Archive of Fishing reports

January2014

The Bite Goes On…

Posted: January 31, 2014

bry's

The bite continues to be good! It’s all about finding that window and or flurry during the day.
Our best walleye action has been in 8 to 14 feet of water. We have caught walleyes all day but the bite is best just before dark(3-5 window). Buckshots with the minnow head have been the best, but we also have had luck with more subtle presentations.
Perch fishing has been fairly consistent the key is to find the active school. There are days they need a bit of coaxing and other days they really go! The size and quality of the perch is very special right now on Devils Lake, we have had many over 13 inches. Buckshots, Hali’s, and dropper rigs tipped with a minnow head or waxies has been the best.

Ice is thick and there are areas where extensions are needed, trucks can still get around, but some areas are tricky.

Good luck to all!!

Courtesy of  Bry’s Guide Service

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Winter 2013-2014 expected to be one of the best for ice fishing in North Dakota!

Posted: January 29, 2014

JM-ice fishing
From North Dakota Tourism: Fall fishing is usually a good barometer to judge the opportunities that will prevail during the ice fishing season. Good fishing in the fall almost always leads to good ice fishing while poor fall fishing often points to continued poor fishing through the winter. I can’t remember all of the fall bites of years gone by but what I can tell you is that the perch fishing we saw this past fall on Devils Lake was better than anything I can remember. Our guide staff was bringing in staggering catches of jumbo perch this fall mixed in with the customary limits of walleyes.   – See more at: http://www.ndtourism.com/blog
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Hit and Miss Fishing

Posted: January 27, 2014

This week has been very very hit and miss, 1 hour is ok the next awful, front after front with very drastic pressure changes make things difficult at times. Clients have been just grinding out the day, hunkering down and just working different baits, presentations, depths from buckshot rattle spoons to even the smallest horizontal AQUA ANTS from NW Metro Tackle in glow red have been the best. Another thing I have tried with success has just been a plain size 8 red hook with a full minnow has been working with a bobber just letting it sit still about 8-12 inches off the bottom. The walleye bite has been similiar however they seen not as affected as much so we have been catching a few each day. The week ahead does show hope with cold cold cold but I will take it if it stays steady and the pressure is fairly consistent, should improve. Just a reminder we only have a few weeks left of the hardwater so, if you are planning a trip yet this year give us a call. I do have some openings during the week but most of my weekends are full thru the middle of March. Till next time…Tight Lines John

Courtesy of  Big John’s Guide Service

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Amtrak Issues but Lots of Perch!

Posted:

perchpatrolpics2

Before we get in to this weeks report, we must discuss a major issue regarding the Perch Express Package. In last weeks report it was mentioned about the lack of service that Devils Lake has been receiving from Amtrak. We also mentioned that we would report more on this subject as more information became available to us. The news that we have been receiving about Amtrak service to Devils Lake is not good. This has been a developing situation that we have been dealing with so far this season and is also a situation that in 19 years, we have never had to deal with. The main problem is all the oil traffic on the BNSF rail line that Amtrak uses to get to Devils Lake, ND. Because of the Oil boom in western North Dakota, the BNSF line that runs through Devils Lake has become congested with freight train traffic causing the Amtrak Empire Builder to pull over and sit in a waiting pattern, in many cases for several hours. The past 2 weeks alone, the train has been running anywhere from 3 to 5 hours late in the mornings. This alone has cost our clients at minimum a half of day of fishing and in some cases the whole first day. The east bound train that runs at night (this would be the train that brings you back home) most of the time doesn’t even come in to Devils Lake. Most of the time this train takes an alternate route from Minot, ND to Fargo, ND leaving Rugby, Devils Lake, and Grand Forks without Amtrak service. At times Amtrak has shown up with buses or vans to transport passengers but other times our customers have been told to rent a car to get to Fargo and this is not an option in Devils Lake, North Dakota. Neither the Perch Patrol Guide Service or Woodland Resort has the time or the staff power to bring our clientele to Fargo, North Dakota at 3:00 am. We have been hoping this would get better but it has been brought to our attention that this situation in no way is going to improve for quite a while if not indefinitely. Therefore we have no choice to discontinue taking reservations from clientele that requires Amtrak service. We are in the process of calling all of the customers that already have reservations on our Perch Express Packages and have train tickets through Sues Travel Center. We have no choice but to inform them of this situation and give them either the option of driving or canceling their trip entirely. Refunds for the train tickets are being taken care of through Sue at Sue’s Travel Center for the train tickets and Woodland Resort also needs to be notified on whether your party is willing to drive, whishes to reschedule, or chooses to cancel.

