The Peluso Report: Ice Fishing Good Despite Conditions

Mike Peluso

By Mike Peluso

Well between fixing starters, putting tracks on, having to get a skid shack, thawing frozen pipes, fixing zippers on shacks and so on, we have actually been fishing during this massive deep freeze on Devils Lake, and surprisingly some days have been pretty good!

The first thing we are finding is some areas on Devils Lake and beyond are getting extremely difficult to get around. The snow has blown some access points shut. It has also created some drifts out on the lake that are causing guys headaches. Be prepared if you are coming up to Devils or venturing out on some of the smaller lakes.

I personally would recommend tracked vehicles for easier moving around. If you have them, put them on! We are seeing a few trucks venturing around, but we are also seeing them getting buried in the snow in spots. Make sure you travel out with a buddy and another means of transportation. This will help in getting unstuck and staying out of the elements. These cold temps are nothing to mess with.

As far as the fishing is concerned, it’s mixed reports. Some guys are doing really well and others are struggling a bit. It seems like the areas we are fishing have slowed some. We are still finding the perch are moving around and possibly in tighter pods. Popping lots of holes and checking those holes will result in finding them eventually. For us on the Devils Lake system we are still finding the bulk of the fish in the 20-26 foot of water range. Both a plain hook with a small minnow hooked in the back and tungsten jigs with wax worms is doing well on the perch. The walleyes are still liking the rattle baits and or buckshot spoons tipped with minnow heads.

While I am not sure what the future holds, I do see a small warm up here later in the week. If we get another blast of snow, it’s going to make things very difficult. A few areas when you drill a hole and sit for a while the area you are sitting on turns into slush, so keep an eye on that!

I don’t have many openings left this winter. I do have a few, but they very limited. I’m also booking lots of spring river trips already. So, if this is something you are thinking about trying this spring don’t hesitate to book those trips. I hope everyone had a Great Holiday Season – here’s to 2022!

Mike Peluso is a Dakota Edge Outdoors contributing writer and a licensed ND fishing guide specializing in walleyes on the state’s premier waters.

Featured Photo: Pod Play. Perch are roaming the Devils Lake basin in tight groups, providing quick here-and-gone action which requires some searching by anglers. DEO Photo by Mike Peluso.

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