My sincerest apologies for the lack of a report; it has been way too long. This will be the last open water report of the year. The weather forecast looks like ice fishing will be upon us sooner than later.
The fishing was rock solid this fall and will be until the lake freezes. The two patterns that emerge every fall are trolling rocky/hard bottom structure and jigging near the bridges. Both are producing very well.
For trolling, any are of the lake is good, but look for rocky structure or flooded roads. Use larger than normal crank baits like #7 and #9 Flicker Shads in white or perch colors and get them near the bottom. Speed can vary from day to day but 1.8 to 2.0 MPH is a good starting spot. The depth of structure will determine how to get them down, but FireLine or lead core are great options.
At the bridges, jigs and minnows are all you need. Quarter or three eights ounce Nuckle Ball jigs tipped with a fat head minnow or a piece of Gulp! will get you a limit of eater sized eyes in no time flat. I have the best luck fishing the up wind side of the bridge. It is not nearly as comfortable, but the action more than makes up for it.
I don't ice fish a lot, but if I get on a good ice fishing bite, I will report it here. Check in later. Thanks for reading.
A lot has happened and changed since my last report. I am sorry for the delay.
On Labor Day weekend, Jay Hagen, Jon Becker, and I competed in and won the first ever Rock the Lake Walleye, White Bass and Pike tournament in Minnewaukan, ND. We weighed our limit of two of each species for a total of 25.25 pounds. The Walleye were caught both trolling and casting, the White Bass were on a windy shore line and the Pike came on dead bait behind a bottom bouncer while we pitched for other fish.
Since then, the water temperature has dropped dramatically. It is in the high 50s now. Things are changing and the weeds are dying. The fish are moving to more traditional walleye structure and getting a bit easier to find. The size is increasing as well.
The best presentation now is trolling crank baits. #7 and #9 Flicker Shads in Whites or Fire Tiger colors have been hot. Salmo Hornets and Reef Runners are working too. Find some rock structure in 15 to 25 feet of water and you will be successful.
The fall bite is here and will last through the remaining open water season.
There is a hint of fall in the air here in Devils Lake and the fish are acting more like fall is here every day. The water temps are near or a bit below the 70 degree mark now and if they continue to fall, the fishing will just keep getting better and better.
For now, the old lake shoreline is the key to catching walleye. 25 to 30 feet of water is where the oldest shoreline of Devils Lake eroded away to clean rock and gravel. There are many fish relating to this structure. The area along Hwy 57 near Ft Totten, north 6 Mile Bay, Doc Hagens and any other prominent point is producing fish in that depth range.
Spinners and Gulp! is still my go to, however, trolling lead core line and small crankbaits has produced some nicer fish. Smaller lures like #4 and #5 are catching the numbers of fish, but the new #9 has caught a few whoppers this week.
White bass are still around. Look shallow along windblown rocks and weeds. We got a few over 18 inches last week.
Northern Pike are just about anywhere, but seem to be a bit tougher to catch. Some look at that as a good thing, but crankbaits have been catching more than the spinners.
Fishing is still incredible here on Devils Lake. 100 fish days, all be them small, are still happening and will continue for a while.
Walleye are still hitting spinners and Gulp! with regularity. The colors depend on the day. If it is sunny, shinny colors are better. On the cloudy days, painted colors seem to be the best. Half a crawler is all that is needed along with a single hook. The Berkley Pinched Crawler or the new Killer Crawler is all I have used in over a month. No live bait to keep alive.
Depths and areas are all over the board. Birkland Point in East Bay has been good between 20 and 25 feet of water. The rip-rap of Hwy 57 is good between 25 and 30 feet of water. The rail road grade in Pelican Lake is good in 10 to 12 feet of water; all pulling spinners.
We have caught some nicer fish pitching crankbaits to weed beds also. #5 and #7 Flicker Shads and 14oz Nuckle Ball jigs tipped with 3 inch Berkley Ripple Shads are working great for that.
