Archive of News

December2016

Devils Lake Anglers Finding Fish Despite Rough Ice Fishing Season Start

Posted: December 30, 2016

When North Dakota makes the weather news, anglers with their eyes on Devils Lake know it’s not business as usual.  The Christmas blizzard kept most fishermen off the lake, but travel remains possible with tracked-vehicles.

img_9124img_9125The Devils Lake guide services have been venturing out with clients, but travel has been limited. The fishing is “OK,” and the ice thickness is reasonable.  Another cold front is about to create even more ice over New Year’s weekend.  Midway between Christmas and New Year’s Day, ice thickness throughout the main lake was 10 to 18 inches.  The northern basin lakes and Lakes Alice and Irvine have nearly 18 inches.  Six Mile and Creel bays have about a foot of ice.

There is at least a foot of snow on the ice with some huge drifts.  The lake access ramps are being plowed out and scheduled to be open by New Year’s weekend.

Now, for the good news from two guide services.  John Dirks, owner of Ed’s Bait Shop and also a guide, said, “Check with the bait shop (edsbaitshop.com) on where to go.  Fishing’s fine!”  A few days ago he and a friend fished perch in 10 to 12 feet, hauling up 38 in less than four hours.  “Most were 10 to 12 inchers, with a few 13 and 14-inchers mixed in,” he said.

Right now, he’s found perch in 12 to 18 feet of water in the old flooded trees on the west side.  He also located some perch in 20 to 40 feet on the main lake.  “My advice is to select an area and drill, drill, drill,” he said.

Rapala Slab Raps and Buck Shot rattle spoons with minnow heads are consistent walleye producers for Dirks.  He prefers six to 12 feet of water close to deep water for the early and late-day bites, and slides out to 15 to 20 feet during the day.  He added, “Lots of 14 to 17 inch walleyes are being caught, with some bigger ones also biting, but it seems the hefty walleyes are in six to eight feet of water.”

brys_perchOn Thursday, Dec. 29, Mark Bry with 20 clients cleaned more than 400 perch.  He said, “They averaged 10 inches long, but there were some 12 to 14-inchers in the buckets.  The best bites seem to be shallow, starting at eight feet.  We’re catching fish despite the up and down weather.”

For walleyes, Bry’s advice is to pick a part of the lake and fish it.  “It’s just getting going, and not on fire, and we haven’t gotten to what we consider our best early-ice spots yet,” he said.  He said some walleyes are hitting in water as shallow as four feet, but also some have been in 31 feet.  Early morning and the 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. walleye bites are best.  “Hey, it’s been brutally nasty, but when the weather pattern straightens out, the fish will go,” he predicted.  For more, see brysguideservice.com.

The website devilslakend.com features up-to-date reports with emphasis on the current fishing activity, lake and ice conditions.  It is also loaded with info about guides, resorts, lodging, casino, restaurants, fish-cleaning stations, ice tournaments and community events.  Check out the pike de-boning video.  A helpful map serves as a great reference tool.  For personal assistance, call 701-662-4903, and talk to a friendly Devils Lake resident who has the pulse of Devils Lake.

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A New Season Dawns: Ice Fishing Devils Lake, ND

Posted: December 13, 2016

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img_3168 Anglers will soon begin their annual return to the surface of Devils Lake, the lake made famous by so many happy anglers.  In fact, the popular Perch Patrol guide service kicks into high gear Monday, Dec. 16.

Zippy Dahl of the Perch Patrol said, “We’re really looking forward to a good year.”  He based his assessment on the fact that the fall walleye fishing was “phenomenal, and remember, last winter Mother Nature dictated her terms, and we missed one-third of the ice season,” he said. “All those perch are bigger and fatter this season.”  Last year, lots of good-size 9 to 11 inch perch were hauled through the ice.  That perch year-class will now be 11 to 13 inches.

Everybody wants to know about ice conditions, and even though a huge snow storm whipped across Devils Lake and most of North Dakota a week ago, the main lake was open, and didn’t start freezing until a few days ago.  “Ice grows fast, about an inch a day when temps are below zero,” Dahl said.  “I expect we will live up to our reputation as one of the top ice spots in the country.”

A recent survey by the respected authority on all things ice fishing, Target Walleye/Ice, surveyed their email subscribers, asking opinions on best ice fishing destinations.  Devils Lake was ranked second, which is an amazing statistic, based on all thimg_3163e ice fishermen in the states to the east.  When asked what the Perch Patrol’s 32 to 38 daily clients say about Devils Lake, Dahl offered these statements:

“We love multi-species.  We come for the perch, but walleyes add weight to the cooler.”

“There is so much water; we never feel crowded.”

We like the run and gun approach; being mobile; finding fish; and learning new tactics.”

At the recent St. Paul Ice Show, the Devils Lake Tourism folks were present with a booth.  These were the most common things they heard:

“We head to Devils Lake annually.  It’s the best place to catch a limit of fish.”

“This is our place now.”  (After fishing many other top spots, anglers return every year, many making several trips of hundreds of miles.)

“We love the free year-round fish cleaning station.”

“Biggest perch ever!”

Zippy and the Perch Patrol can be reached at 701-351-3474 or perchpatrol.com.  Their 10 guides still have a few days open in January and February.

The website devilslakend.com features up-to-date reports with emphasis on the current fishing activity and ice conditions.  It is also loaded with info about guides, resorts, lodging, casino, restaurants, ramps, fish-cleaning stations, ice tournaments and community events.  Check out the pike de-boning video.  A helpful map serves as a great reference tool.  For personal assistance, call 701-662-4903, and talk to a friendly Devils Lake resident who was probably on Devils Lake yesterday.

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Ice is Nice and so is the Fishing on Devils Lake!

Posted: November 22, 2016

earlyice_brosdahlThe lake and town with the same name, Devils Lake, North Dakota, seem to have been made with one purpose in mind – fishing.  With seasons open 12 months of the year, the open water transition to ice seems to be just a shrug of the shoulders.  Anglers park their boats, hook-up ice houses and continue fishing.  The community with numerous modern lodging units with their own heated fish-cleaning facilities, several bait shops, a host of fishing guides (many with full-service accommodations, meals, ice travel, ice shelters and gear), a Casino and many great eateries caters to anglers.

