Archive of News

February2018

Devils Lake Chamber Tournament Has Become Much More than Catching Walleyes by the Dozen

Posted: February 9, 2018

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Devils Lake, ND – In Devils Lake, North Dakota, it seems most parties revolve around fishing.  The Chamber of Commerce Walleye tournament has four decades of “parties” behind it, and each year, now number 42, seems to become bigger and better.  Chamber members treat anglers as friends and neighbors.  That’s why the fishing guys and gals keep pouring into Devils Lake 12 months of the year for some of the best walleye, pike, perch and white bass fishing in North America.

The 2018 Chamber walleye tournament is a two-day affair, June 22-23.  Tournament host and local fishing guide, pro angler, fishing educator and world walleye champion Johnnie Candle said, “Besides all the homecoming fun with friends, the prizes ($6,500 is guaranteed to the winning team) totaled more than $61,000 in 2017, and will be similar this year.  Anglers love that they can catch walleyes jigging, trolling, casting crankbaits, slip-bobbering, rigging, bottom-bouncing and any other way they like to fish, shallow to deep.”  He urged anglers to experiment this season with jigs and plastic, and said, “I love throwing jigs with plastic trailers.”

With a cap of 125 teams, he urged interested teams to enter right away.  The Early Bird entry date is March 31, and of all teams entered by then, five will win back their entry fee of $275 per team.

Sons and daughters start early, many fishing with parents or grandparents.  Mixed-couples compete.  One couple fishing is Dave and Rendy Randash from Fargo.  Dave said, “The Chamber tournament is well-run, and even though competitive, has no pressure.  I expect it to fill this year and would like to see even more couples competing.” The Randash duo fishes bouncers and slip-bobbers mostly, but also casts Northland Mimic Minnows.

The Chamber tournament features daily big fish prizes for walleyes, pike, white bass and perch, plus Pooh’s Taxidermy will mount the largest walleye and pike.  More than 35 Chamber members participate which adds prizes and cash to the pot.  There are also daily prizes for pike, perch and white bass.  The optional day two northern pike shoot-out keeps things interesting.  Teams out of the walleye hunt can enter the 100-percent cash payback pike shoot-out.  A special youth event sponsored by the NPAA and Deutz Fishing occurs after the final day weigh-in at Graham’s Island State Park.  The first 50 youngsters receive rods and reels.

For more information (and to enter) about the June 22-23 Chamber walleye tournament, go to devilslakend.com.  This website also includes details about Devils Lake motels and resorts, fish cleaning stations, water levels, ramps, public fishing piers, fishing reports for walleye, pike, perch and white bass, community activities, guides, dining, casino and much more.  Or call the Tourism office, 701-662-4903.

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Devils Lake Hot Ice Fishing is Happening Right Now!

Posted: February 8, 2018

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“It’s a great year so far,” said Perch Patrol founder Zippy Dahl about the Devils Lake fishing.  In early January with three swings from 30 degrees below zero to 30 above, the perch slowed slightly, but action picked up within a day.  “Perch are really going good now,” he said.

All his guides are busy.  They are on the main lake targeting perch in the 28 to 34 foot depths.  The Perch Patrol finds the fish and so far this season they are into big schools of eight to nine inch perch, but always with a mixed bag that includes a number of 10 to 13 inchers.  “We’ve had a couple of 14 and 15 inch perch.  A 15-inch perch equates to two pounds on the scale,” he said.

Zippy said, “The Tungsten jig craze has hit us hard, and that’s what we’re using mostly right now.”  His crew has found the Chartreuse with orange and plain gold Tungsten jigs best when adorned with two wax worms.  His clients come for perch, and when they have their 40 perch possession limit in the freezer, they chase walleyes.  “But, almost everybody wants perch, perch, perch!” he said.

Reporting on the walleye action, Tanner Cherney with Devils Lake Tourism said, “Walleye fishing’s been good, with the majority 14 to 17 inches, with some 20’s in the mix, but a 9 ½ pounder was caught in Creel Bay last week.”   He said if the 10-inch year class walleyes are biting, the chance of a 20 inch walleye being with that school is rare. As is usual on Devils Lake, the first hour of daylight and the final hour of twilight are best times to target walleyes.