The pike are thinning out a bit, but you still get a few each day. Have not seen any white bass for a while, but we were getting a few mixed in while looking for shallower walleye.
There is plenty of good fishing left. The next three months are my favorite times to be on Devils Lake.
Game on!!! If you ever wanted to catch 100 walleye in a day, now is the time to come to Devils Lake, ND. Bring lots of bait, you will need it.
The bobber bite is in full swing. Find an area shallower than the surrounding water and sit there. It won't take long to know if the fish are around. Many times when the bobber stop hits the bobber, it just keeps going. Areas that have been good are Maddock Ridge, Haley's Hump, and Chicken Ridge (AKA Clint's Hump). There are others too. Leeches on a small jig seem to work the best.
Bottom bouncers and spinners are taking their share of fish as well. Hammered gold or the new Pink Shine Berkley Flicker Rigs seem to be the hot colors. Perch is a great choice as well. Half a crawler is all you need and it helps the bait last longer too. Gulp! Crawlers or Fry and the new Killer Crawler are great options if you don't want to deal with live bait in the heat. The Ft. Totten area is turning on pretty good now. Depths from 15 to 30 feet are producing; you just have to try them all till you find the depth for the day.
There is still a shallow pitching bite too. #5 Pearl White (mouse) Flicker Shads were the hot ticket this week. Any areas with weeds or cat tails were good. Even better if the wind was blowing in. I had great luck near the Mauvais Coulee this week.
Some anglers are beginning to have great success pulling smaller crank baits on lead core as well. The fish are transitioning to deeper water with the hot weather. The old lake bed shoreline is about 26 feet deep and is the thing the fish seem to key on. Just point the boat and go until you locate a school of hungry eyes. Trust me, it won't take long.
Life is good at Devils Lake, ND. The Walleye are biting and folks are happy.
My last report mentioned weeds, and that is still the case if you want it to be. The best weed edge bite I know if is on the south side of the RR Grade in Pelican Lake. 10 to 12 feet of water, a hammered gold spinner and a half a crawler. Hard to miss there. Any weed edge will produce fish.
The Golden Highway is starting to show how it got its name. The top is about 18 feet deep and the walleye are there. Lots of action and some days the fish are pretty good size. Took a couple of 5 pounders there this week. Spinners are the ticket again. The Gulp! Killer Crawler has been producing well and is much easier in the heat than trying to keep the real thing alive.
The pitching bit is good still too. It is amazing how shallow some of the fish are in the heat we have had. Pitching 1/8th oz Nuckle Ball jigs with 3 inch Ripple Shads into one foot of water has been incredible. Cat Tail edges seem to be best for this. White is by far the best color.
The Pike action has slowed. That is good for my tackle box. The white bass are still biting and seem to be large this year. Winchester Island had some tanks on it yesterday. 3 over 17 inches came from there on #5 Flicker Shads.
If there is one word for this report, it is WEEDS. The aquatic vegetation is alive and well and very near the surface of Devils Lake. Find the edge of it or fish over the top of it where you can and it is GAME ON!!!
The deep weed edge seems to be between 8 and 10 feet depending on where you are. If you drag a bottom bouncer and spinner around near the edge of the weeds, it will not take long to catch a walleye. Using a half of a crawler is all that is needed. If you don't like messing with crawlers, Berkley Gulp! is just as effective. Try the 3 inch Fry or the new Killr Crawler. They are working great on spinners and on Slow Death hooks. The best Spinner colors seem to be perch colors or whites.
If you like to cast, that bite is still good too. Casting #5 and #6 Flicker Shads to deep weed edges is productive. If you can find shallower areas of cat tails that you can still cast to, the Scheels exclusive Team Esko is working very well. Purple Tiger, White Fire Tiger are all great color choices as well.
There is a deeper bite beginning to develop too. The deeper rock areas and flooded roads have fish showing up better and better each day. Trolling Lead Core and crank baits or dragging spinners are great options for this.
