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                                           The Perch Express

                                                         1995 - 2014

The World Famous Perch Express ice fishing package offered by the Perch Patrol Guide Service the past 19 years no longer exists.  This was one of the popular packages in the history of the ice fishing industry.  Thousands of fisherman accross the midwest rode the Amtrak Empire Builder to Devils Lake, North Dakota to ice fish with the Perch Patrol and enjoyed the friendly hospitality of Woodland Resort. 

Interupted rail service to Devils Lake, mainly due to all the oil and freight traffic now needed in the Bakken Oil fields, is the main reason an Amtrak train can no longer make it to the city of Devils Lake, North Dakota.

The Perch Patrol Guide Service and Woodand Resort have now re-tooled their packages to cater to the customers that really have no other option than to drive to Devils Lake on their own.  Fortunately, it is a four lane highway from Minneapolis, Minnesota with a very generous speed limit once you cross the Red River into North Dakota.  Most customers will now arrive the day before their first day of fishing and all packages begin with a nice dinner the evening they arrive.  Follow that with a few toddies in the bar and get a good nights rest before you go fishing the next day.   For more details on these packages just click on the "New Packages" selection on our home page.


All Aboard the Perch Express! 

As of January 26, 2014 the Perch Express Package has changed.  Because of reasons beyond our control, we are no longer taking reservations that require Amtrak Service.  The package is still available if you are willing to drive to Woodland Resort on Devils Lake, North Dakota.  For more information please read the details below:

The news that we have been receiving about Amtrak service to Devils Lake is not good.  This has been a developing situation that we have been dealing with so far this season and is also a situation that in 19 years, we have never had to deal with.  The main problem is all the oil traffic on the BNSF rail line that Amtrak uses to get to Devils Lake, ND.  Because of the Oil boom in western North Dakota, the BNSF line that runs through Devils Lake has become congested with freight train traffic causing the Amtrak Empire Builder to pull over and sit in a waiting pattern, in many cases for several hours.  The past 2 weeks alone, the train has been running anywhere from 3 to 5 hours late in the mornings.  This alone has cost our clients at minimum a half of day of fishing and in some cases the whole first day.  The east bound train that runs at night (this would be the train that brings you back home) most of the time doesn't even come in to Devils Lake.  Most of the time this train takes an alternate route from Minot, ND to Fargo, ND leaving Rugby, Devils Lake, and Grand Forks without Amtrak service.  At times Amtrak has shown up with buses or vans to transport passengers but other times our customers have been told to rent a car to get to Fargo and this is not an option in Devils Lake, North Dakota.  Neither the Perch Patrol Guide Service or Woodland Resort has the time or the staff power to bring our clientele to Fargo, North Dakota at 3:00 am.  We have been hoping this would get better but it has been brought to our attention that this situation in no way is going to improve for quite a while if not indefinitely.  Therefore we have no choice to discontinue taking reservations from clientele that requires Amtrak service.  We are in the process of calling all of the customers that already have reservations on our Perch Express Packages and have train tickets through Sues Travel Center.  We have no choice but to inform them of this situation and give them either the option of driving or canceling their trip entirely.  Refunds for the train tickets are being taken care of through Sue at Sue's Travel Center for the train tickets and Woodland Resort also needs to be notified on whether your party is willing to drive, whishes to reschedule, or chooses to cancel.

This is a sad day!  For 19 years, our customers have enjoyed coming fishing with us and have enjoyed the experience of riding Amtrak.  The combination of the two provided for a great adventure.  But given the current situation regarding the train, it has become a horrible experience that is costing our customers too much lost fishing time.  None of this is any of our control and we know that this is going to be a huge inconvenience to those customers that have reservations but our policy has always been about honesty.  Knowing what we now know about this situation and to do nothing and allow this dilemma to continue to unfold, would be a disservice to our customers.

Contact Numbers for those with reservations on the Perch Express Package and Amtrak tickets:

Sues Travel Center            (701) 662-7837

Woodland Resort               (701) 662-5996

Perch Patrol Guide Service  (701) 351-3474



All Aboard the Perch Express Devils Lake ND

Voted the Winners of NorthDakota Tourism's
Best Vacation Package for 2006 !!!