Tanner prefers Northland Buck Shot rattle spoons tipped with minnow heads.  “You can never go wrong with this presentation,” he said.  Keep changing colors.  He feels for Devils Lake, the top spoon colors are orange, red, pink and gold. When fishing in a shelter, he hangs a live minnow on a dead rod.  “The spoon attracts them, and they often hit the minnow when they see it,” he said.

For perch Tanner knows the Devils Lake rule:  Drill and keep drilling.  “Perch cruise the entire main lake basin, which is 25 to 40 feet in most spots.  They are usually within 12 inches of the bottom.”  He downsizes to the 1/16th ounce Buck Shot spoon with a wax worm.  Or, this year, the smaller gold Tungsten jigs with a couple maggots (called spikes in some areas) are producing.  “With quite a few 10 to 13 inch perch being caught, people are headed to Devils Lake from all over,” he said.

The main lake has 14 to 20 inches of ice and Lake Irving and the northern lakes and most bays have 20 inches or more of ice.  Travel with four-wheel drive vehicles is relatively easy.  “Avoid the three to four foot snow drifts; follow other truck tracks; keep exploring,” he said.

Woodland Resort has plowed roads to many of the general fishing areas, and maintains an access for those towing permanent wheeled fish houses to drive onto the lake.  The Devils Lake Access Committee (city, county, tourism and other funding) keeps public ramps open at East Bay, Lakewood, Henegar, Six Mile Bay and where the gravel road behind Pop’s Bar dead-ends in the lake.  The public heated fish-cleaning station is open, as are indoor cleaning stations at several resorts and motels.

For more information about Devils Lake guide services, ice conditions, motels, resorts, fish cleaning stations, fishing reports for walleye, pike, perch and white bass, community activities, tournament opportunities, dining, casino, pike fillet tactics and much more, go to devilslakend.com, or call the Tourism office, 701-662-4903.

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ShiverFest 2018

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ShiverFest kicks off February 10th with the ND Corn Hole and ND Pond Hockey Tournaments. More events take place during the week, and then the weekend of February 17th has even more activities! An outdoor celebration with a youth ice fishing tournament, live music, sleigh rides, vendor shows, 5K run, sledding, cross country skiing, fireworks and so much more.

It has grown over the years, and In 2018, Devils Lake is celebrating the 18th annual event. Click on the link to find out more about the event here. This link will also take you to more details on specific events.

Download the schedule of events page here – remember to check back periodically for updates, including weather updates.

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Devils Lake Produces Some of Best Northern Pike Fishing in North America

Posted: February 7, 2018

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Anglers who know northern pike love Devils Lake.  These scrappy (and very tasty) fish seem to be everywhere.  Perch and walleye fishermen catch upwards of 50 pike per day by accident.  “Those targeting pike will catch well over 100 per day,” according to Devils Lake, North Dakota guide and World Walleye Champion Johnnie Candle.

He continued, “I am shocked at how many people spend thousands to cross into Canada, jump in a float plane and not catch as many pike on purpose as I catch by accident here.”  TV host and guide Jason Mitchell agreed, saying, “It’s not uncommon for a boat targeting walleye to catch 50 in a day during springtime.  Winter can be just as productive.”

The lake expanded from about 40,000 acres in the early 1990’s to approximately 175,000 acres today.  With no outlet the lake kept growing due to spring run-off plus abundant rains.  The levels are being maintained now with pumps.  The amazing amount of shoreline vegetation, connected lakes and back bays provide ideal pike spawning habitat.

Todd Caspers, area fisheries manager said, “Northern pike numbers were above average in the summer net surveys.”  There were twice as many 28 to 34 inch pike in nets compared to the long-term average.  This winter and into the 2018 open-water season, more people are being encouraged to catch their limits of Devils Lake pike.  There are several good videos describing how to create boneless pike fillets.  Check the website devilslakend.com for a “how-to” method.

Mitchell said, “The smaller and shallower connected bays and lakes hold high numbers of three to seven pound pike.  Trophies over 40-inches can also be targeted and caught.”  He prefers main-lake structure, points and reefs on the main bay, Minnewaukan Flats, East Bay and East Devils Lake.    Tip-ups baited with frozen bait like smelt trigger action in seven to 20 feet.

