Archive of Fishing reports

June2009

Geez, there goes my 40 incher

Posted: June 26, 2009

I have Verizon and apparently my network was on vacation again. NO SERVICE. Mark made mention to the fact that we can put a man on the moon but—. Anyway after several moves in an attempt to get in the morning radio segment we loaded into the Lund 1900 and headed east. I’ve fished lots of water in the Devils Lake area including East Bay but this is my first walleye trip to East Lake. The two lakes are separated by a road but connected by a bridge that allows us to slip under. Mark is the talent behind Bry’s Guide Service and we have never met before so today is new water, new people.

First stop, a gentle sloping shoreline with clear water, a little too clear in Mark’s opinion. I’m throwing a #5 Shad Rap in Firetiger which is exactly what I would pick if given the choice. 15 minutes into the game and Mark gets a solid hit. First fish and a very good fish it is. I’m liking this new relationship already as Mark slips the fish to brag about back into the water for someone else to catch. We give it another 5 minutes and off to the next adventure.

I’m still throwing the Shad Rap and Mark is pitching a 3/8 oz jig with a tail. I asked Mark about favorite crank color for Devils Lake. “Firetiger, anything with an orange belly.” Well that’s exactly what I got on and at this stop I got it to go. Mostly by accident though, I was burning it back to the boat for a quick move and wack, right at the boat. Got to see the whole thing. That may be the best part of tossing cranks, getting to see the strike. When walleyes talk I do my best to listen and the next few casts I shifted into high gear. Mark is making a solid showing with the jig and tail.

Devils Lake fish like any ethnic group like certain types of food. Bry claims one of those delicacy’s is Gulp. In fact his bait bucket is 3 tubs of Gulp in 3 different preparations. The 3 inch minnow grub in pearl white being Mark’s first choice today. With the boat in 8 feet we pitch toward shore at any likely looking location and lift drop the jig back to the boat. The electric keeps us constantly moving as we search for the next bite, a very short wait today.

We are into our third move and I’m pitching a jig and, Yep you guessed it, Gulp. Walleyes are stealing the show followed by a tie between the Whitebass and Northern. I’ve been bit off a couple of times and on one particular solid hook set the line just snapped without the fish even moving. Geez, there goes my chance at the 40 incher. The 6 lb Fireline we are using is easy to throw and keeps you in touch with the jig like no other line can but it ain’t got it when a Northern puts the razors to it. Might as well be fishing with cotton candy line. Sometimes you don’t even feel the thump as a northern downs the meal.

Browns Bay is our best locationof the day. Filled with schools of White Bass, Northern and Walleye but not filled with boats. The few boats here today are all doing well and nets are getting a work out. This is the way I like fishing. EASY! Weeds are still behind schedule which suits me fine but Mark mentions several times throughout the day that weed beds are the hot ticket when fished along the edges with the same equipment we are using. If weather continues on the hot side, won’t be long before they are up and filled with fish.

Mark and I share very similar passions. Hunting and Fishing, and it’s not often I get to fish with someone who is awed by the created wonder of nature. Bry’s cabin on East Bay reflects his passions with a 5 story bird feeder, cracked corn on the ground and wood duck houses with chicks. The garden full of new plants and weeds is doing better than mine if I lived on the lake. Inside over a re-warmed brat, conversation moves from fishing to hunting. Story time, as I get the details on a 201 inch non-typical Whitetail from the 2008 season. Kindred spirits, I could fit in here just fine.

Greg Schoneck for ND Live Wet & Wild

For Google Earth GPS location, photos and mp3’s go to: http://www.ndlive.com/

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WELCOME anglers to the Devils Lake Chamber of Commerce Annual Walleye Tournament

Posted:

WELCOME anglers to the Devils Lake Chamber of Commerce Annual Walleye Tournament. Walleye fishing this past week has been excellent for most all fisherman. Those having the best luck have been working wind swept shorelines and weed lines with cranks such as #5 shad raps, #7 countdowns, or plastics such as mimic minnows and slurpies; or slip bobbering with leeches or crawlers in the trees. Some of the better areas have been Pelican Lake, the smaller bays and points in the Flats, the trees near Grahams Island and Patience Point, Doc Hagens, the Ft. Totten/Cactus Point area, Swansons Point by the Casino, Stromme Addition, Skadsen’s Bay, and Black Tiger.