The town of about 7,200 people is less than one percent of the state’s total population.  Yet, an amazing 25 percent of the non-resident 3-day and 10-day fishing licenses are sold in Devils Lake.  Estimates are that fishing guides escort more than 15,000 clients on the lake’s 200,000-plus acres during the open water season and the same number during the much shorter three to four month ice season.

Interesting statistics from creel surveys show 18 percent of winter anglers primarily seek walleyes, 28 percent said “perch,” while 27 percent said “walleyes and perch.”  A quarter of survey respondents said, “Anything.”  Adding all the answers together that mention walleyes, 70 percent of anglers would just as soon catch walleyes.

Devils Lake walleye populations are rated one of the best in the Midwest, and this past summer netting surveys proved that, “All size groups had a bump in catch rates,” according to area biologist Todd Caspers.  The total number of walleyes caught per net this year was 24, compared to 18 last season, a 33 percent increase.  He continued, “The above average catch of big fish indicates these year-classes are doing pretty good.”

Thousands of out-of-state fishermen flock to Devils Lake to chase fish under the ice.  Many professional anglers prefer this special North Dakota lake. When Dave Genz speaks ice fishing — people listen.  In fact, the entire ice fishing fraternity of anglers, plus tackle, auger, electronics and shelter manufacturers take notice.  From his first visit to Devils Lake in the 1970’s, Genz said, “I go there and so do thousands of visitors to catch the biggest perch of their lives.  And, the walleye fishery is amazing.”

Genz is widely respected as the Godfather of ice fishing.  He may be the single person most responsible for dragging ice fishing from the “stone age” to the “modern, technological age.”  Much of the early lessons occurred on Devils Lake.  He has visited Devils Lake each of the last 30-plus years due to the quality of the perch.  Many of the everyday ice fishing tactics and gear most anglers use today were developed by Genz during those trips to central North Dakota.

“I remember when there was no limit on perch.  People loaded coolers.  Today, with 20 daily and 40 in possession, and with the tremendous size, anglers can still take home what I think are extra-tasty perch fillets,” he said.

Genz is the Godfather of ice fishing, and Brian “Bro” Brosdahl is the Heavyweight Champion.  Bro contacts an average of 20,000 people directly each winter (seminars, appearances, in stores, on the ice, etc.), and loves fishing Devils Lake.  “We film TV show segments and shoot photos for ads on Devils Lake because something is always biting,” he said.  “This is one place I know where a number of species of true trophies can be caught in a day – monster perch, walleyes no matter where you go, big pike and white bass.”

Bro lives in northern Minnesota surrounded by several fabled perch lakes.  “Anywhere in the Midwest, it’s rare to find a 2-pound perch.  The panfisherman in me is attracted to perch, and every year at Devils Lake, the bar is raised,” Bro said.  On a calibrated scale, his largest perch weighed 2.62 pounds during a filming session.  “I keep going back because my quest is a 17-inch Devils Lake perch that will tip the scales at 2.75 pounds.  I know that fish is swimming there,” he said.

Fishing wherever water freezes has taken Bro to lakes in dozens of states and provinces.  He said, “The friendly atmosphere in this small town exists because most people are sportsmen.  Everybody wants you to catch fish and they go out of their way to make it happen.”  He feels it is one place where folks who have never fished before can be successful.

Devils Lake allows four ice lines per person.  Those fishing pike with tip-ups will be rewarded.  Pike populations are peaking with many in the 28 to 34 inch class, and the chances of a true 15-pound porker (or bigger) are realistic.  The pike limit is five per day with 10 in possession.  They provide some of the best tasting fillets in the fishy world.

Visitors often hire guides for the first day or the entire trip.  The package “deals” are super attractive.  But, the DYI anglers are in for a treat with many places to fish.  Tactics don’t change on Devils Lake compared to “home” waters.  Perch, walleyes, white bass and northern pike are the four game fish swimming in the lake, along with a few crappies in recent years.  Devils Lake has space for all and everybody smiles and says, “Hi,” or more likely, “Howdy,” when they meet visitors.

The website devilslakend.com features up-to-date reports with emphasis on the current fishing activity and ice conditions.  Also, the site contains a new pike de-boning video, plus contact info for fishing guides, resorts, lodging and restaurants.  In addition, learn about ramps, fish-cleaning stations, ice tournaments and community events.  A helpful map serves as a great reference tool.  For personal assistance, call 701-662-4903, and talk to a friendly and knowledgeable North Dakotan who was probably on Devils Lake yesterday.

 

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Ducks, Geese and Walleyes…All in the Same Day…Right Now!!

Posted: October 12, 2016

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This is the magical time of year at Devils Lake, North Dakota.  Waterfowl season is open.  Walleye season is always open.  Birds are flying and fish are biting.

The good news is this will continue until early December or first-ice.  “The duck hunting has been good, geese too, but the mass migration hasn’t yet kicked in,” said duck and goose guide and walleye tournament winner and guide Jason Feldner (percheyes.com).  “Canada goose hunting has been really good, and with a daily limit of eight birds and 24 in possession, hunters are really having fun.”

While talking with fellow hunters, Feldner said that the majority of the ducks and geese that typically fly to the Devils Lake region are staging in the flooded Saskatchewan grain fields.  “Right now, it’s a mixed bag of some teal, mallards and divers.  Within the final two weeks of October, make plans to be in Devils Lake,” he said.  Based on the western end of Devils Lake in Minnewaukan, his guides handle waterfowl hunters in mornings and chase walleyes and pike in afternoons.  “Our clients stay at our lodge during the super popular Cast and Blast season.  Guides spend late afternoons and early evenings scouting for the best spots the next morning.  We go where the birds are, and that could be anywhere in a 40-mile radius of the lodge,” he said.

dsc_7422_smalldsc_8097_smallHis operation is similar to many other area full-service lodge and guide services.  Jason Mitchell, TV host with a large stable of respected hunting and fishing guides also caters to the Cast and Blast late-season crowd (jasonmitchelloutdoors.com).  “Devils Lake combines some of the best waterfowl hunting with some of the best fishing in the entire nation,” he said.

His clients stay at Woodland Resort (woodlandresort.com) which has offered waterfowl and fishing packages for decades.  “Much of the hunting is done over field spreads.  After a morning hunting and a solid lunch, they are ready for afternoon walleyes.  Devils Lake has fished extremely well through the summer, and that is continuing into a solid fall pattern.  This is the best time to catch the biggest walleyes in the lake,” Mitchell said.