He loves it when a client catches a 40-inch pike, barely squeezing its fat belly thru an ice hole, and said, “I recommend releasing these monsters to fight another day.  Get them back in the water quickly (after a picture) so their gills and eyes do not freeze.  Hold them horizontally.”

Candle nets a number of 40-inch plus pike every year.  “There are plenty of 15 to 20 pound pike in Devils Lake, and 80 percent of the ones my clients hook are caught incidentally to the walleyes they’re after,” he said.  In spring, he feels the ratio is three to one (three pike for every walleye) while casting jigs or crankbaits shallow.  He said it could be scary if some real dedicated pike anglers came to Devils Lake just to chase pike.  “I use suspending jerk baits like X-Raps and Shadow Raps and they keep working,” he said.

While Candle is on his winter seminar, sport show, fishing university and Scheel’s speaking schedule, he waits until spring and said, “I leave the ice fishing mostly to others, but whenever I can, I try to catch some pike for the table.  They’re delicious.”

One Devils Lake family, Boyd LaFleur and sons Nathan and Blake have been targeting giant pike exclusively.  They pioneered open-water patterns to catch more than 100 pike over 40 inches in recent years.  Their tackle consists of long casting rods, 50 to 80 pound braid and size 12 X-Raps, jointed Shad-Raps, Bionic Bucktails, Suicks, shallow Raiders and other glide baits.  They also use fly rods when conditions are right.  Weed flats in three to nine feet of water with deep water nearby are favorite locations.  Boyd LaFleur said, “Most people felt every fish but walleyes were second-class citizens, but that’s not true.”  He has observed that 99 percent of walleyes caught were kept, but the opposite is true for pike, with about 99 percent being released.  “Pike under 32 inches long are the only fish our family eats, and no matter how it’s prepared, it’s delicious,” he said.

These experts urged anglers to pack the tip-ups and spend time chasing pike this winter.  Anglers may use four tip-ups per person.  The Devils Lake limit is five pike per day with 10 in possession.  The season is open 12 months of the year.

For more information about Devils Lake motels, resorts, guide services, fish cleaning stations, fishing reports for walleye, pike, perch and white bass, community activities, tournament opportunities, dining, casino, pike fillet tactics and much more, go to devilslakend.com, or call the Tourism office, 701-662-4903.

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Devils Lake Guides Make Every Day a Winner!

Posted: December 12, 2017

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Devils Lake – Being the Number One North American ice fishing destination is an accolade that Devils Lake fishing guides take seriously.  They make sure each client receives more bang for the buck (and more fish).  Guides are on the ice daily.  They know where to go and what to do for the most successful trips possible.

There are large guide services like the Perch Patrol, now 11 guides strong, combining their three centuries of on-ice skills and knowledge.  This produces results, and like Perch Patrol founder Zippy Dahl said, “Hiring a guide is about saving time.  Guests are here for a brief period and cannot compete with our time on the water.  Knowledge is a valuable commodity.”  The guide team works together to make sure all clients catch fish.

The Perch Patrol faces the challenge of escorting beginners to experts and from young to old on the ice.  “We educate, catch fish, offer a quality experience, and create a lifetime of memories in just a few days,” Zippy said.  Ice has a life of its own, and he added, “It lives, breathes and changes.  It’s now healing and after Christmas, we begin our non-stop ice season.  We want to make each trip a two-way journey.  Safety is most important.”

Just like the fishing season – open 12 months of the year on Devils Lake – Zippy’s Perch Patrol can trek across the ice and snow no matter the conditions in their tracked ATV vehicles.  This is the Perch Patrol’s 23rd year ice guiding.  Based on the fall open-water fishing, Zippy anticipates a very good winter season.

He said, “This fall we caught more big perch by accident while walleye fishing than ever.  The same holds for walleyes.  Indications are that this will be a winter to remember.”  Zippy can be reached directly at 701-351-3474 and also has an availability calendar on perchpatrol.com.  There are also packages available via Woodland Resort and the Sleep Inn hotel.  “We can still fit people in, but spots are booking rapidly,” he said.

