Archive of Fishing reports

March2013

Trucks with Chains on Devils Lake

Posted: March 19, 2013

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With the most recent blizzard and yet another 3-5 inches of snow on the ground, trucks with chains are not an option anymore. We have suspended our guiding until further notice. I hope the snow melts or a rain may help so we can assume guiding into April. However, there is slush developing under the snow and that is not a good thing either. I will keep posting information for everyone and if we can resume guiding we sure will. It’s not to early to be thinking about booking a summer trip with us check your dates and let us know we have some days that are full already but still alot of openings for some early action on Devils Lake. Take care and keep the lines tight. John

Report courtesy of Big John’s Guide Service

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Devils Lake Walleye & Pike Seasons Open; the Bite is on!

Posted: March 15, 2013

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Shore Fishing on Devils Lake Devils Lake fishing season is open year-round and fish populations are at their highest levels in 10 years.  Out-of-state anglers will experience some great April and early May walleye and pike action, when these seasons are closed in their home states.  Fishing now could be from shore, from a boat or from the ice.  “Starting about mid-April, I’d guess about April 20 this year, the current areas under bridges will be open.  We have a good snow-pack and will see incoming water soon,” said long-time North Dakota guide Jason Feldner.

 

Feldner (percheyes.com) concentrates on the current areas that first open up near bridges and culverts.  The walleyes and pike will be moving upstream, just like they do in rivers, and depending on the amount of open water, he will cast from the shoreline, or wrangle a small boat down the bank and into the lake.  The third option is to jump on the 2-feet of ice and drill holes near the open water.  He said, “You don’t have to be exactly in the current; fish stack up in the vicinity.  More show up all the time.”

 

Devils Lake guides have experienced one of the best ice seasons ever, and it’s still going strong. “The perch are back, and the perch bite will continue as long as we can get out there,” Feldner said.  “Big walleyes, including several over 10 pounds were iced and released this winter, along with lots of good-eating fish,” he said.  “And, the pike are shallow already.  A client was recently thrilled with his personal best — 41 inches.”  The ice should completely disappear by the first week of May.

 

Pro angler and guide Johnnie Candle, a Devils Lake resident said, “Shore fishing is exceptional here, and that brings droves of people – often times its better from shore than in a boat.”   Ramsey County sheriff Steve Nelson asked, “Where else can you step out of your car and catch fish?”  The sheriff noted that anglers from Wisconsin, Minnesota and throughout North Dakota (himself included) fish from dozens of roadside shoreline areas.

 

Feldner begins his open water “current” fishing at Six Mile Bay bridge and goes upstream towards Dry and Mike’s Lake.  Or, he starts at Mauvais Coulee and heads north to Lake Alice, fishing each bridge area.  One of his sleeper spots is the Sheyenne River below Devils Lake, since water has been flowing out of the lake during the past year.

Nearly 25 percent of the state’s non-resident 3-day and 10-day fishing licenses are sold in Devils Lake.  Fishermen heading to the area each spring select from 540 motel rooms, 18 resorts with cabins, 300 overnight camping sites, 900 seasonal camping sites and three marinas (Ackerman Acres, Woodland Resort, Spirit Lake Casino) with a fourth marina, Eastbay Campground being built.

 

Ramp Status: This open water season, North Dakota Game and Fish Northeast District Fisheries Supervisor Randy Hiltner said, “All ramps will all be open.  Anglers will be able to launch and motor from nine conveniently located public ramps.”  Concrete ramps with adequate parking are strategically located, and a complete map is featured on devilslakend.com.

 

Road & Bridge Status: Rising water has created havoc and headlines as Devils Lake increased in size from 40,000 acres in 1992 to approximately 180,000 acres today.  No matter where they launch, boaters will be able to drive under bridges to reach all corners of the lake this season.  Most roadwork is now complete.

 

Early Season Tips: Jason Mitchell, guide and TV host (fishdevilslake.net) said, “At ice-out, everything seems to be biting.  Whether from shore or boat, walleye, pike and white bass are on the shorelines.  I cast and slowly swim Mimic Minnows and paddle-tails on jigs.”  Pro angler and guide Candle (johnnie@gondtc.com) likes spring run-off and fishing the current areas, but said, “Fish any shallow bay that warms fast.  Pike and walleyes hold together.  I prefer shallow-running lures like Husky Jerks and Rattling Rogues with lots of pauses or Berkley Ripple Shads.”

 

Local angler Al Freidig sets his sights on Pelican Lake (northwest section of Devils Lake), Six Mile Bay and Mauvais Coulee north of Highway 19 as soon as he can motor across the lake.  He casts shallow, targeting trees, rocks and old farm implements, running Shad Raps slow and steady.  “On any cast it could be a pike, a white bass or a walleye,” he said.  If walleyes follow or he misses a bite, he flips out a bobber.  “Early spring on Devils Lake is some of the best fishing of the season,” he said.

 

Fish-Cleaning Station Open: Devils Lake has one of the highest-tech fish-cleaning stations in North America.  It’s located just south of Ed’s Bait Shop on Hwy 20 (south of the city of Devils Lake), and free to the public.  The 20 x 32 building can handle 15 anglers at one time.  It has two grinders, a separate clean-up sink, regular and  handicapped bathrooms, is heated (A/C for summer), has plenty of parking for trucks and trailers and is well-lit.

 

Event Update: The 37th annual Devils Lake Chamber of Commerce walleye tournament will run Friday and Saturday, June 21 – 22.   Contestants will be able to pass under bridges this year.  “This means they can fish wherever their boats will take them,” said tournament director Johnnie Candle.  The winners earn $5,000, but there are also prizes for other species and incentives for early-bird entries (by March 31). Tournament applications can be downloaded at www.devilslakend.com.

