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DECEMBER

13 2016 »

A New Season Dawns: Ice Fishing Devils Lake, ND

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img_3168 Anglers will soon begin their annual return to the surface of Devils Lake, the lake made famous by so many happy anglers.  In fact, the popular Perch Patrol guide service kicks into high gear Monday, Dec. 16.

Zippy Dahl of the Perch Patrol said, “We’re really looking forward to a good year.”  He based his assessment on the fact that the fall walleye fishing was “phenomenal, and remember, last winter Mother Nature dictated her terms, and we missed one-third of the ice season,” he said. “All those perch are bigger and fatter this season.”  Last year, lots of good-size 9 to 11 inch perch were hauled through the ice.  That perch year-class will now be 11 to 13 inches.

Everybody wants to know about ice conditions, and even though a huge snow storm whipped across Devils Lake and most of North Dakota a week ago, the main lake was open, and didn’t start freezing until a few days ago.  “Ice grows fast, about an inch a day when temps are below zero,” Dahl said.  “I expect we will live up to our reputation as one of the top ice spots in the country.”

A recent survey by the respected authority on all things ice fishing, Target Walleye/Ice, surveyed their email subscribers, asking opinions on best ice fishing destinations.  Devils Lake was ranked second, which is an amazing statistic, based on all thimg_3163e ice fishermen in the states to the east.  When asked what the Perch Patrol’s 32 to 38 daily clients say about Devils Lake, Dahl offered these statements:

“We love multi-species.  We come for the perch, but walleyes add weight to the cooler.”

“There is so much water; we never feel crowded.”

We like the run and gun approach; being mobile; finding fish; and learning new tactics.”

At the recent St. Paul Ice Show, the Devils Lake Tourism folks were present with a booth.  These were the most common things they heard:

“We head to Devils Lake annually.  It’s the best place to catch a limit of fish.”

“This is our place now.”  (After fishing many other top spots, anglers return every year, many making several trips of hundreds of miles.)

“We love the free year-round fish cleaning station.”

“Biggest perch ever!”

Zippy and the Perch Patrol can be reached at 701-351-3474 or perchpatrol.com.  Their 10 guides still have a few days open in January and February.

The website devilslakend.com features up-to-date reports with emphasis on the current fishing activity and ice conditions.  It is also loaded with info about guides, resorts, lodging, casino, restaurants, ramps, fish-cleaning stations, ice tournaments and community events.  Check out the pike de-boning video.  A helpful map serves as a great reference tool.  For personal assistance, call 701-662-4903, and talk to a friendly Devils Lake resident who was probably on Devils Lake yesterday.

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