Operating from Minnewaukan on Devils Lake west shoreline is Aaron McQuoid.  He has 26 years experience on the lake.  The reason he has an 85 percent repeat clientele is because his five guides work hard to provide everything for a great day plus hot homemade soup and sandwiches for lunch.  “From the first phone call to cleaning fish and providing the latest rods, electronics and underwater cameras, our job is to educate people.  We teach and explain what to do.  The more they catch and the more they learn, the more lessons they can take home to use on their local lakes,” he said.

Aaron’s guides fish in hard-sided permanent houses.  They move often.  Each guide works one-on-one with four clients.  “If we can show them fishing tips, and they catch fish because of it, we have developed one more ice angler,” Aaron pointed out.  He chuckled about a day his clients didn’t believe the electronics that were showing fish below the holes.  “They weren’t biting, but the AquaVu camera convinced them the fish were down there, and it took a few jigging tricks and lure changes to get them to bite,” he said.  “That showed them.  They learned.  It made the day special.”

He knows ice fishing has evolved from sitting on a bucket all day.  He said, “For people who get out two or three days a year, it’s much more economical to hire our crew and stay with us than it is to buy everything to do it yourself.”

Aaron has several houses within Minnewaukan that can handle four to eight clients with all the amenities of home.  His team will begin guiding after Christmas.  He can be reached at 701-351-6058 or at mcquoidsguides.com.  He said openings still exist, but they are about 80 percent booked this winter.

A “one-man” guiding service run by Ancil Reynolds is another option for first-class treatment and a learning experience.  He arrived at Devils Lake a dozen years ago to fish a walleye tournament.  One thing led to another.  Now he guides there full-time.

“Being a newer guy to the neighborhood, I read the history and learned everything about the lake.  Some of my trips are history lessons.  When I point out and show them the machinery under the lake’s surface (rapid flooding in the past 40 years) and the lake’s immense size, my guiding for fish becomes more like a tour guide,” he said.

Ancil provides all the tackle, gear, electronics, shelters, plus a tracked ATV to reach his destination, which could be anywhere on the 175,000 acre lake.  He moves to where his clients can catch fish, and said, “I love to teach.  That’s one thing people can take home with them.”  He feels this winter will showcase the lake’s jumbo perch (those 12 to 14 inchers) based on fall catches of big perch.

IMG_4350_SmallIMG_4243_smallDevils Lake is a special ice fishing destination.  Ancil believes many people fish their home waters in summer, but travel to Devils Lake to taste the thrill of winter-time jumbo perch and superb walleye fishing.  “I also love to pike fish.  Until clients run for tip-ups all day long, they don’t know how much fun pike can be…and big pike,” he said.   He can be reached at 701-230-0367 or ancilsguideservice.com.  He will also start guiding after Christmas.

For more information about Devils Lake guide services, ice conditions, motels, resorts, fish cleaning stations, fishing reports for walleye, pike, perch and white bass, community activities, tournament opportunities, dining, casino, pike fillet tactics and much more, go to devilslakend.com, or call the Tourism office, 701-662-4903.

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Devils Lake Early Season Perch Fishing Prognostications Looking Good

Posted: October 26, 2017

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Talk to the guys who are on the water more than 250 days per year, and they know what to expect.  Guides Jason Feldner and Mark Bry looked ahead to the upcoming ice season, and forecast another very good Devils Lake perch season.

Perch are the fabled fish that grow to giant sized trophies in this North Dakota lake.  Bry said, “There is always the chance for a two pound perch.”  Feldner echoed this sentiment and said, “There may not be as many toads as years ago, but they are present.”

He continues, “Last season there were lots of seven to nine inchers in the system, and this year, they should be up to 12 inches long.”  He also caught more perch in open water this summer than in the past.  Bry said, “Based on the solid bite last winter and this summer when we caught 15 to 20 perch while walleye fishing, I anticipate good numbers of 12-inchers this winter.”

Todd Caspers, area biologist revealed that summer net surveys averaged nine perch per net compared to 7.4 last year.  Most age classes were about the same as long-term averages.  Bry and Feldner shared their expert advice about catching perch.