 

Devils Lake ice and open-water fishing guides target perch, walleyes, white bass and pike.  They welcome every first-time angler and the thousands of anglers who return year after year.  For Devils Lake guides, ice conditions, early season fishing reports or the summer “bite,” lodging activities, restaurants, the Chamber walleye tournament and resorts, check www.devilslakend.com, or call 701-662-4903.

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Perch fishing still decent on Devils Lake

Posted: March 14, 2013

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Well things have been interesting around here to say the least.  A week ago Monday the Devils Lake area got covered with 13 to 15 inches of snow and that has made travel on Devils Lake VERY difficult.  If you are planning on coming fishing here in the next two weeks, and are on your own, we highly recommend snowmobiles or track vehicles.  We are using snowmobiles and some areas we are chaining our tires but we do get stuck from time to time.  The 10 day forecast shows one day that is above 33 degrees all the rest it shows 19 to 25 degree highs with single digits and teens for lows.  What an exact opposite from last season.  We will have ice forever it seems.

The good news is the perch fishing has been pretty decent for us lately.  Our best success has been on the forage minnow tipped with 2 or 3 wax worms.  We have had both good numbers and some good size ones as well.  The photos below were taken since our last report.  Amazing what sunny days will help produce.

Fishing report courtesy of the Perch Patrol

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Snow a challenge but fish are biting on Devils Lake

Posted: March 10, 2013

With the past downfall of 10-12 inches of snow and the wind we had has made it very tough to get around. Chains on the trucks are a must. Better yet, a snowmobile or some kind of tracked vehicle are the only way to get around. On the fishing front the perch have continued to be a challege for us but if you can move around to stay on top of them you can pick away and get a few jumbo’s to take home with you. The walleye bite has been ok with the evening and morning being best. We have alot of those 13-15″ fish in the lake and they are even better fried up in a pan. We have been using Buckshots with a minnow head and a deadstick with a plain red hook and live minnow about 3-4″ off the bottom for walleye and perch have been best. we still have 24-30″ of good ice on the lake, we hope we get rain or some warm weather to melt down the snow so we can get around easier. Take care and keep your lines tight.
Report courtesy of Big John’s Guide Service

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Snow on Devils Lake

Posted: March 9, 2013

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Well we ended up getting another foot of snow. The only way to travel on the lake is tracks or snowmobile. Fishing has slowed a bit with the snow cover. If I can get my customers to get outside and hole jump you end up with a good catch, nothing fast but steady. We had a customer get a 30.5 inch walleye WOW. He some pictures of some catches from the last ten days. Keep your line tight.

Fishing Report Courtesy of Perch Eyes

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Bite has been steady on Devils Lake

Posted: March 7, 2013

The bite has been steady! Seems like most days we are working for them, but at the end of the day, the bucket looks pretty good. We are drilling lots of holes and fishing all over the place.

The best bite for perch has been anywhere from 25-40 ft for us. We are fishing flooded timber with buckshots, pk spoons, lindy flyers, genz worms, and dropper-rigs. Minnow heads and wax worms have produced the best results. Walleyes have been caught in with the perch and we have had the occasional pike as well. There are places where the pike action is very good right now. Best presentations are tip-ups or a jigging spoon tipped with a fathead.

Overall, it is a fun time of year to be on the ice. Weather has been beautiful and the bite has been solid. Look for the bite to get even better as we approach the late ice period!

Good luck to all and be safe. There are areas that have lots of slush and deep drifts, vehicle traffic on the lake can be tricky.

Courtesy of Bry’s Guide Service

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Landing Plowed Today

Posted: March 6, 2013

The boat landings will be plowed today to access the lake at these locations.

  • East Bay Landing
  • Lakewood Boat Landing
  • Six Mile Bay Landing
  • Pelican Lake Landing
  • Behind Pop’s/Stromme Addition

With all the snow, moving around on the lake has been a little tough so be prepared. Trails are plowed at Woodland Resort and Spirit Lake Casino.

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The fish are biting on Devils Lake!

Posted: March 1, 2013

The sun has been shining, the weather has stabilized, no blizzards, no monster cold fronts, and guess what???  The fish are biting!!!

It has been a while since our last report and for that I apologize!   When the fishing is tough, the guides job is a lot more difficult.  We have been putting in some marathon days trying to make things happen out there and I will admit it is very difficult to keep up with fishing reports when your evenings are so short.

The perch fishing the past three or four days has everyone in a stir around here!  We have had quite a few groups limit out and other groups have come close to it.  We are still using the buckshot rattle spoon tipped with either minnow heads, perch eyes, maggots, or wax worms.  The size of the schools of perch we are finding seem to be getting larger.  It is so fun when there is 3 foot thick of them and they decide to compete for your bait!

The walleye fishing has been fairly decent when it is cloudy out.  Since our last report, the walleye fishing has been the key to our success when we were in the middle of all those fronts moving through and the cloudy, foggy dreary days.  Buckshot Rattle spoons and Forage minnow have been the best tipped with a minnow head.  We have been fishing mainly structure and we did have some pretty good days fishing shorelines in 8 to 10 feet of water as well.

We haven’t done a lot of northern pike fishing this season but the days we do go for them it is pretty much a slam dunk.  We had a few fun days in 8 feet of water using just the jig rods.  It is so much fun to feel a northern pike slam your lure in that shallow of water.

We do not have much left for open days for the remainder of this season.  Posted below is the only available dates we have left:

March 20th  room for 6
March 21st  room for 6
March 24th  room for 6
March 25 – 28th room for 12
March 29th room for 7
March 30th room for 8
March 31st room for 12

Have a Great week of fishing everybody!!!

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