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Archived Reports: 2013-2014 2012-2013 2011-2012

2010-2011 Fishing Reports

Monday, February 21, 2011

Lake conditions have improved dramatically in the last two weeks.  We were finally lucky enough to catch a break and receive a week to 10 days of warm weather (30 to 43 degrees) that helped us shrink some snow.  We lost at least 40 percent of the snow that we had and what is remaining is rock hard and we are able to drive our trucks right over the top of it.  So we are able to finally get to some areas that have not been fished all season.  Spots that were impossible to get to because of too much heavy snow or slush issues are now accessible.  We are still travelling in pairs as it is possible to still get stuck and slush spots can still be found but they are a lot more rare than they were two weeks ago.

The fishing has picked up as well.  The groups that were here during the warm spell did quite well on perch and we have been catching some walleyes as well.  But the cold front that made the snow rock hard is still lingering and has made perch fishing quite a bit more difficult.  We are marking them constantly but it is hard to get them to bite.  It seems like they bite in spurts.  Just when we are about to give up they seem to turn on for a while.  The perch we have been catching are the true jumbos and we have caught a lot that have easily averaged over a pound.

According to the forecast, it sounds like it is going to stay on the cold side for quite a while.  This should prolong our season until the end of March.  Last year March was by far our best month for perch so as soon as this weather straightens out and stabilizes...look out we should have some fantastic fishing ahead of us. 

It is hard to find room for groups before the 20th of March.  We do have some availiblilty March 13 - 17th but other than that the only available dates we have left is after March 20th.

Good Luck Fishing Everybody!


Monday, February 7 2011

Sorry for the delayed report, things have been quite busy around here.  The fishing has been on the slow side overall.  We have had some good days but just when we find a new school of fish we seem to get bombarded with another cold front.  This has been the toughest winter the Perch Patrol has ever seen in its history.  Not only are the lake conditions the worst we have ever seen as far as heavy snow and slush areas but the inconsistent weather patterns have made this one tough year to find and catch fish every day. 

We are still busy guiding every day and it seems the bite really seems to pick up when the sun is shining.  This may have to do with visibility issues improving when the sun is out.  With all the heavy snow it has to be darker on the bottom of the lake and when it is cloudy all the time, it just seems that it takes a lot longer to mark and catch fish.

We cannot stress enough how important it is to dress properly.  We have had some clients show up with blue jeans and tennis shoes.  This is not acceptable and you will be brought to a store to do a little shopping!!!  You need to keep in mind that with these conditions we are not able to drive our trucks on the lake.  The Perch Patrol Guides are doing everything we can to get you to our fishing spots.  Some of the guides are using snowmobiles which do not have a heated cab.  Some of the areas we are fishing have some slush issues.  So you are going to need some water proof boots that are warm as well.  Muck Boots seem to be the best.

If you are planning to come and fish Devils Lake on your own, we would like to give you some advice...

1)  Bring snowmobiles or some kind of track machine

2)  Always carry a rope and shovel with you

3)  Never travel alone.  Bring two snowmobiles or two track machines so you can pull each other out if needed

4)  Always carry a working cellular phone

5)  Watch for new and fresh cracks these happen daily and you can plan on finding lots of slush near them.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Perch Patrol is back in action!!!  We got what we wished for and that was cold temperatures.  Enough now, a little moderation of say "anything ABOVE zero" would be great.  Some of the slush did heal up in certain spots and the ice did get thicker, but the heavy snow is still here and did not go anywhere.  We are done driving our trucks because you just can't get anywhere.  Some of the guides are using snowmobiles, some have polaris rangers on mattracks and also the suburban on Mattracks you see on the home page of the website.

The fishing has been a little spotty. We have had some decent days but the before dark walleye bite has us puzzled.  We mark and catch walleyes during the morning bite, and pick away at a few during the day and we expect big things to happen during the prime hours of 3:30 to 5:30 and we barely even mark a fish.  It could be the full moon phase that has their feeding hours messed up or the every other day front that moves through.

This has been by far the toughest January the Perch Patrol has ever seen and it is all due to the heavy snow.  But we are adapting and learning a bit more every day on how to deal with it.  It has hampered our mobility and we just can't split up and fish different parts of the lake like we are accustomed to.  We stick together and help each other not only find fish but during the times of need...getting stuck and break downs as well.  The good news is we have been through the worst of it!  The weather is supposed to warm up, and hopefully stabilize as well.  This should improve our fishing.  Our job is ten times easier when the fish are biting.  It is not all gloom and doom, we have had some success this past week and we have posted some photos for you to enjoy.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Perch Patrol Guide Service has suspended operations until Tuesday, January 18th.  On Sunday January 8th we had a terrible accident that has our guide staff pretty shaken up right now.  One of our guides had his 4 wheel drive crew cab truck go through the ice and it is currently sitting on the bottom of Devils Lake in Fort Totten Bay.  Thank God nobody was injured and everyone was able to escape the vehicle before it went through the ice but the whole experience has been an eye opener for us.  This has never happened in the 16 years of the Perch Patrol history and do not want this to ever happen again.

We have a tremendous amount of snow cover on Devils Lake and it is creating problems for us.  Not only does it hamper our ability to get around, it insulates the ice and creates slush issues.  This particular incident happened on a trail that a crack that formed overnight ran along side.  The front tire of the vehicle fell through the crack and forced a chunk of ice to break off.  The ice was 18 inches thick on the spot where this happened and we believe the crack had more to do with the cause of this than anything. 