“For me, fishing early ice is like finding new water and fresh fish.  I like to start in 10 to 14 feet off the main lake points.  Later in the day, I usually slide deeper with the perch,” Bry said.  Later in the season, most perch remain in deep water.  With so much deep water, he keeps looking for pockets of fish.  Electronics are the key.

Bry and his guides fish the entire system from Stump Lake on the east to the west end, approximately 100 miles distant.  Results with specific tactics make it difficult to change, and Bry favors a Northland Forage or Buck Shot spoon with a minnow head.  These aggressive lures draw in and catch perch. If perch show up on the electronics, but do not attack the spoon, he drops down to a Tungsten jig with a wax worm for a finesse bite.  “I prefer to keep moving and targeting the active fish.  It seems there are always some active perch willing to slam the spoons,” he said.

Feldner starts his early season perch assault shallow, often in and around flooded trees.  He feels the perch drop deeper as ice season progresses, but said there are always schools of perch shallow and deep.  He brings in the perch with a Lindy Rattl’n Flyer spoon with a minnow head.  If they are attracted but don’t hit the spoon, he switches to a tungsten jig with a wax worm.  When the perch are super deep, he uses the spoon, but removes the treble hook, and attaches an eight inch dropper of 6-pound fluorocarbon line and ties on the tungsten jig.  “I still have the attractor lure working with the rattles and flash, and when perch show up on the electronics, I barely flutter the spoon to get them biting on the jig,” he said.

Anglers may use four lines while ice fishing Devils Lake.  The season never closes, and if perch fishing slows down, there are always northern pike, walleyes and white bass to keep fishermen active.  Running pike tip-ups is just that – running.  Action is often furious and lasts all day.  Walleyes can be targeted with any tactic, and a limit of perch combined with limits of walleyes and pike fillets will provide many memories when back home.

For more information about Devils Lake ice fishing guide services, lake and ice conditions, motels and resorts, fish cleaning stations, fishing reports for walleye, pike, perch and white bass, community activities, tournament opportunities, dining, casino and much more, go to devilslakend.com, or call the Tourism office, 701-662-4903.

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Devils Lake Waterfowl Season Looking Up

Posted: September 28, 2017

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All signs are pointing to one of the best Devils Lake waterfowl season in many years.  This area of central North Dakota is blessed with lots of water, and this year, despite droughts further to the west, had abundant moisture.

The owner of the oldest established waterfowl guide service in North Dakota, Kyle Blanchfield, said, “The local duck hatch was above normal.  The Manitoba ducks are doing great (most of our migratory birds come from there), and the snow goose hatch was one of the top five ever.  It all adds up to a real bright spot for hunters.”

With good water, the local ducks and local giant Canada goose populations are at solid numbers.  When Blanchfield added the snows and Canadian ducks to the mix, he said, “I’m really excited about the season.”  North Dakota waterfowl seasons start Sept. 30 and run into December.

Blanchfield was in northern Saskatchewan recently and was amazed at the snow geese numbers up there.  “The past couple of years produced a minimal snow goose hatch.  A great hatch means several things,” he said.  When the ratio is four juvenile birds to two adults, hunting is much better.  He expects that ratio this season.  “The juveniles are easier to decoy, and they actually bring the adults into decoy sets with them,” he explained.  Mid-October to mid-November marks the snow goose migration.

Water, birds and habitat are a blessing for Devils Lake hunters.  So too are the accommodations and guide services.  Blanchfield at Woodland Resort runs six hunting groups daily, and is 90 percent full for the entire season.  The Devils Lake Chamber has contact details for other guide services.

For more information about Devils Lake motels and resorts, fish and waterfowl cleaning stations, water levels, ramps, public fishing piers, fishing reports for walleye, pike, perch and white bass, community activities, guides, dining, casino and much more, go to devilslakend.com, or call the Tourism office, 701-662-4903.