Mark Bry (brysguideservice.com) also offers Cast and Blast packages.  He said, “The best chance at an 8 to 10 pound walleye is now.  Trolling cranks or jigging Raps over rocks or fishing in current areas near bridges are high-percentage spots.  The duck and goose hunts have been very successful so far, but the best time for ducks and geese is about to happen.”

Local fishing guide and World Walleye champion Johnnie Candle (johnniecandle.com) said, “The worst hunting weather is the best giant-walleye fishing weather.  Dead calm, sunny, bluebird days are the times walleyes go nuts.  The summer season was fantastic and the fall bite is incredible.  I don’t chase ducks, but this is my time to guide clients to really trophy walleyes.”

With the next big cold front, perhaps with some snow, but with gusty north winds, Devils Lake will be home for hundreds of thousands of migrating ducks and geese.  “Stay at an outfitters lodge, at any of the area motels or the casino, but try to squeeze in a Cast and Blast trip, even if for only a few days yet this fall,” Candle said.

The website devilslakend.com features up-to-date reports with emphasis on the current fishing activity and hunting conditions.  Also, the site contains a new pike de-boning video plus contact info for guides, resorts, lodging and restaurants.  In addition, learn about ramps, fish-cleaning stations, open water and ice tournaments and community events.  A helpful map serves as a great reference tool.  For personal assistance, call 701-662-4903, and talk to a friendly and knowledgeable North Dakotan who was probably on Devils Lake yesterday.

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TIP-A-COP AT APPLEBEE’S TO SUPPORT SPECIAL OLYMPICS NORTH DAKOTA

Posted: September 15, 2016

On September 20th and 21st from 5:00-9:00 pm, law enforcement personnel across the state are asking for your tips, but it has nothing to do with crime and everything to do with serving the public.

More than 100 law enforcement personnel will volunteer their time, hosting guests in Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bars across the state to raise awareness and tip money for Special Olympics. This is the 10th annual event for the Law Enforcement Torch Run group, which consists of volunteers from all agencies of law enforcement. The Law Enforcement Torch Run program is the largest public awareness and fundraising program for Special Olympics throughout the world.

The event will take place during the dinner shifts from 5:00 – 9:00 PM local time at Applebee’s restaurants across North Dakota in the cities of Bismarck, Devils Lake, Dickinson, Fargo, Grand Forks, Jamestown, Minot, West Fargo, and Williston. “We strive to be a good neighbor in all of our communities and with the support of area law enforcement, we can provide a wonderful fundraiser for Special Olympics North Dakota” states Dusty Jensen, Apple Core COO, the management corporation for all Applebee’s locations in North Dakota.

“We‘re thrilled to have Applebee’s and the Law Enforcement communities team up to support Special Olympics and programs for children and adults with intellectual disabilities,” says Kathleen Meagher, President/CEO of Special Olympics North Dakota. She adds, “The law enforcement volunteers through their involvement embrace the idea that people with an intellectual disability can be respected, valued, and contributing members of society and with the Applebee’s Tip a Cop program, integrate with the public to share this ideal and raise funds to support on-going opportunities for those who participate in Special Olympics.”

According to Deputy Ben Myrum, Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office, “there is a lot of excitement for this year‘s event. We have deputies, police officers, security squad folks, highway patrol officers ready to pitch in. We’ll be greeting, hosting, seating, and visiting with the customers at Applebee’s. We hope to earn even bigger tips this year, so we can really make a nice contribution to Special Olympics. We’ve all taken an oath to serve and protect our communities, and the Applebee’s Tip-a-Cop for Special Olympics is another great way for us to do that.”
Special Olympics North Dakota provides year-round programs of sports training, athletic competition, and healthy athlete initiatives for 1,500 children and adults with intellectual disabilities in North Dakota. Through work in sports, health education, and community building, Special Olympics addresses inactivity, injustice, intolerance, and social isolation by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, which leads to a more welcoming and inclusive society.

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‘Pretty Good’ is How North Dakotans Describe One of the Top Walleye Lakes

Posted: September 2, 2016

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As if the Devils Lake walleye populations wasn’t rated one of the best in the Midwest, this summer’s fisheries netting surveys proved, “All size groups had a bump in catch rates,” according to area biologist Todd Caspers.  The total number of walleyes caught per net this year was 24, compared to 18 last season, a 33 percent increase.

“The above average catch of big fish indicates these year-classes are doing pretty good,” he said.  Also, the up-and-coming class of 15 to 20 inchers is above average, with eight per net compared to six on average over many years of research.  The fisheries crews spread 39 nets at 15 designated locations.  To supplement what might be lower than normal walleye hatches the past two years, Caspers and crew stocked 1.7 million walleye fingerlings recently.

Local guides tell the world that the Devils Lake walleye fishery is one of the most diverse in the country.  There is unlimited structure from shallow weeds to hundreds of shoreline miles plus flooded roadbeds, mid-depth flats and deep humps. This prairie lake is unique, because as Devils Lake gained more than 20 feet in depth over the past 30 years, all the exposed rocky shorelines that were created as the water rose still offer thousands of miles of “underwater shorelines.”

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A happy client, guided by Johnnie Candle.

Guide and world walleye champion Johnnie Candle (johnnie@gondtc.com) said, “Walleyes utilize nearly all the habitat types.  What’s ideal for anglers is they can come here and fish what they’re good at and catch fish – shallow to deep.”  Better yet, Candle likes the fact that many anglers show up wanting to learn new tactics, which they do with confidence, knowing fish will be waiting.  “I have many customers who want to learn new techniques.  Teaching them is fun and rewarding,” he said.  A typical day starts with casting cranks shallow; progressing to bobber fishing humps; followed by bottom bouncers and spinners; with perhaps jigging glide lures on deep rocks in the afternoon.

Mark Bry (brysguideservice@gmail.com) said, “It’s not uncommon to catch 50 to 100 walleyes a day, even during the dog days of summer.”  He continued, “Whatever method an angler prefers will work here.  This is not just guide-hype, but something my customers quickly learn for themselves.”  His clients express amazement about how healthy the walleyes are.  “In my opinion Devils Lake is the top walleye lake in the United States due to the freshwater shrimp available.  Shrimp feed the entire ecosystem.  The fish are fat and with a possession limit of 10, everybody goes home to share the walleye wealth of this great body of water,” Bry said.

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Another happy client, guided by Johnnie Candle.

