Perch bite, reasonable ice nice for Devils Lake ice fishing

A pair of nice walleyes taken in January 2016 on Devils Lake. Perch are the rage now on the big lake, but expect the walleye bite to pick up, maybe starting with what's shaping up to be a solid New Year's weekend on the lake. (Photo by Brian Peterson)

DEVILS LAKE, N.D. — The Christmas Day blizzard kept most anglers off the Devils Lake, but travel remains possible with tracked-vehicles, and according to the Devils Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau, all public access points will be open and cleared for the New Year’s weekend.

In a release Friday, Dec. 30, the DLCVB said area guide services have been venturing out with clients, but travel has been limited. The fishing is “OK,” and ice thickness is reasonable, the DLCVB said, adding that another cold front is expected to add more ice over New Year’s weekend. Earlier this week, ice thickness reportedly was 10 to 18 inches throughout the main lake, with 18 inches on the northern basin lakes and lakes Alice and Irvine and about a foot at Six Mile and Creel bays.

There’s also at least a foot of snow on the ice, with some large drifts. But lake access ramps are being plowed and are scheduled to be open by New Year’s weekend.

The perch bite has been especially strong so far this ice-fishing season on the lake. On Thursday, Dec. 29, local guide Mark Bry and 20 clients cleaned about 400 perch, he said.

“They averaged 10 inches long, but there were some 12- to 14-inchers in the buckets,” he said. “The best bites seem to be shallow, starting at 8 feet. We’re catching fish despite the up-and-down weather.”

For walleyes, “It’s just getting going, and not on fire, and we haven’t gotten to what we consider our best early-ice spots yet,” he said. “Hey, it’s been brutally nasty, but when the weather pattern straightens out, the fish will go.”

Categories: Ice Fishing, Industry News, News, Press Releases, Walleye

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