Shore fisherman continue to do well in the early morning and evening hours. Try using lindy rigs, slip bobbers, or cranks. The better areas have been the bridges, the Acorn Ridge area, north end of Creel Bay along Hwy 19, Skadens, Mauvee area, and the Hwy 19/281 area. Bass and pike are being caught along with walleyes in most areas of the lake. Good Luck and Good Fishing!!!

Courtesy of Ed’s Bait Shop

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This past week has been a week of change for those fishing on Devils Lake.

Posted: June 25, 2009

Woodland Resort/ Mitchell’s Guide Service Fishing Report

This past week has been a week of change for those fishing on Devils Lake. (1) Summer is finally here! The temperature has been mostly in the 70 degree range and we did hit 80 degrees for a day or two and it has given us some warmer water to deal with. The surface temperatures are now mostly in the 60 degree range with some shallow water bay temps hitting as high as 68 degrees. (2) We have experienced a major bug hatch. The sand flies have hatched and if the wind is not blowing they can be a major nuisance. Not too mention they provides an extra food source for the fish. (3) The wind quit blowing for about four days. This made fishing very challenging and forced us to find new fish in deeper water and also forced us to spend most of our time either slip bobbering or lindy rigging with leaches and vertical jigging on top of structure. (4) Because of the calm conditions the shallow water became extremely clear. This seemed to be a bad deal for fishing shallow water especially for casting crank baits. (5) The weed beds are growing daily. All the ingredients – clear water and warmer water temps have been just right for healthy weed growth in the shallow water. (6) The past 2 days the wind began to blow and it clouded up the shallow water and made for excellent fishing casting crank baits.
The life of a fishing guide. Imagine how fun it is to try and continue to catch fish with all these changes going on in 1 week’s time. We did struggle some what during the calm conditions early in the week but we were able to still limit out most of our customers but it was extremely slow and a long time would pass between bites. Check out photos from this past week at http://fishdevilslake.net/reports.html. >From the middle to the end of the week the fishing drastically improved especially when the wind started to blow. We are still catching fish on slip bobbers with red hooks and leeches along shorelines but we did move out deeper to the 10 to 13 foot range. We are also still catching a lot of fish pitching crank baits and mimic minnows on windy shorelines. Best crankbaits have been #4 and #5 Salmo Hornets and #5 Shad Raps. Good colors have been perch, fire tiger and chartreuse. All in all, it turned out to be a pretty good week of fishing despite all the biological changes that occurred. Again the team work executed by the Mitchell’s Guide Service Team of guides pulled us through some tough fishing conditions.
We are very proud to announce that Merle Nelson of Mitchell’s Guide Service won the Spirit Lake Casino Cup over the weekend. This was a two day tournament with over 100 teams rounding out the competition. Each Team could way 5 walleyes per day. Merle brought in a two day limit of 10 walleye weighing over 57 pounds! Way to go Merle! Don’t spend all that money in one place!
Steve “Zippy” Dahl
Mitchell’s Guide Service

Good luck fishing this week

Mitchell’s Guide Service: 701-662-6560 www.fishdevilslake.net
Woodland Resort: 701-662-5996 , www.woodlandresort.com

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Limitless Opportunity, North Dakota

Posted: June 23, 2009

Limitless Opportunity, North Dakota

Last week was family style mini van vacation pursuing Devils Lake’s giant northern and countless white bass. Monday, off to the incredible high water walleyes in Sakakawea for two limits. The past 3 days here in Washburn on a fantastic river walleye bite that even thunderstorms and cold fronts can’t shut down. Limitless opportunity for everyone from the lawn chair bank fisherman to the high end, gadget prone walleye fanatics. North Dakota!

Tuesday morning: The bell rang for the first round here in Washburn. I was about to meet Bill, a boat ramp permanent fixture, with his lower unit molded into the cooler lid at the end of the dock. He was hauling in a walleye while I launched the boat so conversation began about the fishing. Two successive mornings later I realized I’m not going to beat Bill to the river no matter how early I get up. Bill has a heart problem that won’t let him sleep when walleyes are swimming in his boat ramp hole. Tuesday ends early afternoon with 3 limits of 16-20 inch fish.