Make this your year to experience the World Famous Perch Express, North Dakota’s most complete and professionally guided ice fishing package.  The Perch Patrol Guide Service and Woodland Resort have owned and operated the Perch Express since the early 1990s and have successfully entertained thousands of ice fishermen throughout the Midwest.   We take your vacation very seriously and we try our best to accommodate the fisherman’s every need.  Infact, in April of 2006, the Perch Express was honored to be awarded North Dakota’s Best Vacation Package by North Dakota Tourism!   So what are you waiting for?   Gather up your family, friends, co-workers, and relatives and Climb Aboard the Perch Express!

Upon your arrival to Devils Lake, ND, you will be picked up and greeted at the Amtrak station by Woodland Resort.  No need to rent a vehicle you will be taken straight to the resort, where you will check in to your accommodations, grab some breakfast, perhaps freshen up with a quick shower and your Perch Patrol Guide will be waiting to take you fishing.

The Perch Patrol has all the gear, 4 wheel drive trucks, snowmobiles, ATV’s, ice augers,  and heated, portable shelters.  We also provide every guest with a Vexilar Fl-18 with plenty of instruction of how to use it.  Equipment is top notch, the latest and greatest fishing rods and reels in the industry right down to the tackle and bait.  The best part, this is a fully guided trip, it is our priority to put you on the hottest bite available.  We don’t just drop you off in a fish house until day’s end, we are working hard, constantly looking for new and more active schools of fish, no matter what the species.  “Mobility is the key to catching fish,” we’ve all heard that before, why would you pay for anything less? 

After a successful 8-hour day of fishing, how can you top it off any better than to enjoy a few toddies before your meal at the “Cove Restaurant.”  Times like these deserve some celebrating in Woodland Resort’s Ganders Pub.  You will feel right at home, as this is a true fisherman’s pub, with great hospitality and friendly locals most of whom fish every day themselves.  Not to mention the food.   Nobody goes to bed hungry here, the Cove Restaurant serves up the finest tasting food in the Midwest.  From steaks, burgers, and chicken to fine dining pastas, prime rib, soups, salads, homemade pizzas and plenty of tasty appetizers.  They even pack a lunch for you delivered right to your fish house, so you can keep up your energy and catch more fish!

The staff at Woodland Resort isn’t afraid to roll out the “Red Carpet” when it comes to hospitality.  You will enjoy the clean, comfortable hotel rooms and cabins (larger groups).  From the convenience of the fully stocked bait shop to the brand new heated fish cleaning facilities, everything you could possible need is a short scenic walk from your room away.  We’ve been doing this since 1988 and we specialize in taking care of fishermen.

All the ingredients, in one convenient package at the lowest price possible on the “hottest ice fishing lake in America” is what you get on the Perch Express.  Choose from either 3night 3 days of fishing or 4 night 4 days of fishing packages.  Both packages are all inclusive covering all meals, lodging, and guide service for your entire stay.   Train fare and fishing licenses are extra, but we can offer you a discounted Perch Express Rate through Sue's Travel Center of Devils Lake. We take the work out of your vacation, you just focus on the main goal and that is what comes through your hole.  Remember behind every bend rod is a smiling face.  Climb aboard and join the list of thousands of satisfied customers.

To make your reservations on the Perch Express we have designed a simple three-step process for you to follow. Once you have chosen a travel date, (1) Call Woodland Resort to make your room reservations. Make sure you specify that this is a Perch Express reservation. (2) Book the Perch Patrol Guide Service. You can either make these reservations through Woodland Resort (in step 1) or by calling the Perch Patrol Hotline (701) 351-3474

Perch Express Rates – All rates are PER PERSON Minimum 2 people Required.

Devils Lake PerchPerch Express Packages:

Fishing Hours:

December and January - Daylight to Dark

February 1st to Ice Out - Daylight to 4:00 PM

The Keeper

$559.00 / Person - Minimum 2 people

  • 2 nights lodging at Woodland Resort
  • 2 Days of meals
  • Hot Breakfast at the Cove Restaurant
  • Lunch on the Ice
  • Dinner at the Cove Restaurant
  • 2 days guided fishing with the World Famous Perch Patrol Guide Service
  • Round trip transfers to and from the Devils Lake Amtrak station to Woodland Resort    

The last night of lodging is actually on the train but we do allow your party to stay in their accommodations until departure time of 10:30 pm