TV host and guide service owner Jason Mitchell (fishdevilslake@hotmail.com) tells potential clients that a day with any of his guides is more than a limit of fish.  “Our goal is to teach as much as possible about the many nuances of Devils Lake.  Customers love the educational aspect of each guide trip,” he said.  Whether matching presentations to the client’s favorite methods or mixing it up with new and different tactics, most days are “multiple-pattern days.”  What this means is that guides and anglers spread out throughout the nearly 200,000 acre North Dakota lake and are able to find fish.

Interesting statistics from creel surveys, according to Caspers, is that 78 percent of summer anglers (May to October) prefer to chase walleyes.  In winter, 18 percent primarily seek walleyes, 28 percent said “perch,” while 27 percent said “walleyes and perch.”  A quarter of survey respondents said, “Anything.”  Adding all the answers together that mention walleyes, 70 percent of anglers would just as soon catch walleyes in winter as well.

The website devilslakend.com features up-to-date fishing reports with emphasis on the current late summer and fall fishing activity.  Also, the site contains a new pike de-boning video, plus contact info for fishing guides, hotels/resorts, lodging and restaurants.  In addition, learn about ramps, fish-cleaning stations and community events.  A helpful map serves as a great reference tool.  For personal assistance, call 701-662-4903, and talk to a friendly and knowledgeable North Dakotan who was probably on Devils Lake yesterday.

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If You Want to Catch Pike, Devils Lake is the Place!

Posted: August 24, 2016

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The best time to catch Devils Lake northern pike is now.  Or, when you can get there.  Many visiting anglers come from Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois, Wisconsin and throughout the country to experience the amazing pike fishery.  Anglers fish Devils Lake, North Dakota 12 months of the year. In summer and fall, pike really cooperate.

Fishing guide and walleye tournament champion Johnnie Candle (johnnie@gondtc.com), said, “I don’t know why people drive past us to get to Canada for pike.  The pike size-structure here is as good as anywhere in North America.”  Mark Bry of Bry’s Guide Service (brysguideservice@gmail.com) said, “There is always the chance for a big pike on Devils.  I think the next few years will produce many.  More and more pike in the 30 to 35 inch class are showing up.  A few years ago, I targeted them and landed a dozen from 40 to 45 inches.”

TV host, industry spokesman and Devils Lake guide Jason Mitchell (fishdevilslake@hotmail.com said, “Devils Lake has long had incredible pike numbers that skyrocketed with the high water cycle.  The lake has numbers of great eating size pike along with some trophies.”  He said more anglers are learning how to remove “Y-bones, and discovering how good pike are for dinner.  To help them, Mitchell did an easy to understand video about de-boning pike.  Check it out at devilslakend.com.

Johnnie Candle catches a Northern Pike

Johnnie Candle catches a Northern Pike

The recent summer fisheries surveys showed the abundance of pike and the sizes were solid.  Todd Caspers, area fisheries biologist said, “The average catch rate per net was 5.2 pike this year compared to 4.1 last year.  There are a fair number of 28 to 34 inch fish, and pike are typically good-sized fish, not hammer-handles like many other states.”  He continues to urge anglers to keep pike since they provide such tasty fillets, but admitted, “Most anglers do not fish for them.”  The daily limit is five (10 in possession).  “There are bigger pike in the system, but our netting gear is not designed for them,” he said.

Mitchell said his favorite time for giant pike occurs during the cool down coming up soon.  “Release those monsters over 40 inches,” he urged.  The best pike seem to hang around schools of young white bass in open water and along weedlines that drop-off into deep water.  His favorite lures are large spinner baits or big Kalin’s tails on jigs over the weeds.  He also fishes deep rocks with crankbaits.  If anglers cannot experience the fantastic fall bite, he recommended they spend time chasing pike in late spring.  “This is one place on the planet where if you fish for them, you will catch them, and lots of them,” he said.

Bry echoed the spring and early summer time frame for pike action.  “Anyone who loves casting and pike needs to be on Devils Lake in May and June.  It’s insane!” he said.  His guides clean pike for clients and while doing so demonstrate the techniques in Mitchell’s video.  Candle loves fall and spring for the best big-pike bite.  For numbers, he said, once the ice is gone in May, if you catch one pike a day, you’ll catch 100.  I like to fish large suspending jerk baits like the Berkley Cutter for the big boys,” he said.

Up to the minute fishing reports are on devilslakend.com.  The website features the new pike de-boning video, and also contains solid info about fishing guides, ramps, fish-cleaning stations, fishing conditions, events, resorts, lodging, restaurants and a helpful map.  For personal assistance, call 701-662-4903, and talk to a friendly and knowledgeable North Dakotan who was probably on Devils Lake yesterday.

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Devils Lake Guides Treat Guests to Memories and Fish Stories

Posted: July 18, 2016

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Devils Lake, the lake and city with the same name in north-central North Dakota, caters to residents from every state and many countries every year.  The word “cater” brings up images of food, and that food comes from the lake itself, one of the most diverse fisheries in North America.  Most guests come for the fishing, where fish fillets top the menu.  They leave with memories, lessons-learned and fish stories.

Widely acclaimed for yellow perch and walleyes, Devils Lake also has one of the strongest northern pike populations (a 52-inch potential state record was caught and released earlier this season) and schools of 2 to 4 pound white bass.  What visitors like most are the many guide services that handle every need from first-class tackle to where to fish on the lake that has grown from about 40,000 acres to nearly 200,000 acres over the past 25 years.

Some of the guide services are featured here.  They offer much more than fishing, because many visitors want an easy-to-book fishing trip/resort stay.

Angling Quest Guide Service:  anglingquest.com; 701-230-9934.  Brian Frank, owner, and guide Jeremy Worden target all species in summer and winter.  Brian said, “I am a flight instructor and take pride in teaching – flying or fishing.  I want our clients to catch fish!  I do not follow the crowds, but put our clients on fish with crankbait casting, jigs, rigs, slip-bobbers or trolling.”  He has guided guests from ages 3 to 92, and can accommodate physically challenged anglers.  He also utilizes two guest lodges.

Bry’s Guide Service:  brysguideservice.com; 701-739-0161.  Targeting all species 12 months of the year, Mark Bry, owner, also offers waterfowl hunting.   He has full lodging with kitchens and can provide meals if requested.  “We love to do fish fries for clients,” Mark said.  He and his guides pride themselves in accommodating all ages and skill levels, including those in wheelchairs.  “We meet guests at our lodge and take them to the best bite on the lake.  We fish the most comfortable and productive methods. We want our clients to experience the trip of a lifetime,” he said.