Wednesday morning: Just a ½ mile upstream is what has become the community hole and while many fishermen avoid these locations I suggest you break the social rule about fishing with others and stop in to see what the commotion is all about. We had our 3 limits before noon with John first up followed by Dalles, who just happened to bring along the boat food. Dalles owns the Super Values in Garrison, Hazen and here in Washburn but more importantly he developed Krause’s Smokehouse brand of homemade style meats, what I call boat food. Last to fill the livewell was Kevin with another example of why a trip to the river is in order.

Thursday morning: Remember Bill? I managed to pry him loose from the dock side cooler lid and get him in the boat. Geremy has joined me today as well. He is the superb talent behind the ND Forest Service “Fire Safety” video tips. Lots of good stuff on campfires. Anyway we are off to the community hole which by the way is community for a lot more than fishermen. Walleyes need social activity as well and they are packed in here like a bunch of Lutherans at the monthly pot luck. By 10 am Bill cranks in the last of his 5 fish limit so it’s back to the dock to say good byes and exchange Bill for two new faces, Peter, Geremy’s 7 year old son and Dave, also from the ND Forest Service.

Bomber 24a’s are 45 feet back followed by a variety of lures ranging from Reef Runner Rip Shads to #9 Shad Raps. Everything catches fish but the Bombers are winning round one today. If fish are not going in the deeper water I move up shallow and change out Bombers for plain old #5 and #7 Shad Raps. Fish move constantly in the river making a transition from resting in current breaks to active feeding up in the shallow water. Speed does not seem to be a big deal as I fished as slow as .55 and as fast as 3.5 mph. Something you can get away with in the community hole is pulling cranks down stream. Never lost a crank but trust me on this one. Downstream with a crank is a good way to make Cabelas smile!

Time for change so we make a run upriver to a place all to ourselves. I gave away the GPS numbers to this secret little hole earlier this year. Nothing has changed, still a GPS Hot Spot. Location was not the only change. We also switched over to jigs and ½ a crawler for vertical drift fishing. Good decision, as first drift wins 7 year old Peter a slot in the photo section of ND Live, just ahead of his Dad, Geremy. We are drifting a current break in 9 feet with ¼ and 3/8 oz jigs. Bigger than needed and bigger than I like to use but I try not to argue with walleyes attracted to bigger than I like jigs.

Vertical jigging is a bit of an art that does take some time to learn. If you are new at this don’t be intimidated as the rewards far outweigh the learning curve. The foundation of this technique is the electric which is used to match current speed. Even a light breeze will push you off vertical and the electric is what compensates for wind drift. By vertical I mean your line needs to be straight up and down. No angles allowed and the walleyes will tell you why this is important as the gold goes to the most vertical presentation possible. One inch off the bottom is also key as these walleyes are holding tight to the bottom in little depressions and current breaks. To understand how difficult holding one inch is, practice this with your 6 foot rod on the driveway. It takes concentration to touch the concrete and lift just one little inch. Which by the way is how I stay in touch with bottom, constantly lowering the jig to touch bottom and lifting just one little inch. Speaking of getting the gold, yours truly even got into the action with a dandy 26 incher we were able to release. Dave, who is new to the vertical technique was a quick study and put his share into the live well.

GPS Hot Spot today is for the community hole which is not that busy, at least not during the week. There are numerous other locations both up and downstream. A word of caution on the river. Be Careful! Submerged logs, stumps, rocks and sand bars can ruin a lower unit. I have not had any trouble, just take your time and stay alert and have the time of your life. As for me, I’m thinking about gettn’ me one a dem coolers Bill has so when I retire it will already be broken in with my lower unit form fitted to the lid.