Pike and White Bass are still going strong too. Windy shores are holding the Bass and you can't seem to get away from the Pike. We even got a nice Perch this week too.
Out of town at Lake Winnebago for a week, check back after the 4th of July for my next report.
The fishing on Devils Lake is rock solid. The Pike and Bass fishing is off the chart and the walleye fishing continues to get better. Weather can always dictate tougher conditions, but hard work will always pay off.
The Pike are everywhere. Just get shallow and start casting. Any size, any shape, any color; they will eat it. Hundred fish days are pretty common right now.
White Bass are just wrapping up the spawn and pretty easy to catch once you find them. I got on a nice school near the Stump Lake outlet last Thursday. It was a fish every cast for hours. Windblown shorelines seem to be the key.
The Walleye bite has been a bit tougher than the other species, but it seems that by the end of an 8 hour day a limit is pretty common now. It is hard work and sorting through the Pike and Bass gets frustrating, but it has to happen. Everything is together right now. Emerging weed growth seems to be holding a lot of fish. Casting over the tops or along the edges of the weeds is producing well. Look for stained water or fish the windy side of the lake. The water is very clear and getting close is tough.
Depending on water depth, #5 Flicker Shads and #5 Shad Raps are good choices. If the weeds are taller, then try the Scheels Exclusive Team Esko from Rapala. Jigs seem to fish well through the weed tops also. Quarter and eighth ounce Fin Tech Nuckle Ball Jigs with Berkley Ripple Shads are working well in that scenario.
Some areas that have produced for me lately are the Stump Lake Outlet area, the South Shore of East Devils Lake, north of the RR tracks in Pelican Lake, the coulee west of Old Hwy 281 north of Minnewaukon, and the north end of 6 Mile Bay.
You can tell by the pictures, it was a great week for big fish too!!!!!
The weather this past week made life very interesting on Devils Lake. The wind picked up and the temperature dropped. We actually had lows in the 30s. That slowed the fishing a bit.
The walleye are still catchable, but it is not easy. Shallow still seems to be working. Casting small crankbaits and jigs is taking a few fish. Color does not seem to matter.
Look for the warmest water and the wind blowing in. Clean gravel or back bays seem to be the key areas.
The pike are still going crazy. The weather did not slow them at all.
White Bass are beginning to show now. Channel A and Browns Bay are both holding a fair number of whites. They hit anything, but a white Gulp! Jigging Grub seems to be all you need.
Off to Mille Lacs Lake this week for an MWC tournament. It will be a bit until my next report.
Fishing right now is incredible, especially if you like Northern Pike. They are biting like the White Bass do a month from now. It is simply amazing how many you can catch in a day. Berkley Ripple Shads just tear them up!!!
The Walleye are coming mixed in with the Pike at a ratio of about 20 Pike for each Walleye. Some days it is even worse than that. The Walleye we are catching are nice. 18 to 22 inches is common right now. #5 crank baits like the Berkley Flicker Shad are working well.
I found more Walleye and less Pike in the main lake areas. The bays are loaded with Pike and a Walleye every now and then. Cast the windy shore lines and look for warmer water. The best areas are where the boat is in 7 to 8 feet of water and you are barely able to reach the shore with a long cast.
I am traveling this weekend but back at the fishing Monday. Look for a report later in the week.
We finally got on the water this week and all I can say is the more things change, the more they stay the same.
I took the kids from Lake Region State College up to Pelican Lake and we had a blast. The pike and walleye were on fire yesterday. Shallow rocks in 5 feet of water or less was the ticket. The lures of choice were 1/4 oz Nuckle Ball jigs with 3 in Berkley Ripple Shad bodies. The color did not matter at all.
The early spring we had has not seemed to change the fishing at all. This is very typical of early may. The spawn is right on schedule as the makes we caught were all milking.