Johnnie Candle, Professional Angler:  johnniecandle.com; 701-371-9431.  Johnnie is a world walleye champion on the pro circuit, has been guiding half his life, and said, “I use the technique that will connect us with as many fish as possible.  Some clients could care less if they catch fish, they just want lessons on new tactics (for them), and those are great trips because they catch fish and learn something new.”  He is on the speaker/seminar circuit all winter, but on the water every day in spring, summer and fall.  He offers accommodations and said, “As a way of giving back, kids that do not need a fishing license are half price.”

McQuoid Outdoors, mcquoidguides.com; 701-351-6058.  Located on the western edge of Devils Lake in Minnewaukan, Aaron McQuoid, owner said, “We specialize in making your trip – whether business or family – the best it can be with deluxe lodging and considerate guides.  We take care of all the details and seem to be on the water every day of the year.”  Clients will learn a variety of fishing methods with Aaron, which change almost daily.  He fishes open and hard water.

Rod and Gavin made their yearly trip to Mitchell's Guide Service.

Rod and Gavin made their yearly trip to Mitchell’s Guide Service.

Mitchell’s Guide Service (15 professional guides), fishdevilslake.net; 701-662-6560.  Guide, TV host and fishing industry spokesman Jason Mitchell said, “The team at Mitchell’s Guide Service has the most experience guiding and fishing Devils Lake and we use a teamwork approach to stay on fish.”  The guides include past PWT and FLW winners that fish every month of the year.  Jason said, “These guys are seasoned and knowledgeable, but most importantly, they are patient with customers who want to learn patterns and locations.”  Day rates and exclusive packages including corporate outings are available.  “Specific requests can be accommodated,” he said.

Perch-Eyes Guide Service & Lodging, percheyes.com; 701-351-1294 or 701-473-2533.  Jason Feldner, owner and his five full-time guides live by this motto, “Here at Percheyes, people come as customers and leave as friends.”  Most customers take advantage of the 4-night and 3-day fishing packages and stay in fully-furnished houses or cabins. In summer, clients will be exposed to tactics and details necessary to catch fish, learning from the guide-instructors.  In winter, they travel with guides to the best fishing spots.

Rush Valley Guide Service, rushvalleyguideservice.com; 701-740-3868.  In addition to catching Devils Lake walleyes, perch, white bass and pike, Ross Sensiba and his guides share the history and changes that have occurred to the lake over the decades.  The fishing tactics are spot-on for each day on the water.  “Many guests fish and stay with us (spacious furnished rooms for families and groups) because they want to know more about the area and the fishing for future trips here.  We want them to come back often, and we encourage them to return with others and bring their own boats or fish with us again.  It’s always an adventure here.”

The latest fishing reports can be found at devilslakend.com.  The website features fishing guides, ramps, fish-cleaning stations, fishing conditions, events, resorts, lodging and restaurant news plus a helpful map.  For more information, call 701-662-4903.

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40th Annual Devils Lake Chamber Tournament Winners Share Secrets

Posted: June 28, 2016

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With fishing tournaments, the only “given” is that things will change.  At the 40th annual Devils Lake Chamber walleye tournament, June 24-25, the difference maker was Mother Nature.  She forced a few adjustments to make the tournament safe for all 114 teams.

With forecasts of strong winds, tournament director Johnnie Candle and the committee along with the consensus of long-time participants, decided to start the first day early (and end early), and then cancelled the second day.  Candle said, “The forecast for day two was sustained 25 mph winds by mid-morning, with gusts over 30 mph.”  The Chamber tournament is primarily a fun event with boats from 16-feet to 21-feet, with many young participants and 17 couples.  “We are attracting a cross-section of anglers, many with smaller boats, and they will all live to fish another day” he said.

The $60,000 in prizes were awarded to successful fishermen on day one, and the balance distributed by draw.  First place went to Eric Hanson, Lisbon, ND and Virgil Nogowski, Gwinner, ND.  They earned $5,000 for 24.81 pounds.  This was the first year the Raymac steel fabricator co-workers fished the event.  Hanson finished second with his father a couple years ago.

They targeted shallow (3 to 5 feet) weeds in Pelican Bay casting Rapala Esko crankbaits.  “The big advantage was starting earlier.  We caught the fish super shallow,” Hanson said.  They had their five fish limit at 8 a.m., and with no culling, their fish came in the right order.  “Everything went just right; we didn’t lose a fish,” the winner said.  Interestingly, three weeks ago he landed nearly 200 pike in the same area.  A week ago, he had 40 in the same area.  On tournament day, he and Nogowski only caught two pike.  Addressing the day two cancellation, Hanson said, “I appreciate that the organizers looked out for the anglers.”

The second place anglers are familiar with the winner’s circle.  Mike Kaderlik, Mankato, MN, and son Jarvis, Bismarck, ND, were three pounds back with 21.27 pounds.  They won last year in the same 16-foot refurbished aluminum boat with a 60-hp outboard.  The senior Kaderlik admitted, “It may be the slowest boat in the tournament.”  Last year they landed 200 walleyes over two days.  This year, they caught only six in the same area.  They used floating jointed Rapalas, Rattlin’ Raps and Husky Jerks.  Fishing 5 to 12 feet, in Pelican Bay, Mike said, “The wind was terrible.  It took 90 minutes to get there, and we were bouncing across the lake more than casting.”

The third place team, father and son Don and Jacob Denning, Fargo, ND, weighed 20.98 pounds, also in Pelican Bay.  “First of all, it’s best to be safe,” Don said although he mentioned they might have won.  Then re-considered, and said they also might have been 30th.  With no pre-fishing, the team followed the wind and their instincts, starting out in weeds where Don fished as an amateur with pro Tommy Skarlis in a major tournament years ago.  With two fish in the boat, he said, “The action stopped, so Jacob motored to  the rocks along the railroad tracks.  Switching from Rapala Eskos to jigs with Walleye Assassin plastic, we cast right to the steep rocks, cranked the jig three times and let it fall.  The bites came as soon as the jig touched bottom where the rocks ended and the soft bottom began,” he said.