This is a sad day! For 19 years, our customers have enjoyed coming fishing with us and have enjoyed the experience of riding Amtrak. The combination of the two provided for a great adventure. But given the current situation regarding the train, it has become a horrible experience that is costing our customers too much lost fishing time. None of this is any of our control and we know that this is going to be a huge inconvenience to those customers that have reservations but our policy has always been about honesty. Knowing what we now know about this situation and to do nothing and allow this dilemma to continue to unfold, would be a disservice to our customers.

Contact Numbers for those with reservations on the Perch Express Package and Amtrak tickets:

Sues Travel Center (701) 662-7837

Woodland Resort (701) 662-5996

Perch Patrol Guide Service (701) 351-3474

Now for the good news! The perch fishing this past week was absolutely incredible! Infact, we are not sure it could get much better. Numerous limits of jumbos were caught and just about all of our clientele cashed in Big time! The cool part about fishing these perch was seeing how big the schools were. At times the whole 6 foot auto zoom side would fill in with fish. When the perch schools are that thick, they definitely compete for your lure and often times shoot up and meet your lure on its way to the bottom. Good Times!

I know this sounds like a broken record, but we are still fishing the basin in depths anywhere from 36 to 48 feet of water. We are still having our best success on the Northland Buckshot Rattle spoon tipped with minnow heads, perch eye, or wax worms. We have been many places on Devils Lake this winter and if you drill enough holes and be mobile and are willing to work at it, the schools of perch can be found on virtually any part of the lake.

The walleye fishing has been decent but with all the perch success, we have not spent much time fishing for them. We had one group that wanted a break from the perch, decided to go fish northern pike and they absolutely crushed them. They got their 3 person limit of 15 in very short order.

We are having one of our best and most successful fishing seasons in our history of the Perch Patrol. This train thing is a major bummer, but we are a 6 1/2 hour drive from Minneapolis, MN. The roads are 4 lane the entire way. My point is that this is an easy drive for fishing this good. Just think about the 10,000 lakes most of our customers from Wisconsin drive by to get here.

Courtesy of  Perch Patrol

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Lake Access Points Cleared

Posted: January 24, 2014

Henegar Landing, Eastbay Landing, Lakewood Landing, County Road 1 and Six Mile Bay Landings have all been cleared for lake access. Access our map to find locations.

Also, read updated fishing reports and find more information.

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Devils Lake Report

Posted: January 22, 2014

Had a couple days off last week but was able to fish 5 days and the fishing was very good for perch. We would find the large schools and just target them till late afternoon then go after walleyes. We had a group from Iowa for 3 days and caught over 140 Jumbo Perch along with 20 nice walleyes. The weather really didn’t bother us because the days were spent outside and the temps were in the 30’s. I got some sample jigs from NW METRO TACKLE called grubbies. Danny also sent other jigs along with the grubbies. The glow on his jigs are the brightest and longest lasting glow that I have ever used. We would put a small minnow hooked thru the back near the dorsal fin, being careful not to paralize them with a small split-shot down the hole about 8-12″ off the bottom and the fish would go crazy to inhale it. I tried other jigs and they just did not work but, Danny’s worked awesome. I would suggest you take a look at his products and give them a try. The week ahead looks good for temps and fishing so, give us a call and reserve your guided trip with us. Till next time <))))))>< John

Courtesy of  Big John’s Guide Service

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Inconsistency in Weather and Fishing.

Posted:

The bite has been good some days and just okay others. Don’t like to use weather for an excuse but it has been a very up-and-down pattern.

Seems like the majority of our perch are being caught deeper now in that 25 to 45 foot of water. We are using Buckshots, Hali’s, PK spoons, and dropper rigs to catch perch.
Our best Walleye bites have been in shallow water (7-12),however, we have caught them as deep as 42ft.
Snow on the lake is getting to be more and more but trucks are still able to get around most areas. Ice thickness is 25 plus inches in most places of the lake…
All we need is a bit of consistency in weather and the bite will follow!
Courtesy of  Bry’s Guide Service
 

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Fluctuating Fishing and Train Troubles

Posted: January 21, 2014

Sunday, January 19th, 2014

What a crazy week it was.  First of all, we would like to offer our sincere apologies for the lack of service that Amtrak has given us this past week.  We had customers that couldn’t make it here because of a train derailment on the line that Amtrak runs on.  We can understand a derailment from another train can cause problems.  BUT, in our 19 year history, we have never experienced the problems we have had to endure with getting our Perch Express customers here on time or in some cases here on the same day.  Things must get better with the train or we are going to have to explore other options.  Sad to see but enough trips have been ruined because of the train.  We do not know all the reasons why they are having so much trouble but we are exploring them and desperately want answers.  We will keep you posted when we find out more information.

