group targets walleyes by fishing high-percentage spots and developing patterns that produce.  “And, we move,” he added.  Mark Bry said his guys will take anglers to the best spots and provide all the gear, but urges anglers to bring some of their favorite lures.  “If they’re confident with a special walleye lure, I bet it’ll work on Devils Lake,” he said.  Jason Feldner spends 300 days a year on Devils Lake, as do most of his guides.  He said, “We move with the walleyes winter and summer, and after the bite this past fall, I expect walleye fishing to be red-hot this winter.”

Devils Lake favorite walleye “guide” lures:  Lindy Rattl’n spoons, Northland Forage and Buckshot spoons and Puppet minnows, Salmo Chubby and Lindy darters, jigging Rapalas and plain minnows.

Pike may be an after-thought for some anglers when heading to this ice fishing destination where the entire community caters to fishermen.  Northern pike of amazing length and girth can hardly be squeezed out ice holes, but when they finally flop on the ice, they cause the biggest grins.  Every year, pike pushing 30 pounds are caught on Devils Lake.

Mark Bry offers a unique pike specialty, which really gets the heart pumping.  He provides “sight-fishing” pike adventure trips.  In a dark house, with a 24 x 36 inch hole, mostly along weed lines or in flooded timber (lots of this on the lake), he uses aggressive lures live the Five of Diamonds spoon jigged viciously in four to 12 feet of water.  He coaches novices through several pike attacks.  “The keys are the rods, FireLine, lures, location and jigging style.  Oh, and HOLD-ON,” he said.

Best Devils Lake ice fishing tip:  Bring a camera!!

Mark Bry, Bry’s Guide Service, brysguideservice.com, 701-739-0161.

Jason Feldner, Perch Eyes, percheyes.com, 701-351-1294 (also has 3 cabins and 3 houses for lodging.)

Jason Mitchell, Perch Patrol, perchpatrol.com, 701-351-3474.

Ross Sensiba, Rush Valley Guides, rushvalleyguideservice.com, 701-740-3868.

For more information on Devils Lake ice conditions, activities, a complete guide

listing, lodging and restaurant options go to www.devilslakend.com or call the Devils Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau at 701-662-4903.

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The ice is getting close!

Posted: November 25, 2011

The ice is getting close some have been going out close to shore and finding some nice walleyes all ready this year.  I have been out just enough to see the ice condition and see progress.  When I was their the other day we had 5 inches.  With warm weather this week we may not make much but so far with no snow on the lake that will help.  The two guys that I talked to had 5 walleyes for the night all nice 18-20 inches.  I hope to get out Monday, Tuesday before the St. Paul Ice fishing show in MN December 2,3,4.  We are looking or a great year again this year with the fishers Dept. saying we have had three great year hatching for Northern, walleye and the perch.  This summer we seen huge population of 11-14″ that should be 13-16″ for this winter.  Our perch fishing was good starting back in February last year and hope to find them again this year.  This summer again we had some days of walleye fishing catching 10-15 nice perch pulling spinners.  This year again we have new product from Eskimo.  The most comfortable pop up version made it is insulated making for no frost and warmer inside fishing.  New fl-20 vexilar are on their way.  Northland has come out with some new ideas as well.  Hope to see you out on the ice.  Call 701-351-6058 if you are looking for a great gift idea for someone in your family.  Ask for the best cyber Monday saving a round. 

Courtesy of McQuoids Guide Service.

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Fisher Trapping Season Closed Immediately

Posted:

North Dakota’s fisher trapping season is closed immediately. The 10th fisher was trapped Nov. 25, filling the predetermined quota on the fifth day of the season.

 Only North Dakota residents were able to participate, with a season limit of one animal per trapper. The open area was east of U.S. Highway 281 and ND Highway 4.

For more information please visit http://gf.nd.gov/.

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Darkhouse Spearfishing Opens Dec. 1

Posted: November 21, 2011

North Dakota’s darkhouse spearfishing season opens on most state waters Dec. 1, with the exception of Spiritwood Lake which opens Jan. 1. 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.

Lakes open to darkhouse spearing are:

Ramsey County – All waters open to public fishing

 For more information please visit the North Dakota Game & Fish website!

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Any of the bridges or deeper points and rock piles are producing fish!