Big walleye, 7.33 pounds, was caught by Troy Goltz, Leonard, ND, and David Johnson, Kindred, ND.  The biggest pike was landed by Garrett and Dan Bonham, Fargo, at 9.21 pounds.  The largest white bass was 3.56 pounds for Dennis Nelson, Davenport, ND, and Tom Levos, Leonard, ND.  Looking at the stats, the top seven teams all had 20-plus pounds.  The top 20 teams all had more than 15 pounds, and the next 20 teams all had 12 to 15 pounds for their five walleyes.  Two-thirds of the teams were from more than 30 miles away, as more anglers eye Devils Lake for their vacation trips.

The 40th Annual Chamber walleye tournament is in the books, but with an increased number of teams and a wide range of ages competing, the event continues to grow.  Director Candle said, “There are a lot of young guys and gals learning from every Devils Lake tournament, and they’re getting better every season.”

Up to the minute fishing reports are on devilslakend.com.  The website contains solid info about fishing guides, ramps, fish-cleaning stations, fishing conditions, events, resorts, lodging, restaurants and a helpful map.  For personal assistance, call 701-662-4903, and talk to a friendly and knowledgeable North Dakotan.

 

2016 Winners

1st – $5000 =Eric Hanson & Virgil Nogowski…….  24.81 pounds
2nd – $3800 = Jarvis Kaderlik & Michael Kaderlik…….  21.27 pounds
3rd – $2100 = Don Denning & Jacob Denning…….  20.98 pounds
4th – $1900 = Trey Benson & Karl Kenner…….  20.34 pounds
5th – $1725 = Jay Hagen & Jon Becker…….  20.11 pounds
6th – $1500 =Troy Goltz & David Johnson……. 20.05 pounds
7th – $1300 = Aaron Joramo & Ryan Joramo …….  19.7 pounds
8th – $1150 = Kurt Hodny & Jason Vasicheck…….  17.89 pounds
9th – $1000 = Francis Schumacher & Darwin Haugaard…….  17.62 pounds
10th – $800 = Jamie Lehmann & Michael Lehmann……. 17.58 pounds
11th – $625 = Travis Klein & Rick Frisch……. 17.48 pounds
12th – $600 = Mike Howard & John Howard……. 17.3 pounds
13th – $525 = Chad Haberstroh & Kelly Bakken…….  17.11 pounds
14th – $400 = Zach Schemionek & Garrett Schemionek……. 16.99 pounds
15th – $325 = Bruce Fritel & Darren Spaeth……. 16.5 pounds
16th – $300 = Alex Reslock & Tanner Paine……. 16.39 pounds
17th – $275 = Chase Freidig & David Remmen……. 15.62 pounds
18th – $275 = Geoffrey Blegen & Ben Jacobson……. 15.39 pounds
19th – $275= Devin Schwanke & Jeremy Wolf……. 15.31 pounds
20th – $275 = Cody Armstrong & Joe Armstrong……. 15.28 pounds
21st – Berkley Rods = Justin Henkels & Brandon Lee…….  14.72 pounds
22nd – Berkley Reels = Deric Erickson & Dale Boroos……. 14.66 pounds
23rd – Scheels $200  = Troy Sand & Chris Karlstad…….  14.64 pounds
24th – Scheels $200  = Kraig Gellner & Jared Ellingson……. 14.55 pounds
25th – Scheels $100  = Jeff Trana & Rick Darling……. 14.47 pounds

Largest Walleye ($500) Friday  = Troy Goltz & David Johnson……. 7.33 pounds
Largest Walleye ($500) Saturday  = Judd Frith & Ryan Muehler……. draw

Largest Northern ($250) Friday  = Garrett Bonham & Dan Bonham……. 9.21 pounds
Largest Northern ($250) Saturday = Jon Dircks & Brent Hoerer…….  draw

Largest W Bass ($100) Friday  = Dennis Nelson & Tom Levos……. 3.56 pounds
Largest W Bass ($100) Saturday  = Kurt Hodney & Jason Vasicheck……. draw

Largest Perch ($100) Friday  = Jason Ramberg & Travis Clemmens……. draw
Largest Perch ($100) Saturday  = Eric Hanson & Virgil Nogowski……. draw

Big Basket Award = Eric Hanson & Virgil Nogowski……. 24.81 pounds

Mixed Couple Award = Lonnie Jacobs & Janine Landsiedel……. 13.15 pounds

7th Place Real Estate 7 Award = Aaron Joramo & Ryan Joramo……. 19.7 pounds

75h Place Lake Region State College Award= Todd Keena & Everette Blaisdell…….  6.84 pounds

Sleeper Award = Curtis Havig & Jeff Johnson…….  draw

Shocker Award = Gary Schnabel & Steve Kornkven……. draw

End of the Line Award = Greg Bogstad & Jean Bogstad……. 1.06 pounds
Northern Pike Shootout

3rd – $1150 = Adam Paulson & Dave Shaw……. draw
2nd – $690 = Adam Koch & Trevor Bolen……. draw
1st – $460 = Mark Slotto & Kris Rainsberry……. draw

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Day 1 results (Final Results)