The fishing reports may be a bit sporadic the next week or two as I am still traveling a ton. I will post new reports as often as I can get on the water.
This will be my last fishing report of the year, but it will not be the end of my fall fishing. Things just do not change enough at this time to keep reporting.
Not much has changed since the last report. Pelican Lake is still my destination of choice. There is a new ramp there now. Trolling is working the best for me. Leadcore line and larger shad baits are working the best. #7 Flicker Shads in Ghost White and Hot Tiger (both Scheels exclusives) and #7 RS Shad Raps in Glass White and Perch have been my best lures. Salmo Hornets are working as well as Jointed Shad Raps in similar colors.
FireLine with deeper diving baits like Reef Runners and Deep Tail Dancers will catch some fish, but they are not working as well as the Shad baits. Jigs and Gulp! have caught a few too.
There are also good fish to be had trolling the Golden Highway as well as pitching crank baits to shallow rocky structures around the lake.
It is tough to get eating size fish. It has been a lot of catch and release lately, but that is fun too.
Enjoy the fall bite!!! This will last until the ice stops us from getting there.
Things are getting better by the day; however, weather can still slow the bite.
Trolling #7 Shad style baits on lead core is still working well. If you don't have lead core, long lining with FireLine can get you deep enough too. Flicker Shads and RS Shad Raps are working well. So are Salmo Hornets and Jointed Shad Raps. It seems that any color will work, but perch or white stands out by the end of the day.
The fish seem to be on average a bit larger than what we saw this summer. 18 to 22 inches is pretty common now and a few monsters are coming each day.
Pelican Lake is hot and there is a brand new ramp there too. Water temps are holding steady in the mid 50s and there is no sign of the bite slowing. I am sure as temperatures drop, there will be a good jig and minnow bite coming.
For now, enjoy the fall; Big Walleye, Ducks and Geese, Grouse and Pheasants. Decisions, Decisions.
Fall is here and the fish are fired up, big time!
It was 10 days between my Devils Lake trips and in that time, the water temp had dropped nearly 20 degrees. On Saturday the temperature was 56 degrees.
The weeds are dying off and the fish are leaving them and heading toward their favorite fall locations. Our success came on deeper rock structure in Pelican Lake. Trolling #7 Flicker Shads and #5 Jointed Shad Raps produced modest numbers of fish, but the size was awesome. Fish averaged 20 inches and the largest of the weekend was a beautiful 28 incher. White and Hot Tiger were the best colors followed closely by Chrome and Blue.
This fishing is only going to get better as water temps continue to fall.
Big Fish, No Crowd, gotta love the fall.
Talk about consistent fishing. That is Devils Lake for the last two months. Not much has changed at all. I am not sure that will stay the case, but let's enjoy it while it lasts.
Bottom bouncers and spinners till dominate the catches. Slow Death rigs are also working very well. Don't waste time with more than half a crawler, they just won't hit it. Actually, why even use a crawler? A 3 inch piece of a Gulp! crawler is all you need. Not much live bait in my boat the past two weeks.
Areas that are producing are the humps in Ft. Totten Bay, Stromme's, Birkland Point, The Golden Highway and Old 281. Depths vary from 12 to 30 feet of water. It is honestly hard to not catch fish right now.
There is a shallow water bite going too. Pitching cranks between weed beds and the cat tails can be good. It is hit and miss, but when you find them they are really nice fish. #5 Shad Raps and Flicker Shads as well as 3" Berkley Ripple Shads are producing there.
The water is starting to cool and the fall fishing bonanza is not too far away. Man, hard to choose, Grouse, Geese, Deer, or Fishing. I'll take the fishing!!!!
Walleye Fishing continues to be red hot on Devils Lake. It is actually hard to find a place to not catch fish.
I have been spending most of my time pulling spinners and bottom bouncers. Colors really do not matter. Orange, Gold and Copper blades have been good, but so has everything else. Half a crawler is all you need. The last two days, I personally never used a crawler. Berkley Gulp! 3 inch Fry with about half an inch cut off has worked wonderfully and you can use the same one most of the day.