We want to error on the side of safety and are in the process of postponing all guide trips until this next cold front passes through this weekend.  The forecast is calling for 15 to 25 below zero temperatures beginning on Friday and with these cold temps the ice will not only thicken but also some of the slush under the snow will be given a chance to heal up.

The walleye fishing has started to pick up this past week but we have had some pretty major cold fronts this past weekend that slowed things up a bit.  On Friday the wind blew 40 miles per hour and it blew around the snow making it tough to see.  Saturday fishing was considerably better and we did have some groups limit out on walleyes. 

We are very sorry for the inconvenience that this suspension of operations may cause all of the customers that we had scheduled and want to thank all of you for understanding.  We want to be able to provide a safe experience for everyone and it is way better to be safe than to take any chances.

Saturday, Jan 1, 2010

Happy New Year Everybody!!!  Ice conditions on Devils Lake have been a major disappointment so far this season.  Heavy snow on top of 12 to 15 inches of ice have created a slushy mess out there so far.  But things are starting to improve!  Bitter cold temperatures over the New Years Holiday have started to heal things a bit.  The slush is starting to freeze again and the ice is slowly growing in thickness. 

Our first Perch Patrol clients arrived on December 27 through the 30th.  We mainly fished for walleyes and did fairly decent.  We caught a lot of fish but we had to weed through a lot of small walleyes.  The larger 18 to 20 inch fish only bit for a limited time early in the morning and right before dark. 

We are continuing to search for new areas to fish.  With the storm that passed through here the past 3 days it is going to take a bit before the country roads are opened up. 

I have been talking with a lot of you on the Perch Patrol Hotline and from the sounds of it Devils Lake is not alone with these conditions.  It sounds like the whole ice belt has heavy snow issues.  The only savior that we can hope for is cold weather.  We need a week or so of that 10 to 20 below zero stuff and I think a lot of our problems will be solved.  So, don't right us off...Lake conditions can change overnight.


Thursday, Dec. 16 2010

Well, things looked a lot rosier before yesterday happened.  We had been pretty lucky dodging all these heavy snowfalls that kept going south of us and then boom...our turn.  We got 12 to 15 inches dumped on us all day yesterday.  We are pretty lucky in the fact that by avoiding the heavy snow for so long, the lake was making pretty good ice.  So far we have as much as 12 to 14 inches on the bays and 8 to 10 on the main lakes.  But now that ice building will be a little slower as this heavy snowfall will definitely be an insulator.

What does all this mean???  It means travel on Devils Lake is going to be a lot more difficult.  We have been dealing with this same problem, the past 3 seasons.  Because of this, both Woodland Resort and the Perch Patrol are more equipped to handle these situations than ever before in either of our ice fishing histories.  We have spent a lot of money investing in Mattracks for ATV's and vehicles and Hugglund SUSVs.  All of this, to better equip ourselves to get our customers where they need to be to catch fish.  So, turn that frown upside down!!!  Our fishing spots just got a little more private as of yesterday. 

We have been very busy taking reservations and gearing up for what looks to be an extremely busy winter.  We still have plenty of room to take your party fishing and we would love to take you fishing this winter.  Most of the the Woodland rental houses are now on the lake and some of them have have been producing some nice catches of perch, walleyes, and northern pike.  The first customers for the Perch Patrol arrive on December 27th.  The Perch Patrol have been busy putting their new Fish Trap Thermos together and getting geared up for another busy winter.

Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010

Season's Greetings everybody!  Well she turned white and cold on us here in the north country.  Devils Lake is froze over and has been for soon a week now.  We are making ice folks and that is a beautiful thing!  We just received our shipment of the new Fish Trap Thermo X's from Clam Corp, a sure sign winter is here.  Tomorrow we will be heading to St. Paul, Minnesota for the St. Paul Ice Fishing show.  It is the largest ice fishing show in the world.  Once again the Perch Patrol will share a booth with Woodland Resort.  We will be handing out brochures, answering questions, and talkin ice fishing.  If you get a chance, please stop by and say "hi"

While we are in the cities, we will be picking up our new Strikemaster augers and 24 Vexilars for our clients to use this upcoming season.  We did request some of the new Vexilar FL-22's.  There supply is low however so we may not get all of them that we requested.  But there will be 24 units, and they will all have a bottom zoom and that is the most important feature for us fishing Devils Lake.

The phone has been ringing and the emails have been pouring in, lots of groups making reservations.  This is the Perch Patrol's 16th year of operation and we are looking forward to another successful season.  The World Famous Perch Express is still our most popular package and Thanks to you, our customers, it is still the top rated ice fishing adventure in the ice fishing industry. 

Now is the perfect time to plan your ice fishing adventure to Devils Lake this winter.  We still have most dates open and we want to take your group fishing with us this season.  No group too big or small.  We are anticipating a great winter.  Our perch population is as strong as it has been in quite a while, the walleye fishing is some of the best in North America, and our northern pike are as hungry and as plentiful as they normally are.  We have a lot of good things happening in our lake and we believe all of our species will be hitting on all cylinders this upcoming season.

Friday, November 12, 2010








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