Google Earth GPS locations and audio reports go to : www.ndlive.com

Greg is a ND Fishing Guide and can be contacted at: 701-720-0447 or www.gregisfishing.com

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Shore fisherman are reporting some excellent fishing

Posted: June 19, 2009

Overall fishing remains quite good on Devils Lake for both shore fisherman and boaters. For walleyes, anglers have been working windswept shorelines on windy days or slip bobbering in the trees on calm days. Some of the better areas for cranking have been Pelican Lake, Howards Bay, New Mill Bay, Doc Hagens, the storm sewer area in East Bay, Penny Bay, Skadsen’s Bay, and Haybale Bay. In these areas anglers are pitching #5 shad raps, #7 or #9 countdowns, and jigs with plastic such as mimic minnows or slurpies. For cranks the best colors continue to be firetiger, blue/silver, black/silver, and perch. For slip bobbering, the trees of Pelican and the Mauvee area, the trees near Grahams Island (Florida as it’s called), Patience Point, the trees near Ft. Totten, Swanson’s Point, Foughty’s Point, and the Skadens area have all been producing fish. Anglers are also reporting some fish on bouncers and spinners and that should improve as water temps increase. Pike and white bass continue to be caught along with walleyes in most areas.

Shore fisherman are reporting some excellent early morning and evening fishing for pike, walleyes, and white bass. The best fishing has been along the Mauvee, the Hwy 19/281 area, the Mauvee, Six Mile, 57, 20, and Woods Rutten bridges, the north end of Creel Bay along Hwy 19, and Hwy 57 just before Acorn Ridge. In these areas, anglers are pitching cranks or jigs, lindy rigging, or slip bobbering with leeches, minnows, or crawlers. Leeches have been working the best for walleyes and minnows for white bass. While the windy areas are tougher to fish, the better action is usually worth the extra effort. Good Luck & Good Fishing!!!

Courtesy of Ed’s Bait Shop

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Walleye fishing continues to get better and better

Posted:

Walleye fishing continues to get better and better. Warm weather is heating the water, which is making the walleyes more and more active each day. Fish are still being caught in shallow water, anywhere from 2 – 12 feet. When the wind blows, try to work wind-swept shorelines. Again, try to avoid clear water. Northern Pike and White Bass fishing remain fantastic. When you find a school of white bass, you can catch them every single cast. Northerns are usually close to schools of bass. The best lures have still been crank baits, especially cranks with orange bellies. Jigs and plastics are working well too and fishermen are also starting to pull spinners with leeches and worms. Good luck fishing and enjoy the warm weather we are finally getting!

Courtesy of Mark Bry, Bry’s Guide Service

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Key ingredients to big fish

Posted: June 14, 2009

Key ingredients to big fish The key right now is sunshine. Cold overnight temps and the late spring has the summer transition way behind. As a result the two critical factors are cold water and no weed growth. Without the sun to warm shallow water during the day fish simply don’t move shallow and while you still catch fish they are not zooming in from 25 feet away on a torpedo strike. Boyd is die hard northern, a convert from in my opinion, a better way of life. Walleye Fishing! But in spite of his serious character flaw there is something intriguing about Boyd. He catches big fish, very big fish, 20 plus – 40 inch plus, trophy northern. That is the goal today and if you have yet to read the first part of this two part article go to NDLive.com for part one. We kick off the adventure with Boyd heaving out big spring bulldogs that land like a 5 lb rock launched from a catapult. I’m on duty with a more conventional lure, the Husky Jerk. We are in flat calm conditions, not what we hoped for, but one positive side effect is the ability to see down deep. Boyd and I talked about being prepared for the instant arrival of a 40 incher just before lifting your lure from the water, but absolutely nothing can settle the adrenaline pump when it magically appears. I would compare this to having a big buck suddenly appear from behind your bow stand. High alert, senses razor sharp, heart pumping wildly. Extreme elation blended with depressing let down. DID YOU SEE THAT! As a matter of fact I did. In fact several times throughout the day and it always caught me a bit off guard. The strategy is to not freak and with the same cool composure of shooting your first deer, lead the lure in a circle, figure 8, or drop it in his face. I watched Boyd do this twice, once for an eater sized fish that went in the cooler and again at the end of the day when all 35 inches launched out of the water at the hook set and that was the last we saw of it. Big lures are one of the key ingredients to big fish. Many of these are musky lures like the Jake. Lil Hustler and Northland Magnum are Boyd’s go to lures, both are large, heavy spinner rigs. Big lures, big northern, big line, 30 pound Power Pro. I could use this stuff for anchor rope. Be prepared if you go looking to buy, most of this stuff is over 10 bucks an item. Since we are on the subject of cash flow, how about a leader you pay over a buck an inch for? Boyd claims the Terminator is well worth the price as it can handle big fish and never seems to kink. Where do you start? I suggest Devils Lake, which will give you more acres of water to cover than can be done in this lifetime so let’s narrow it down. Flats, expansive shallow flats under 8 feet of depth. Add to that weed growth and to be more specific the grassy type weed growth. This gives the predator a hiding place while waiting patiently for his next meal of sushi. White Bass according to Boyd are on the main menu here in Devils Lake. Don’t forget to drain the checking account with those big lure purchases and all that’s left is the fun. I’m walleye from start to finish and northern are simply trouble, but I may have seen the light. Geez that was exciting. It is so hard to describe what seeing a really big fish just inches from your lure does to the heart. Multiply that several times throughout the day when you’re least expecting it and there goes the heart on the last lap racing for the finish. Good Grief, get some composure here Schoneck, it’s only a NORTHERN!

