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Devils Lake, ND Fishing Update

by Devils Lake Tourism


Devils Lake, ND is Open! Fishing to Peak over Memorial Day Weekend

 

DEVILS LAKE, N.D. – May 21, 2020 -  The word “open” means that guides are taking clients to secret spots and fishing is once again the normal way of life in Devils Lake, North Dakota. Top guides are back in the saddle – or boat seat – and motoring forward.  

        They have adapted operations with client’s health safety a priority.  “The phones are ringing off the hook due to Canada being closed and the best walleye bite of the year is about to kick into high gear over Memorial Day weekend,” Jason Feldner said.  

Feldner’s seven guides are booked until late June.  His Perch-Eyes Guide Service, 701-473-2533, can accommodate up to 52 guests in cabins, houses and a main lodge. “Everything is provided, from AC to fully equipped kitchens.  Guide groups have their own space.  We’re in Minnewaukan on the lake’s west shore,” he said.  Feldner’s staff takes extra steps to clean and disinfect boats, rods and all lodging facilities often.  Clients follow guides in their own trucks to the ramps.  “We then jump in the boat for a fun day on the water,” he said.

        Cody Roswick operates FinHunters Guide Service, 701-840-5407.  “With the weather turning around and warm conditions taking charge, every fishing day is better than the previous one,” he said.  He keeps conditions as clean as possible and as people feel more comfortable daily, bookings are picking up.

        He lost a dozen trips of some old-time regulars who were nervous about travel.  “Amazingly, with the Canadian border locked tight, those empty dates are filling rapidly.  I think people are staying closer to home.  They also know the walleyes are about to go crazy,” he added.   

       Feldner’s extensive experience and knowledge of Devils Lake shows.  He said, “Once the Memorial Day bite starts, walleyes don’t slow down all summer.  They bite well into October, with fall being the time for quality fish.” 

In spring, tactics include slip-bobbers with leeches when calm.   “Walleyes love leeches all year long.  I have even frozen some; thawed them out and caught fish with dead leeches under the ice,” he said.  With bobbers and hooks in red, orange or plain on one rod and jigs on another, all baited with leeches, he catches walleyes on what they want.  “What they want changes often,” he said.  

        When spring breezes blow, casting becomes a favorite.  With all the bays and miles of shoreline, good spots are easy to locate.  Casting consists of light jigs with paddle tails or Twisters.  He starts with one-eighth ounce jigs and increases to one-fourth ounce jigs in wind.  “I like to follow the jig down in the one to seven feet of water where the walleyes feed this time of year,” he said.  Best colors in stained water are fire tiger, white and perch.  If clear water, he pitches gold.  

        Those same colors translate to crankbaits. In skinny water, his crew prefers shallow Flicker Shads or the number seven Rapala Shallow Shad Raps.  If in three or more, the number five Shad Raps and Flicker Shads are the answer.  He always uses light-weight wire leaders due to the voracious pike that frequent the same haunts as walleyes.

        Roswick described the Devils Lake walleyes from Memorial Day well through July saying, “They will be biting everywhere.  It’s one of the easiest shallow-water casting or slip-bobber bites I have ever experienced.”  With Coronavirus awareness, he expected more clients to take advantage of the mid- and late-summer bite.  

        Starting out the season with a full arsenal of Northland Mimic Minnows for casting (a jig pre-rigged with plastic) that “flat-out catches them,” Roswick also has clients casting crankbaits.  “There is always a crankbait bite on this lake,” he said.  As soon as possible, he loves to demonstrate the effectiveness of bottom bouncers and spinners.

        A typical Roswick guide day means limits of walleyes and a bunch of pike.  Those targeting pike can anticipate more than two dozen a day.  One thing Devils Lake offers is a strong population of white bass.  “I tell clients they can catch as many as they want, and they do.  However, they are tired after about 30, especially since many are two to three pounds.  Then, it’s back to walleyes.  White bass really fight,” he said.  

        Roswick said being a fishing guide has led to some of the greatest friendships possible.  “I’m my own boss and this job – and it’s a job – is very rewarding,” he said.  “For those regulars I miss this spring, I expect to see them in my boat later this season.  

        Devils Lake guide services and weekly fishing reports are featured on devilslakend.com.  Also, find updates about lake info and conditions, details about the community, lodging, restaurants, casino and so much more.  Fishing is open year-round.  For Devils Lake questions, call and talk with a knowledgeable local resident at 701-662-4903.