Posted: November 11, 2011

Late late late fall early winter is on its way. Not a lot of people out fishing but ones who are getting out are having great success. Troll with leadcore the moon bars and pelican ridge on Pelican lake with salmos or wally divers. Golden highway has been very good as well. Any of the bridges or deeper points and rock piles are producing fish as well. Put a jig on with a minnow and keep moving around. BIG fish are hitting on cranks…dont catch a lot but they are nice fish. Deer contest is still going on with a week to go. Bring in your deer so we can weigh it, maybe its big enough for the prize! Binocs for the buck and trail cam for the doe. Thanks and good luck!

Courtesy of Ed’s Bait Shop

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We had one of those awesome falls…

Posted: November 10, 2011

Well we had one of those awesome falls the weather was mild, the fishing and hunting was good. We are finally seeing that big push of Mallards with the cold weather this last week. Of course its late and we have no customers in at this time. I’m hopeing that mother nature is going to give us a break this winter on the snow fall. I have heard two reports. One is for a average snow fall and the other is double what we normally get. Time will tell. We are starting to get a little ice on the back bays of the lake and all the small sloughs are frozen up. If your thinking of a trip out this winter I would get on the ball we are about 50% booked so dont procrastinate. I’ll keep you posted on the ice conditions.

Courtesy of JJ’s Bait Shop & Perch Eyes Guide Service

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Ice-Fishing Baits For Open Water Fish

Posted: November 7, 2011

The 2011 open water fishing season is starting to wind down. The chill in the early morning air reminds us that it won’t be long until ice covers the waters of the Midwest. It’s time to get our ice-fishing lures out. However, we’re not going to be using those lures for ice-fishing. Not yet anyway. Although the open water fishing season is starting to wind down, there are still lots of open water fishing opportunities to take advantage of, and lures that are often thought of as ice-fishing lures are excellent fish catchers during the last weeks of the open water season. Here’s how you can give your ice-fishing baits some extra work.

There are a couple of reasons ice-fishing baits work so well this time of year in open water. First, it’s a conditioning thing. Fish become conditioned to lures. Once they see a bait a few times, they can become reluctant to bite that bait. Over a spring and summer time period, fish like walleyes and perch see lots of jigs and spinners and crankbaits. On the other hand, it’s been several months since they’ve seen an ice-fishing bait. Drop a jig on a walleye’s nose and it might be ignored. Drop an ice-fishing bait down there and the chances are better that it will be bit.

Another reason ice-fishing baits are so productive right now is their design. Ice baits are meant to be fished vertically, straight up and down. Crankbaits and spinners have to be moved horizontally to be productive. From now until freeze-up, in many bodies of water, walleyes, perch, and crappies will school in deep water, and they won’t want to chase a bait. A vertical presentation will be very productive. You keep an eye on your depth-finder and when you get over a school of fish, you hover directly overhead and drop your bait into the school and leave it there, wiggling right in their face. You will get bit,,,usually.

On a recent fishing trip the above is exactly what we did. We located the fish with the sonar, hovered directly overhead, dropped ice baits on them, and caught’em. Caught’em good! Walleyes and perch. Not real big walleyes, but nice ones.
Perhaps the best ice bait for open water fishing is a Northland Puppet Minnow. This bait was designed to be fished straight up and down. You let it sink to the bottom, then you lift it. A small “wing” at the back of the bait makes the Puppet Minnow fall back to the bottom in semi-circles. When your line goes slack, the bait has hit the bottom or a fish has it. Sometimes a gentle lift is best, sometimes a ripping lift will trigger the fish. If walleyes are the target, go with a larger bait: When perch are the quarry, downsize a bit. Attach the Puppet Minnow to your line with a small snap/swivel to prevent line twist. Add a Gulp! Alive Minnow Head for scent and additional visual appeal.

Puppet Minnows have a single hook at each end of the bait and a treble belly hook. That’s a lot of hooks. I like to net any fish that’s medium size and up when they’re hooked on this bait to reduce the chances of getting a hook in my hand. The Frabill Conservation Series of nets have a bag that will reduce hook tangles in the net, and also reduce the possibility of a hook in the hand.

If you’re going to be fishing open water in the next few weeks, give ice-fishing baits a try. You’ll catch some fish, and it will also serve as a good warm-up for the ice-fishing season.

To see all the newest episodes of Fishing the Midwest television, visit fishingthemidwest.com or MyOutdoorTv.com

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