Posted: June 24, 2016

Tm# Team Name Team Town Day – 1  # of Walleye Day – 1 Total LBS of Walleye
114 Eric Hanson & Virgil Nogowski Lisbon ND & Gwinner ND 5 24.81
1 Jarvis Kaderlik & Michael Kaderlik Bismarck ND & Madison Lake MN 5 21.27
16 Don Denning & Jacob Denning Fargo ND 5 20.98
60 Trey Benson & Karl Kenner Maddock ND 5 20.34
15 Jay Hagen & Jon Becker Devils Lake ND 5 20.11
36 Troy Goltz & David Johnson Leonard ND & Kindred ND 5 20.05
87 Aaron Joramo & Ryan Joramo Lincoln ND & Devils Lake ND 5 19.7
86 Kurt Hodny & Jason Vasicheck Grand Forks ND & Manvel ND 5 17.89
17 Francis Schumacher & Darwin Haugaard Mandan ND & Hope ND 5 17.62
41 Jamie Lehmann & Michael Lehmann Devils Lake ND & Underwood ND 5 17.58
105 Travis Klein & Rick Frisch West Fargo ND & Horace ND 5 17.48
58 Mike Howard & John Howard Grand Forks ND 5 17.3
24 Chad Haberstroh & Kelly Bakken Devils Lake ND 5 17.11
108 Zach Schemionek & Garrett Schemionek Devils Lake ND 5 16.99
70 Bruce Fritel & Darren Spaeth Devils Lake ND & Grand Forks ND 5 16.5
109 Alex Reslock & Tanner Paine Devils Lake ND 5 16.39
71 Chase Freidig & David Remmen Waterloo IA & Devils Lake ND 4 15.62
55 Geoffrey Blegen & Ben Jacobson Devils Lake ND & Larimoure ND 5 15.39
95 Devin Schwanke & Jeremy Wolf Leeds ND & Knox ND 5 15.31
68 Cody Armstrong & Joe Armstrong Devils Lake ND & Crary ND 5 15.28
33 Justin Henkels & Brandon Lee Fargo ND 5 14.72
49 Deric Erickson & Dale Boroos Halma MN & Roseau MN 5 14.66
112 Troy Sand & Chris Karlstad Mayville ND & Portland ND 5 14.64
35 Kraig Gellner & Jared Ellingson Langdon ND & Edinburg ND 4 14.55
5 Jeff Trana & Rick Darling Devils Lake ND & Leeds ND 5 14.47
30 Kevin McCullough & Dale Krueger Hope ND 5 14.27
77 Garrett Bonham & Dan Bonham Fargo ND 5 14.17
110 Darin Hoffman & Jordan Hoffman Finley ND 5 14.02
79 Mark Magness & Brad Kjar Fargo ND & Kindred ND 5 13.77
111 Jace Ramberg & Jesse Lieen Langdon ND & Milton ND 3 13.38
46 Ross Sensiba & Crag Reierson Devils Lake ND 5 13.19
40 Lonnie Jacobs & Janine Landsiedel Ruso ND 5 13.15
74 Adam Koch & Trever Bolen Wisconsin Dells WI & Cottage Grove WI 5 12.9
19 Scott VanOverboke & Samuel Thomas Marshall MN & Clarkfield MN 5 12.79
8 David Watne & Lowell Watne Grand Forks ND & East Grand Forks MN 5 12.71
53 Jon Dircks & Brent Hoerer Devils Lake ND 5 12.54
7 Zachary Axtman & Alli Miller Rugby ND & Lakeville MN 5 12.52
6 Michael Hahn & Cheryl Hahn Grand Forks ND 5 12.39
25 Larry Zimmerman & Mike Gibbs Napoleon ND & Glendive MT 4 12.37
65 Al Freidig & Clint DeVier Devils Lake ND 5 12.28
12 Corey Haugen & Steve Hall Argusville ND & Moorhead MN 5 11.91
84 Jeff Larson & Brett Schroeder Maddock ND & Fessenden ND 5 11.51
69 Josh Greene & Ryan Olson Devils Lake ND 5 11.46
20 Aaron Johnson & Michele Johnson Devils Lake ND 3 11.38
44 Jim Edwardson & Steve Murdock Fargo ND 5 11.26
59 Ken Maisom & James Opozda Minot ND 5 11.23
39 Mike Anderson & Mitch Dougherty Devils Lake ND & Fergus Falls MN 5 10.9
47 Brad Flaten & Dawn Flaten Galesburg ND 5 10.79
80 Kelly Keller & Shawn Keller Devils Lake ND & Minot ND 5 10.74
29 Victor Klosterman & Todd Tableman Oxbow ND & Fargo ND 5 10.64
89 Leif Schonteich & Bary Schonteich West Fargo ND & Grand Forks ND 5 10.51
27 Kory Jalbert & Rick Jalbert Elliott ND & West Fargo ND 3 10.44
99 Jeremy Sandvik & Forrest Balvitsch Devils Lake ND & Graand Forks ND 4 10.27
82 Blaine Volk & Gabe Kost Penn ND & Casselton ND 5 9.71
4 Mark Slotto & Kris Rainsberry Lakota ND & Lakota ND 4 9.66
66 Albert Berg & Jeff Ward Rine City MN & Duluth MN 5 9.57
73 Jason Ramberg & Travis Clemens Langdon ND & Velva ND 3 9.44
32 Cole Bieber & Justin Sackenreuter West Fargo ND & Moorhead ND 3 9.05
21 Rick Pfau & Richard Pfau Fargo ND & Eagan MN 4 8.85
98 Dave Davis & Shane Peck St. John ND & Souris ND 5 8.6
75 Quince Hambeck & Tim Rutten Devils Lake ND 2 8.47
76 Kevin Richard & Shane Lockwood Harwood ND & Williston ND 5 8.34
100 Joey Pachak & Jay Bring Hunter ND & Galeburg ND 5 8.33
10 Curtis Havig & Jeff Johnson Grand Forks ND 4 8.29
22 Dennis Nelson & Tom Levos Davenport ND & Leonard ND 4 8.06
3 Bob Gibson & Brad Larson Devils Lake ND & Devils Lake ND 5 7.95
102 Jason Evenson & Russ Kommer Burlington ND & Fargo ND 3 7.89
67 Pat Kaderlik & Matt Kaderlik Cleveland MN & New London MN 4 7.86
38 Cal Oien & Roger Dahl Fargo ND 5 7.75
34 Allen Olson & Michael Cuffe West Fargo ND & Jamestown ND 4 7.73
90 Brent thorsteinson & Barbara Thorsteinson Kennedy MN 5 7.52
11 Mike Nelson & Mearl Nelson Bismarck ND & Devils Lake ND 2 7.39
61 John Bouvette & Thomas Rost Devils Lake ND 4 7.15
9 Allan Krech & Dave Henderson Rolla ND 5 7.07
18 Todd Keena & Everette Blaisdell Baldwin ND & Devils Lake ND 3 6.84
94 Chris Lindner & Heidi Lindner Pettibone ND 5 6.83
43 Kip Huber & Taylor Huber Westhope ND & Minot ND 4 6.67
26 Brenda Barstad & Justen Barstad Devils Lake ND & Bismarck ND 3 6.43