Courtesy of Greg Schoneck of NDLIVE

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Finally we have summer.

Posted:

Finally we have summer. Yes I said summer. The water temps have finally gone into the sixty’s. The fishing report has been good. Anglers are catching fish slip bobbering on the minnewaukan flats. Leches seem to be the best bet under slip bobbers with colored hooks. Howards bay area and monkeys ridge have been good. Trolling the golden hwy has been good also. Salmo Hornets have been working best. When the wind blows casting shad raps has been very good on the wind swept shoreslines on the flats and on Pelican lake. Shore fishintg has been hit and miss. The best report has been Hwy 281 north of minnewaukan. The road is closed to truck travel. You are allowed to walk or take a ATV down it. Good Luck!

JJ’s Bait Shop and Lodging
Po Box 7
Minnewaukan, ND 58351
701-473-5440

www.jjsbaitshop.com

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A little wind blowing into shorelines seems to trigger better action

Posted: June 12, 2009

A little warmer weather and things really start picking up on Devils Lake. Water conditions have been playing a big role for boaters. Later in the day when the water warms up, so does fishing. Also, a little wind blowing into shorelines also seems to trigger better action. Most anglers are pitching cranks such as shad raps and countdowns and plastic into shallow windswept shorelines or are slip bobbering along weed edges or in the trees. Those finding the warmest water are also finding a little better fishing. The better areas continue to be Pelican Lake, the Mauvee area, Howards Bay, Doc Hagens, the north end of Six Mile, Knutson’s Bay and the Ft. Totten area, New Mil Bay, Mission Bay, Penny Bay, and Skadsens Bay. Pike and white bass continue to be caught along with walleyes in these areas and also in East Devils Lake.

Shorefisherman are reporting some excellent fishing at the Mauvee, Six Mile, Hwy 20, and Woods Rutten bridges in the evening hours. The rip rap along the north end of Creel Bay and the Hwy 281/19 area have been picking up as well. In these areas anglers are pitching cranks, jigs, or using slip bobbers or lindy rigs tipped with leeches. Anglers in these areas are reporting the better fishing being on the windy sides. For white bass, anglers are finding fish in most areas of the lake. Some of the better areas have been Channel A, Hwy 281, the Brinsmade Bridge, and County #4. Each day one area seems better than the other and those moving around have been having the best luck. Good Luck & Good Fishing!!!

Courtest of Ed’s Bait Shop

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Fishing really heated up this last week

Posted: June 8, 2009

Fishing really heated up this last week. Then a big cold front. Surprisingly the fishing stayed good. Some hot spots this week are Howards bay, New Mill Bay, Mulvee CCouleeTrees and Pelican. The slip bobber bite has started to get better and better. Most anglers are uusingbig leeches under slip bobbers in 4 to 8 ft. of water. The casting bite remains good also. They are casting #7 countdown rapalas and #5 shad raps on the wind swept shorelines. Shore fisherman have also been doing well. Old HHwy281 north of minnewaukan has been good. The road is closed so you have to walk or take a ATV. Shore fishing has been the best on the windy shorelines with slip bobbers or lLindyrigs. Good Luck to all.

Courtesy of Jason Feldner,
Licensed Guide, Minnewaukan, ND

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