There, the rant is over!  The fishing was excellent at times, poor at times, and mediocre at times as well.  A lot had to do with the weather.  We have kind of seen it all this week from beautiful sunny skies, to extreme cloudiness, temperatures in the high 30’s to temps in the – 20 below zero range.  Plus a midweek storm that gave us gusty winds to 65 MPH.  When the weather was good, so was the fishing and when the weather was bad, the perch seemed to stay belly to the bottom and didn’t seem very interested in eating.  So we turned our focus to walleye fishing for a couple of these days and it paid off Big time!  Limits of beautiful walleyes were caught by our customers and believe it or not it was challenging to talk them back in to perch fishing once the weather straightened out.

Needless to say, it was a crazy week.

Our best perch fishing is still happening in the basin.  Depths anywhere from 42 to 48 feet of water.  Still catching most of our fish on Northland Buckshot Rattle spoons, Haili’s, and the new bomb spoon made by Clam Outdoors.  Minnow heads, waxies, perch eyes, and maggots, are all working.

Ice conditions and Snow conditions:

Ice continues to grow and I can’t even tell you an accurate measurement because I haven’t measured for a while.  You don’t need extensions yet but probably will in the not so distant future.  Our luck continues with the lack of snow on Devils Lake.  There is some snow but it is still hard as a rock.  We do still see bare ice in places.  Four wheel drive vehicles are making it around no problem.

Our schedule is very full.  Other than a day or two that we can take two people we are full until February 10th.  We do have some room between Feb. 10 thru Feb. 28.  It is best to call for availability.  March is filling fast as well.

Have a great week Everybody!

Courtesy of  Perch Patrol

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Nearly 30 inches of ice!

Posted: January 14, 2014

perchpatrolpics

 

Another fun filled week for the guests of the Perch Patrol.  Some of our mid week guests were treated to quite a surprise as

“Mr. Ice fishing” Dave Genz paid us a two day visit.  Not only did they get to meet our good friend Dave, they got to fish with him!  He showed off the new Vexilar FL-28, handed out some of the new line up of Clam Outdoors tackle for them to try and demonstrated numerous jigging techniques.  A lot of stories were told about the history of the ice fishing revolution, not too mention a lot of fish were caught during all of this.  It was quite a site when Mr. Genz walked into the fish cleaning station at Woodland Resort.  It was the first time we have ever heard the buzzing of all the electric fillet knives come to a complete stop!  Always a good time when Dave comes to pay us a visit.  He is going to try and come back and pay us two more visits this season, once in February, and again in March.

Dave Genz is pictured front and center in the very first picture below with the Button and Haskins group.

The fishing overall this past week was not quite as easy as we have had so far this year.  We had to work a little harder, move quite a bit more but all in all, the Perch Patrol Guides made something happen every day.  It was hard to string together two days in a row in the same location.  Just when we thought we had the perch figured out, they threw us a curve ball.  We had some very good walleye fishing at times.  It seems like the before dark bite has been better than the morning bite for walleyes.  Actually the mid to late afternoon perch bite seemed to be better than the morning bite as well.

We are still catching most of our fish on Northland Buckshot Rattle Spoons tipped with minnow heads or perch eyes. We did have one day that wax worms were the best.  As far as depths go…back to being all over the board.  We had a real good bite going in 43 feet of water early in the week but when that bite ended, some of our guides caught perch in 23 feet and we ended the week in 46 feet of water.  So go figure.  Just have to keep drilling holes and move, move, move.

Our ice conditions are approaching the 30 inch mark and our snow conditions remain the same.  Be careful however that rain we had last week put a crust on this snow that is VERY slippery.  Either wear cleats or walk like a penguin.

We have had quite a few calls regarding our availability.  We have had to turn quite a few groups down because we are full on a lot of dates.  We do still have a lot of room towards the end of February and March but things are still filling very rapidly.

Here is what we still have available for the rest of January…

Jan 19 and 20 room for 4 to 6

Jan 21 and 22 room for 2

Jan 23 room for 8

Jan 25 room for 6

Jan 26 room for 5

Jan 27 room for 5

Have a great week everybody!

Courtesy of Perch Patrol

 

 

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Wow!! Fun Times on Devils Lake!

Posted: January 8, 2014

The bite has been very fun! Weather has been tough, but when perch are smacking and even pulling your drag, well it makes life pretty special!
We have caught some of the nicest perch I’ve ever seen on Devils Lake! Many of them are in the 13-14 inch class. We have had some great walleye fishing as well!
Seems like our perch are being caught in the 20-40 ft range and most of our walleyes are being caught in the 8-20 ft range.
Minnow heads and wax worms have been the ticket…dropper rigs or buckshots seem to be the lures we use day in and day out.
Tip of the day…get that frenzy going and keep it going with all fish, especially perch. What I mean is when you catch a few fish, make sure you get back down as quickly as you can and keep the frenzy going! This is super important!! Take pictures later, get back down there!
Again the Snobear has really shined in this brutal weather! Clients are happy catching fish and staying warm doing it!
Good luck to all!
Courtesy of   Bry’s Guide Service

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