Back to Ed's Bait Shop Devils Lake simply has some of 
the best fishing in the world.

It is one of North Dakota's only natural lakes and provides excellent 
year round northern, walleye, perch, and white bass fishing. 

Come and experience the great fishing on Devils Lake this year!

 
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PERCH ICE FISHING TIPS:

LINE:
We at Ed's recommend in the winter, smaller lines are less visible. Also, they allow for a truer depth if using bobber than a thicker stiffer line, allow the jig to act more naturally, and also allow the fish to "inhale" the bait easier.

ROD:
We at Ed's recommend an 18" to 36" ultra light (noodle) rod. Another option is to buy a stiffer ice rod and put a "spring" bobber on the tip. As for the rod, try to find one with larger guides. The real small guides found on some ice fishing rods are great in a heated house, but freeze up in the colder weather if fished outside. The trick is to find a rod with a very light tip and some backbone half way down. This allows a fish to bite with little tension while giving the angler the backbone needed for a good hookset.

JIGS:
Most anglers will typically use 1/8th to 1/32 oz jigs when ice fishing for perch. These are then tipped bait and fished with a slip bobber. Most local anglers also use spoons or other ice jigs such as Kastmasters, Casada's, Ripple Tails, Ivan Slammers, Jigging Raps, & Rattle Snakies. For perch, most all local anglers will modify all of the above hooks. Angler remove the treble hook from these. They will then tie on about a 3 to 6 inch piece of fishing line and then a small treble hook. (See pic)

ELECTRONICS:
We consider this one of the most important tools of any ice fisherman. When it comes to ice fishing electronics, we recommend the Vexilar and Zercom units. If we had to choose, we'd probably give the Vexilar a bit of an edge. This three color system and excellent bottom/hook separation put this unit above the rest. A depth finder allows two main things. First and foremost, it allows the angler to know if fish are present and to what degree. Secondly, it helps the angler concentrate on their hook when fish are present and figure out patterns to get them to bite. When using the Vexilar unit, set the sensitivity so it can just pick up your small jig. The green color indicates a weaker signal. Yellow color is a medium signal. And, red indicates a stronger signal. By setting the sensitivity to show the hook/bait green, if the signal then turns yellow or red, a fish is probably checking it out.

GPS SYSTEMS:
When ice fishing, an angler is often out in the middle of a large, flat, span of ice. GPS systems allow angler to find their old hot spot, sunken islands, rocks, or other structure with a minimum of drilling with their auger. Before GPS systems, angler often had to guess and drill until they got to their spot. Now, once in the GPS, anglers can return to the coordinates they are looking for and be quite close to the spot. We at Ed's feel most GPS systems ultimately do the same thing and as such don't recommend any one brand. However, we do recommend a "map" unit. Especially the new models that allow an angler to load maps from a CD via their personal pc. With Devils Lake experiencing a flood for the past six years, these map units allow anglers to find old roads, ditches, driveway, and etc. than can now be in excess of 20ft of water. Considering how fish relate to structure, these units can be extremely helpful.

BAIT:
The recommended baits for perch are small minnows, nightcrawlers (summer/fall), waxworms, spikes, helgamites, mousies, & perch eyes. With minnow, most angler will use only the head if they are working with a jig such as a Kastmaster or Rattle Snakie that has a drop line. ND allows the use of perch eyes, and when fish are biting on them they are often the choice bait. Perch eyes are typically quite tough and don't require the constant re-baiting experienced by most of the live baits.



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