My best area has been near Ft. Totten. Water depths form 18 to as deep as 40 feet have produced fish. The Golden Highway is still producing as is Birkland Point in East Bay.
There are some larger fish shallow, but the bite is much slower. It needs wind and is early in the day or just at sunset. Casting #5 Shad Raps and Flicker Shads in areas where there are not many weeds has produced some nicer fish. White and Bleak are the colors for me.
Be ready for some excitement, twice this week I had pike attack my walleye on the way to the boat. Gets the heart thumping for sure.
Two tournaments got in the way of recent reports, but I have been home for a while now and the fishing is incredible.
Not much has changed in the last month. Anglers need to decide what they want from their day; numbers or size. Right now, it seems to be impossible to do both.
For numbers, bottom bouncers and spinners are the trick. Areas that are rocking are the Golden Highway, Ft. Totten Point, Camp Grafton, The Storm Sewers, and Birkland Point. Use half a crawler or a leech and you will have success. #3 blades in Colorado or Indianas are working. Slow death gets 'em when nothing else will. Colors change from day to day. Silvers, Golds, Perches and whites have all been good.
For larger fish, look for shoreline with the wind blowing in. Cleaner banks have been better than those with weeds. However, if you can find cabbage, you will find walleye. Areas in Ft Totten Bay, East Bay, and East Devils Lake have had shallow fish. The wind helps a lot, but there have been some fish caught without any. It is much slower when calm. #5 and #7 Shad Raps and Flicker Shads have been the go to lures. Bleak, Silver/Blue, and Purpledescent have been the best. I have had some great luck on a custom painted White Bass #5 Shad Rap form Dutch Fork Custom Tackle as well.
Things will only get better as fall approaches. Keep checking in for more reports.
It was a fun week to be on Devils Lake. It took hard work, but limits came 5 days in a row and all from Different areas of the lake.
Early in the week, the flats produced good catches. The Minnewaukan Lagoon as well as Maddock Ridge produced fish on bobbers. With an east wind, old 281 put out some nice fish casting #5 Shad Raps and Flicker Shads. Bleak and Blue Tiger were the best two colors.
The weekend moved us to East Bay and things went well there too. The White Bass fishing was incredible near the overflow to Stump Lake. A fish every cast. The walleye bit well in Hay Bale Bay casting cranks. #5 Shad Raps and Flicker Shads in the same colors as above were great choices. When the sun went away, crawdad and perch turned on. We caught a few nicer fish on Eskos as well.
I hate to ask for it, but wind is a necessary evil for the shallower bite to be good. When it was calm, we had to use bait and go deeper.
I will be gone for the next two weeks. This week it is ICAST in Las Vegas. The next week is the MWC in Mobridge, SD. My next report will be August 1st. I am sure a lot will change by then.
Fishing this past week proved to be some of the best of the year so far.
The fish are still shallow, 4 to 7 feet of water seems to be the best. If the wind is blowing, casting crank baits (#5 Shad Raps and Flicker Shads) or swim baits (Ripple Shads or Mimic Minnows) is working well. If it is calm go to the slip bobbers with leeches.
Areas that produced good catches were the old RR tracks in Pelican Lake, the 101 Ranch on Grahams Island, and East Lake Road in East Devils Lake.
When casting lures, be prepared to catch a ton of pike. Many of them are small, but there are plenty of nice ones mixed in. The white bass seem to be more plentiful in the eastern part of the lake.
The past week had me fishing the main lake in preparation for the MWC event. Fishing was good when the weather was bad. We had several nice catches pitching to shallow windblown shorelines. #5 Shad Raps, #5 Flicker Shads and #7 and #9 Countdown Rapalas were great producing cranks. ¼ oz Nuckle Ball Jigs with 3 inch Berkley Ripple Shad bodies were also great performers. Bleak was unstoppable as well as Pearl White for the plastics. Areas that produced fish for me were Knutson's Bay, Blue Bill Point and the 101 Ranch.