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It Just Gets Better – Top Guides Describe Devils Lake: ‘Phenomenal, Incredible, Top-Notch, Crown Jewel’

Posted: September 12, 2017

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Devils Lake, ND – Devils Lake fishing gets better and better each season.  According to North Dakota fisheries manager Todd Caspers, “Not only does this lake demonstrate a stable situation, but it has a good, consistent mix of all sizes of walleyes, not just one dominating year-class.”  Guides agree, calling Devils Lake fishing, “Phenomenal, incredible, top-notch, a crown jewel.”

Caspers is the area biologist.  Walleyes are perhaps the most popular Devils Lake species, but yellow perch also rank high with thousands and thousands of local and out-of-state anglers.  “We test young-of-year perch in a few weeks, but are cautiously optimistic of a good hatch,” he said.  This year, the Fish and Game summer net surveys averaged nine perch per net compared to 7.4 last year.  Most age classes were about the same as long-term averages.

Walleyes were exactly at the long-term average of 20 fish per net.  The 15 to 20 inch fish were slightly above average, as were the 25-inch plus walleyes.  Northern pike numbers were above average.  The 34 to 44 inch fish were right on the long-term average.  Numbers of 28 to 34 inch pike were double the long-term average.

The fourth major species targeted by anglers is white bass.  The trend is pointing upwards, with seven bass per net this year, up from 1.2 white bass per net in 2015, and 6.6 last year.  The long-term average is four bass.  The big jump is due to the 2015 year-class; they’re 10 to 12 inches now.

Devils Lake expert guides are jubilant about the great year-after-year fishing.  Approximately 25 percent of all non-resident fishing licenses sold in North Dakota are sold in bait shops around Devils Lake, which is open for fishing all year.

Aaron McQuoid, owner of McQuoid Guides with 19 years on the lake said, “The words ‘average’ and Devils Lake are not ever used in the same sentence.  Change the word ‘average’ to ‘phenomenal’ and that’s more like it.  With more good news from this year’s netting, I smile and know the future is better and better.”  Anglers stay at McQuoid’s lodge, hire guides or go in their own boats, but he said, “They all enjoy the fishing here.”

Jason Mitchell, TV show host and owner of one of the largest guide services on the lake was even more positive.  He said, “Over the past 10 years, Devils Lake has been the best walleye lake in the country.  It’s incredible how it sustains itself, and with the news of the hatch this season, will remain one of the best fisheries for years to come.”

Mitchell attributes the long-term success to the cycles of rising water.  A couple feet of water each year creates areas for small game fish and their forage to thrive and survive.  “My clients often refer to the fish here as ‘dumb’ because they bite so readily.  Devils Lake is the closest you can get to a Canadian fly-in lake yet remain in the US,” he added.  Another reason his clients head home with big smiles is because they love to catch fish, and he said, “They get worn out catching walleyes, pike, white bass and perch.  They gain an appreciation of our fantastic multi-species 180,000 acre lake.”

Community leader and guide Clint DeVier has fished the lake for almost half a century.  For the past three decades he said, “Devils Lake is way above the other walleye systems I’ve tournament fished throughout the Midwest.”  The reason so many people love Devils Lake is because they can catch fish using their favorite tactics.  Due to so many types of structure, if jigging is what a person loves to do, that will work.  So will slip-bobbers, trolling, bottom-bouncers, casting crankbaits, fishing shallow or deep.  “Most days are 50-plus walleye days with many pike, white bass and some perch netted. This makes for a top-notch experience,” he said.

IMG_3898_webGuide and world-walleye champion Johnnie Candle said an average April and May pike day is 50 fish, with many 100 pike days.  Some 20-plus pounders are hauled aboard every year.  May and June are peak walleye months with about 20 coming to net daily, averaging three-pounds.  July and August are “numbers” months with 60 to 100 walleyes per day.  “Many days, our boat goes six to 10 casts in a row with walleyes on every cast,” he said.  If targeted, walleyes over five-pounds can be caught, and always end up winning most tournaments.

The season around the corner, September until ice-up, is called “incredible” by Candle.  He does not keep walleyes over 20 inches, and despite catching 20 to 30 walleyes per day in the fall, he is often unable to keep any.  Catching big walleyes, 75 pike or upwards of 100 white bass make every trip an adventure.  “Devils Lake is the crown jewel of the prairie,” he said.