The Jumbo

$789.00/Person - Minimum 2 People

  • 3 nights lodging at Woodland Resort
  • 3 Days of meals
  • Hot Breakfast at the Cove Restaurant
  • Lunch on the Ice
  • Dinner at the Cove Restaurant
  • 3 days guided fishing with the World Famous Perch Patrol Guide Service
  • Round trip transfers to and from Devils Lake Amtrak station to Woodland Resort

The last night of lodging is actually on the train but we do allow your party to stay in their accommodations until departure time of 10:30 pm

The Whopper

$989.00/Person - Minimum 2 People

  • 4 nights lodging at Woodland Resort
  • 4 days of meals
  • Hot breakfast at the Cove Restaurant
  • Lunch on the ice
  • Dinner at the Cove Restaurant
  • 4 days guided fishing with the World Famous Perch Patrol Guide Service
  • Round trip transfers to and from Devils Lake Amtrak station to Woodland Resort

The last night of lodging is actually on the train

but we do allow your party to stay in their

accommodations until departure time of 10:30 pm


If you would like to customize a Perch Express Package (shorter or longer) give us a call and we can try and build a package to fit your needs.  However you must stay a minimum of 1 night and fish 2 days.

Woodland Resort (701)662-5996

Perch Patrol Hotline (701)351-3474

Sue's Travel Center of Devils Lake  (701) 662-7837

- Handles the all the Perch Express train ticketing

Package includes:

  • 8-Hour Day of Fishing
  • Ride with the Guide (transportation to and from fishing locations)
  • Every client will receive a Vexilar FL-18 to use and extensive instruction of how to read this vital piece of electronics
  • Heated portable two-man fish house, namely the Fish Trap Voyager, complete with chairs, buckets, rod and reel combinations by Berkley
  • All holes are drilled for you, by the Strikemaster Lazer Augers
  • All bait minnows, wax worms, or euro larvae
  • Fishing on the go - The guides fish with you and are always "On Patrol" searching and moving you to the "Hottest" action possible.

Berkley FireLineThe Perch Patrol Guide Service is a team of 6 guides that work together covering as much of the 160,000 acre lake simultaneously, as possible, and are in constant communication through their privately owned two-way radio frequency.

Genz Worm
Rattler Spoon

Deposit Policy: A 50% deposit will be required when making a reservation. We must have a credit card number, and if you are a no show, the card will be charged for 1/2 of the cost of the package chosen times the number of people the reservations are made for under that card. A 30 day cancellation is required. Should you cancel, with a 30 day notice, you will be refunded 100% of your deposit.


Amtrak Schedule and Train Fare

All Trains Arrive in Devils Lake, North Dakota at 6:13 AM Daily

All Trains Depart Devils Lake, North Dakota at 11:32 PM Daily

Departure Time
From City
Arrival Time


Coach Fare

2:15 PM
Chicago, IL
Union Station
3:55 PM
2:39 PM
Glenview, IL
Metra/Milw. Line
3:12 PM
3:55 PM
Milwaukee, WI
2:15 PM
5:05 PM
Columbus, WI
12:47 PM
5:34 PM
Portage, WI
12:17 PM
5:52 PM
Wisconsin Dells, WI
11:59 PM
6:30 PM
Tomah, WI
11:18 AM
7:14 PM
La Crosse, WI
10:37 AM
7:50 PM
Winona, MN
10:01 AM
8:52 PM
Red Wing, MN
8:54 AM
10:31 PM
St. Paul/Minneapolis, MN
7:50 AM
     $  96.00
12:15 AM
St. Cloud, MN
5:29 AM

     $  89.60

         2:38  AM     Detroit Lakes, MN        3:10 AM      $  62.40

Perch Express discounts are available on the Empire Builder only.  All fares are based on availability at time of booking.  A $30.00 professional fee will apply to all reservations.  These rail fares are only available through Sue's Travel Center of Devils Lake, North Dakota and are subject to change without notice.    These fares are not available during blackout dates (listed below). 

Changes/Cancellation Policy:  Once ticketed, a $30.00 change fee per person will apply.  In case of cancellation a fee of $40.00 per person, plus any suppliers fee will apply.

BLACKOUT DATES:  December 20-22, December 28-29, January 03-05, February 14 and February 17.  Amtrak does not offer the Perch Express Rates but regular train rates are still available


Fish Limits


Daily Limit

Possession Limit




Northern Pike



Yellow Perch



White Bass






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3 day


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Husband & Wife Season






Senior Citizen


Husband & Wife




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Rates are subject to change without notice.
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