When the weather got nice, things changed. Most of the good tournament catches came from pitching weeds. Either cat tails or cabbage beds were the ticket. From listening to the weigh in, the same lures mentioned above produced well. My best weed bad was in Golden Pond.
The winners uncovered a new thing here at Devils Lake. They were trolling #5 Flicker Shads in 4 feet of water along the construction area of HWY 57. The constant commotion of the road project kept the water dirty and put the fish there in a feeding frenzy. They weight 10 fish for over 30 pounds to win both the MWC and the Devils Lake Chamber Tournament.
Fishing is steadily improving, as long as the weather does. The past week brought steady weather and great catches of walleye and pike. The Pike are everywhere, so be prepared to catch a ton of them. Walleye are a little tougher to locate, but once you do, life will be good.
Shallow windy shorelines still seem to be the answer, but there are some fish beginning to appear in deeper waters off shore.
Bleak #5 Shad Raps were the hot ticket this week, but in some deeper areas, #5 RS Shad Raps worked very well. At times, the 3 inch Ripple Shad was phenomenal as well. Pearl White ruled there.
Areas that produced the best were No Fish Bay and the shorelines near the Gap. There are some fish being caught west of Old Hwy 281, but use caution crossing the flooded highway.
Things are changing and it seems for the better. For a few days this past week, fishing got pretty tough. It was hard to find any concentration of walleye. The past few days, it is the exact opposite.
The water temperature on the main lake has reached the high 50s and even low 60s in places and the walleye are transitioning to the main lake. Find a nice windy shoreline with clean water and you will have a blast. Casting lures like #5 Shad Raps, #5 Flicker Shads, and #7 Countdown Rapalas will put fish in the boat. Bleak, Firetiger, and Perch all caught fish for us the past few outings. Shorelines near the Mauvais Coulee all seemed to have fish on them.
The bobber fishing is picking up too. Chicken Ridge and the Mauvais Coulee trees produced a few nice catches over the weekend. Smaller leeches and plain hooks, not jigs, produced the best. I am sure that is a day to day thing, so try it all.
It is that time of year when you never know what will be there when you set the hook. This week we spent most of our time in East Devils Lake and the fishing was incredible.
The catches were all mixed bags. The walleye fishing was good, the pike fishing ok, and the white bass were incredible. Pitching to windy shorelines was the key again. The more wind the shallower the fish. The area near the outlet to Stump Lake was good as well as the Kirks Refuge area. A few walleye came from flooded roads in East Devils Lake as well. Every road had at least a fish or two.
The Berkley Ripple Shads still amaze me at what they catch. This week the #5 Shad Raps turned on in a big way. Hot Steel and Bleak were the best colors by far.
Spring fishing on Devils Lake can be incredible and it is finally getting to that point. The lake looks completely different with the two new feet of water we have gotten this spring. Once you get past that and look for the right conditions the fish will be there.
The key this week was warmer water. Water temps above 56 degrees produced fish. Temps below that did not produce as well. Fishing windblown shorelines made a difference as well. Look for gravely areas with or without cat tails or flooded timber.
Casting was the technique that worked the best. Crankbaits and soft plastics were both productive. Bone White Storm Thunder Cranks in size 6 and 3 inch Fire Tiger Ripple Shads on quarter ounce Nuckle Ball jigs were by far the top producers. The fish seemed to come by keeping the boat in 8 feet of water and casting near the shore. Most of the bites happened in 5 to 6 feet of water.
Eaters were harder to come by than fish over 20 inches. This is not uncommon for Devils Lake at this time of year. Please be responsible and release the larger fish and keep the smaller ones for dinner.
If this week was any indication, Devils Lake will be a lot of fun again this year.