Only ice is in McQuade harbor and Knife River, and not much at that. Cohos are biting really well on some days for guys fishing off the Two Harbors break wall. Pretty miserable conditions in which to fish, though.... South shore has good ice around Washburn, and a few cohos mixed in with good catches of Browns, spoke, and whitefish.
Cohos on MN side have averaged 13-14" this winter.
I have been using a Strikemaster Lithium Lazer 50v electric auger the last couple years. Very happy with it, but I'm limited to about 70-100 feet of ice drilled per charge, depending on temp/hardness of ice. That's more than enough for most bluegill trips, but it's lacking when the ice gets thick and I'm trying to find walleyes on big water during full-day trips. I find myself not drilling as many holes as I would like in an attempt to ration the charge.
I just picked up an Eskimo P1 Rocket 8" propane auger. My buddy has the 10" and it's the best auger I've ever used. If anyone wants to really aerate a lake, the Rocket fits the bill. I'll use this along with the Strikemaster electric to meet all of my drilling needs. I haven't used the Rocket yet. It's in the mail. I'm excited at it's light weight in particular. 26 pounds.
Next time you give it a try. Take a flash light and look up to make sure the throttle flapper is returning to the closed position when you let off the gas and it dies. I have had them stick open or half open then your more or less trying to restart it at half or full throttle which may just be flooding it out. It's either starving for gas or flooding. Let us know if you solve it. Good Luck.
I never fished north of Wahpeton. When I fished down there I'd go south. There's normally some walleye biting early in the year south of the main road through town. I don't know how it would be this time of year. I always fished it first ice because that was usually fishable before most lakes. If you do go out I'd recommend bringing someone along and having a chisel along to check ice. That river ice can be very inconsistent.