91 Isaac Krueger & John Arzt Reiles Acres ND & Harwood ND 3 6.32
51 Karry Kyllo & Pam Kyllo East Grand Forks MN 5 6.31
64 Brandon Mack & Casey Werlinger Reiley Acres ND & Fargo ND 3 6.21
106 Sam Kaderlik & Nate Brunz Cleveland MN & Devils Lake ND 2 5.88
62 David Rost & Jacob Toward Bismarck ND & Devils Lake ND 4 5.67
14 Ryan Muehler & Judd Frith Moorhead MN & West Fargo ND 2 5.65
97 Mike Wickenhouser & Jay Wickenhouser Williston ND & Bloomington MN 4 5.46
57 Mark Olson & Connie Bernabucci Kindred ND & Fargo ND 2 5.23
2 Landyn Wolf & Jordan Wolf Devils Lake ND & Carrington ND 2 4.83
50 Cory Anderson & Ken Remmen Devils Lake ND 2 4.78
81 Michael Mack & Matthew Pflaum Bottineau ND & Fargo ND 2 4.47
78 Jeff Eskelson & April Eskelson Horace ND 2 4.41
45 Adam Paulson & Dave Shaw Hawley MN & Lake Park MN 1 4.28
13 Randy Gisvold & Robin Golvold Carrington ND 2 3.99
48 Gary Schnabel & Steve Kornkven Upham ND & Watford City ND 2 3.89
31 Rich Olson & Jerad Lehmann Devils Lake ND 3 3.86
56 Bryan Lang & Lorne Sateren Devils Lake ND & Lakota ND 2 3.68
113 Bryce Joramo & Mike Sylling Devils Lake ND 1 3.32
28 Robert Remmick & Michael Remmick Devils Lake ND 2 3.3
72 D. Aaron Sawatzky & Andrew Moquist Crystal ND 1 3.02
101 Jason Klein & Allison Klein Spiritwood ND 1 2.64
96 Greg Cummings & Vicky Cummings Rhinelander WI 1 2.62
37 Steve McDonald & Adam Hunt Sarles ND & Rock Lake ND 1 2.58
93 Tricia Griggs & Kerry Griggs Tolna ND 2 2.39
42 Travis Pforr & Jonathon Paulson Fargo ND & West Fargo ND 1 1.37
92 Greg Bogstad & Jean Bogstad Donaldson MN 1 1.06
23 Steven Alexander & Chris Gilespy Minot ND 0 0
52 Chris Roemhildt & McAlister Cleveland MN 0 0
54 Troy Jones & Chad Bickett Bowdon ND & Carrington ND 0 0
63 Steven Strand & Eric King Casselton ND & West Fargo ND 0 0
85 Curt Hanson & Brandon Hanson Mayville ND & Portland ND 0 0
88 Mike Johnson & Jeremy Johnson Wallhalla ND 0 0
104 Cody Arth & Shawn Keena Bismarck ND 0 0
107 Steve Larson & David Harmon Fargo ND & West Fargo ND 0 0
115 Josh Schaefer & Mark Zinke Langdon ND & Devils Lake ND 0 0
83 Justin Schemionek & Howard Nelson Penn ND & Devils Lake ND
Team Name Team Town Day – 1  # of Walleye Day – 1 Total LBS of Walleye Both Days Total # of Walleye Both Days Total LBS of Walleye
Tm# Team Name Team Town Day 1 Lg Northern Wt
77 Garrett Bonham & Dan Bonham Fargo ND 9.21
35 Kraig Gellner & Jared Ellingson Langdon ND & Edinburg ND 8.99
94 Chris Lindner & Heidi Lindner Pettibone ND 8.26
22 Dennis Nelson & Tom Levos Davenport ND & Leonard ND 8.18
49 Deric Erickson & Dale Boroos Halma MN & Roseau MN 7.62
74 Adam Koch & Trever Bolen Wisconsin Dells WI & Cottage Grove WI 6.57
2 Landyn Wolf & Jordan Wolf Devils Lake ND & Carrington ND 5.01
6 Michael Hahn & Cheryl Hahn Grand Forks ND 4.85
8 David Watne & Lowell Watne Grand Forks ND & East Grand Forks MN 4.14
Tm# Team Name Team Town Day 1 Lg White Bass Wt
22 Dennis Nelson & Tom Levos Davenport ND & Leonard ND 3.56
68 Cody Armstrong & Joe Armstrong Devils Lake ND & Crary ND 3.33
72 D. Aaron Sawatzky & Andrew Moquist Crystal ND 3.06
15 Jay Hagen & Jon Becker Devils Lake ND 3.02
20 Aaron Johnson & Michele Johnson Devils Lake ND 2.96
111 Jace Ramberg & Jesse Lieen Langdon ND & Milton ND 2.77
77 Garrett Bonham & Dan Bonham Fargo ND 2.75
Tm# Team Name Team Town Day – 1 Lg Walleye Wt
36 Troy Goltz & David Johnson Leonard ND & Kindred ND 7.33
71 Chase Freidig & David Remmen Waterloo IA & Devils Lake ND 6.63
86 Kurt Hodny & Jason Vasicheck Grand Forks ND & Manvel ND 6.26
16 Don Denning & Jacob Denning Fargo ND 5.74
114 Eric Hanson & Virgil Nogowski Lisbon ND & Gwinner ND 5.63
15 Jay Hagen & Jon Becker Devils Lake ND 5.62
87 Aaron Joramo & Ryan Joramo Lincoln ND & Devils Lake ND 5.5
1 Jarvis Kaderlik & Michael Kaderlik Bismarck ND & Madison Lake MN 5.47
111 Jace Ramberg & Jesse Lieen Langdon ND & Milton ND 5.05
32 Cole Bieber & Justin Sackenreuter West Fargo ND & Moorhead ND 4.89
70 Bruce Fritel & Darren Spaeth Devils Lake ND & Grand Forks ND 4.66
8 David Watne & Lowell Watne Grand Forks ND & East Grand Forks MN 4.15
41 Jamie Lehmann & Michael Lehmann Devils Lake ND & Underwood ND 4.11
Team Name Team Town Day – 1  # of Walleye Day – 1 Total LBS of Walleye Both Days Total # of Walleye Both Days Total LBS of Walleye
Team Name Team Town Day – 1  # of Walleye Day – 1 Total LBS of Walleye Both Days Total # of Walleye Both Days Total LBS of Walleye
Team Name Team Town Day – 1  # of Walleye Day – 1 Total LBS of Walleye Both Days Total # of Walleye Both Days Total LBS of Walleye
Team Name Team Town Day – 1 Total LBS of Walleye Both Days Total # of Walleye Both Days Total LBS of Walleye
Team Name Team Town Day – 1  # of Walleye Day – 1 Total LBS of Walleye Both Days Total # of Walleye Both Days Total LBS of Walleye
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