For more information about Devils Lake motels and resorts, fish cleaning stations, water levels, ramps, public fishing piers, fishing reports for walleye, pike, perch and white bass, community activities, tournament opportunities, guides, dining, casino and much more, go to devilslakend.com, or call the Tourism office, 701-662-4903.

 

Photo credits: Guide Johnnie Candle with a nice walleye catch this fall.

Clients of Mitchell’s Guide Service with Guide Zippy Dahl with Northern Pike of a lifetime!

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Devils Lake Shoreline Fishing Opportunities Expanding; 3 New Fishing Piers Ready to Accommodate All Anglers

Posted: June 29, 2017

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Devils Lake, ND – Devils Lake is a favorite fishing destination.  Anglers head to this North Dakota town and lake of the same name because of the walleyes, northern pike, white bass and perch.  The lake offers more miles of easily accessible shoreline fishing than any other North American lake.

Now, the shoreline fishing just became better – three times better with the completion of three new ADA-compliant fishing piers.  They are located at very good fishing locations, and city engineer Mike Graafsgard said, “Every time I’ve been out to the Channel A pier, it has been in use.”  Fishermen have thanked him time after time, saying, “If not for this access, I wouldn’t be fishing.”

Directions to the piers from downtown follow:

Channel A:  Drive 8 miles west on Highway 2.  Turn right (north) on 75th Ave NE for one mile.  At 54th St. NE, turn right (east) for about two miles to the 8 x 36 foot pier.  Channel A pier has been in use since the ice departed.  Water flows into the main lake from the upper lakes via this channel.

Pike Playground and Fishing Pier:  Just east of Walmart, turn south on Elks Dr. for one-quarter mile.  Take the first left towards the pump station and dike, and drive to the 8 x 40 foot pier.  Now fully functional.  Also has a playground.

Henegar Landing:  Drive one mile west on Highway 19.  Turn left on Walleye Dr. for one mile to the 8 x 40 foot pier.  A few construction details are being finalized with completion in July.

The fishing piers were built to withstand decades of constant use and the vagaries of Mother Nature.  “We used marine-grade aluminum and galvanized steel.  These piers will be in use for a very long time,” he said.

The parking lots, sidewalks and gradually sloping ramps to accommodate wheelchairs were only one aspect of the engineering.  Grafsgaard said, “We had to account for very large waves and changing water levels.  Solutions were resolved to address all lake contingencies.”

With the significant amount of volunteer assistance from members of the Lake Region Anglers, costs were contained to the exact amount of the total budget, $610,765.  “We couldn’t have done this without the tremendous assistance from Shelby Vasichek and his Bobcat dealership.  He provided equipment, ran the machinery, set docks and readjusted them as needed.  He is one of the unsung heroes here,” Grafsgaard said.

DJI_0041Funding came from the North Dakota Industrial commission via the Outdoor Heritage Fund Grant program ($361,728), and the City, the ND Game and Fish Department, the Lake Region Anglers Association, the Devils Lake Chamber – Tourism Division, the Devils Lake Basin Joint Water Resources Board, the Devils Lake Access Committee, VFW Post 756, the Ramsey County Water Board and Lake Region Sportsmen.

He added, “When developing these shore fishing piers we were fortunate to have great state and federal partners.  We work closely with them on dikes, roads, riprap, and everything around Devils Lake.  These piers were fun to create and as soon as they were open, we began to see the benefits – people were using them.”

A forth fishing pier was added to Devils Lake by the Devils Lake Park Board on the Lakewood Beach area of Creel Bay. Directions to this pier are: 3 miles south of Devils Lake on Highway 20 to 45th St, then 2 miles west on Burke Blvd, and .5 miles north to Lakewood Park. Paved access road.

For more information about Devils Lake motels and resorts, fish cleaning stations, water levels, ramps, public fishing piers, fishing reports for walleye, pike, perch and white bass, community activities, the Chamber Walleye tournament, guides, dining, casino and much more, go to devilslakend.com, or call the Tourism office, 701-662-4903.

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FINAL RESULTS from the 41st Annual Chamber Walleye Tournament

Posted: June 25, 2017

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Click here to view the final results from this year’s tournament.

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