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My son and I are officially in countdown mode.  We are leaving at noon on Thursday, driving straight to woodlands and waking up to go fishing with the perch patrol guys Friday.  we will then spend Saturday and Sunday chasing spots on maps that look like where we fished on Friday.  My son turns 13 next wednesday and this is the third year in a row that we have made this trip.  He is quickly becoming a great fisherman and out ice fish all of the guys I usually go with.  

Weather predicitions have changed 4-5 times since last monday when we started looking ahead.  Hoping for decent pressure system instead, temp's don't bother us.  Where would one go for some tip up action in the middle of the day?  We want to set some tip ups for northerns and grill some venison brats for lunch on Saturday and maybe Sunday.  That is one thing we haven't done a lot of is tip up fishing.

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by this time tomorrow, I will be past Cabelas in Rogers and setting the cruise control for the next 3 hours (Grand Forks) before we stop to get fuel.   If I have time to send updates, I will put them here with pictures I hope.........

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We are heading up in two weeks so I'm curious to hear how you guys did this weekend.  Any reports?  

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what a great weekend!  the drive up was helped by listening to a Zane Grey book in the truck and traffic was pretty light the entire way.  And for the third year in a row, there was a state trooper sitting in the median just past the turtle rive state park (keep that in mind as you are motoring on Highway 2!)

Friday morning was mind numbing cold, -18, thankfully there was no wind.  We met our guide Dave, from Perch Patrol and we drove out to Lake Irvine with the hopes of 2  pound perch dancing in our heads as we bounced across the lake.  it was that rough.....We set up on a spot that should have been  hot, but the 40 degree drop in temps from the day before shut them down in the morning.....At noon we moved to the flats on Northwest side of Grahms Island on Devils Lake.  17 -18 feet, and we found perch,  every perch we caught that afternoon was a keep, 11" or more.  My son caught the pig of the weekend out there almost a 14".    12 perch and 1 walleye for 4 hours of fishing and not moving once.  The guide was moving around and moved the other clients around but we had fish on the screen the entire time, they were just tight lipped.  Gold tungsten jigs worked, so did the one gold Hali with treble hooks until it broke off.......

Friday evening we tried a spot near the chicken coop (actually the trees near the coop) but nothing.

Saturday Morning we decided to try a spot the guide suggested in the west bay.  We got out there, I pulled out my auger and the throttle lever assembly on my strikemaster solo had broken.  Plastic and -18 don't mix together well.  I could still use it, it was just a little tougher to use.  Then my son's showdown wouldn't turn on.  SO back to the resort to try and fix it and the auger.  Turns out it was just the inline fuse, of which I thankfully had a spare in my battery charger (which then meant I couldn't charge batteries that night) so we headed back out.  By that time, Dave had called wondering how our morning was going and said they were back out on the flats.  WE headed back out because the perch and walleyes were still there, so we joined them.  6 Perch and 6 Walleyes and one Northern as the wind howled and the snow blew around.  We stayed through the evening bite thinking with this many perch and 15-18" walleyes, we could see the big girls show up around dark.  They didn't show up but we did have a couple of flurries on the flasher come through.


Sunday we woke up a little late but we were tired, so we packed up the truck and decided to head out from Woodlands.  The bait shop kid said go deep, we did and caught the only two fish we had to throw back all weekend.  We drove all over rocky point and Wolford Bay until about 1.  we then went into the trees in Wolford Bay and set up a spread of tip ups.  We ended up with 4 flags before we left at 5, but never got a single fish, mostly my fault as I had too small of rigs on a couple of tip ups and on one of them the rig came untied.  


It was a great weekend, we had a great guide (Dave R.) and we are already planning next years birthday trip.  


The picture of me with the two perch is during the flurry on Saturday.  I have never had a double ice fishing before.  I think half of our fish came on the bobber lines.  They would come up to movement but then wanted it absolutely still before they took it.,






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Thanks for the report.  Glad you guys enjoyed the trip despite the temps on Friday!  Great pictures too... I see by your son's hat that you are fellow Lakers!  We were catching perch on Spring this weekend... but they didn't quite look like the ones in your pics.  :D

Looking forward to our trip up in a couple of weeks.  We are staying at Haybale and thinking we will try the East side this year so I will report back.

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good luck, in three years, we have never fished east of Creel Bay.  I love the west side of the lake, the water clarity on the west side is not as clear as the main basin area, that is for sure.  Lake Irvine had me excite, I had heard a lot of great things so far this winter on that lake.

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We were in the Devils Lake area last Thursday-Monday.   Hopefully, this information will be helpful.

We fished in front of the casino several times in 45-48 feet of water.   The best bite was from 9-2 pm.   Walleye and Perch.   We caught one 26 inch walleye and some 12-14 inch perch.   The big walleye was caught on a wax worm on a small tungsten lure, go figure.   There was also a decent bite late afternoon.  Early morning was dead.

We fished Pike two mornings on Pelican.   We fished 6-10 feet of water.   We had a party of 9 and limited out each day in 3-4 hours using tip ups.  We have never fished Perch or Walleye on Pelican, but reports were strong on both during our stay.

We fished Lake Irvine on our final day.  It was shallow water, 4-7 feet.   From 10-4:30 we caught plenty of Pike on Walleye baits.   Starting at 5:30, the Perch and Walleye started to bite.   Large 12-14 inch Perch and 20+ inch Walleye with an occasional Pike to make it interesting.   It is a big lake and we drove out 3+ miles and fished near old roads.   Rumors were the ice was questionable.  Most of the locals were using their ATVs.   Make sure you mark your waypoint entrance if you are going to fish until dark.   It was tricky getting off the lake.

Some members of our party fished Alice and caught some nice walleye, but the bite was slow.  They also landed some decent Pike.  Shallow water as well.  Make sure you check the fishing regulations on Alice.   Someone told us you can not leave fish on the ice, then need to be in a bucket.  I am not sure if this is true or not.

This was our third consecutive year in the Devil's Lake area and the best year to date.   Take your ice cleats.  There is very little snow left on the lake.

I hope this helps.   Good luck.

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