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Scoot

Devil's Lake Fishing Reports

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I have stayed at the casino, nice place, located on the lake. I would travel to minnewaakon bay. You could also check of there is a resort still doing cabins? My uncle lived in minnewaakon best bet for fishing.

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Thanks for the tips. Can you target walleye in the winter or is it chase the Jumbo's around and maybe you will get lucky and find a walleye or two.

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It is more like chase the walleyes around and maybe you will get a jumbo or two. The perch fishing is not what it is hyped up to be. If you want perch got to Winni. Good Northern fishing in and around DL.

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Candiru, evidentally you have never gotten into a real perch bite on Devils Lake. I'm from the Devils Lake area, but now live in Minnesota. Having fished Winnie and Devils Lake both often, in my opinion Winnie doesn't even come close to Devils Lake!! I have had several days of 100 perch or more, many pushing the 1 1/2 pounds to 2 lb range during the ice-fishing season on DL. Never have had that on Winnie. You just have to work for the fish. Find big mud & sand flats out in the middle of nowhere away from crowds, and there is a good bet you will find perch, with walleyes in the mix too. If you have a snowmobile, you will have to put it to use to find the big schools of perch.

The one post above mentioned the casino. Just to the west of the casino access is a long stretch of shoreline with flooded timber. Get back into the middle of the timber (it is still like 10'-12' of water back in there). Have always had great walleye fishing along that shoreline in the timber, not to mention a big northern or two, and the occasional jumbo also. To the east is the bridge (Hwy 19 I believe, but I could be wrong.). A lot of walleyes can be had along the rocky shoreline around the bridge also.

One other tip, all over the lake there is all kinds of flooded timber. You can usually pick up a walleye in the flooded timber no matter what part of the lake.

And if you are not having any luck on the big water, ask the locals about a lake they call Lake Irving just to the west of the town of Devils Lake on US Hwy 2 about 20 miles, just north of the town of Churches Ferry. When I hit DL last year in early March, we never even fished DL because the fishing was so incredible on Irving. I guess the last two years it has been. It is actually connected to Devils Lake by what they call Channel A. It is basically a shallow basin of DL that is not on a DL lake map, but has very quality walleyes, and all the small northern one can handle catching during the day. It only gets to about 9' at its deepest point. Last year we were fishing on 4' of ice with only 2' of water below, and caught several nice walleyes in the two days. Tip, fish in the morning, and then from about 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. for the walleyes. After the northerns go to bed, the walleyes get their time to eat! If it is like last year, you will only need one line. Forget about the tip-ups, because you will have plenty to keep you occupied with your jigging rod.

Good luck!!

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How recent were the 100 fish days? I have been there a few times in recent years. I tried the run and gun, get away from the crowds fishing with the snowmobile. For my efforts I had one decent half-day of perch fishing. There were a few others on this spot and word must have gotten out because it was like the Johnsonville Brat commercial. Trucks coming in from all over. They are nice fish when you get them. I had a friend that hired guides a couple of times there and he caught squat. I have talked to many frustrated perch fisherman. I just found Winni to be much more consistant.

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Best bet is to target walleyes and northern. I don't know many people who target perch anymore...except the uninformed. Ever since the "perch patrol" came out years ago, the population has been decimated.

But there are plenty of eyes and even more northern. I think there is even a 5 or 6 fish limit of northerns on part of the lake, but you'll have to check the G&F HSOforum for details.

Be prepared to move alot. I've yet to fish the lake and have success in one spot. Usually you pick up a couple and then it dies. If you keep moving, you usually can pick up fish all day.

Good luck! Plenty of water to fish and lots of places to stay. If you can't find any right on the water, there are several motels/hotels in town just a stone's throw from the lake.

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Had two days that were 100-fish days last year, one in late December and one in March. When I say that, there were 3 of us. I should have clarified. We each kept 10 and tossed back the rest. One day we really got into them in about 33' of water over a sandy bottom in the Minnewauken Flats area. The second time in March we got into them about 8 miles East of the town of Devils Lake along US Hwy 2. Right off Hwy. 2 there is a bay. I believe they call it East Bay, but I've always known it as Haybale Bay, because a long time ago it used to be a big haybale field. Has a dark, mucky bottom. We were actually targeting walleyes as we have done well on them there in the past. After pulling up about 10 jumbo perch on minnows in the first five minutes (by accident), we ended up dropping our cameras down and could see perch as far as we could see. Had to do a lot of work, but luck had a lot to do with it. My point is there are still the big schools of perch to be found out there, just need a little know how and a lot of luck. When you find them, there is no better lake as far as size quality out there. Last year we actually had 3 fish tip the scale at 3 lbs. Those are huge perch!! And we had a lot at 2 lbs or better. My biggest perch out of Winnie is about 1 1/2 pounds. Those are great eating perch in my opinion!! I would like to see more states go the the 10-fish limit on panfish, like South Dakota does, to protect fisheries such as Devils Lake and Winnie.

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You definately lucked out, Lakers. I haven't heard anyone have that kind of success with perch on DL in awhile. Good work!

And you're right, they are massive in there, if you can find them. The reason is because of the freshwater shrimp (scud) population. Everything feeds on them and they are everywhere. I caught a couple 14 inch eyes last winter that were toads. Opened them up and they were completely full of shrimp.

If winnie had more shrimp, it would be the same kind of deal as DL.

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I got into perch twice last year on dl. It seems i can find them in 26 to 45 feet of water, they will follow and nibble but getting them hooked is another story. twice last year they bit they werent as big as the late 70s and 80s but they were nice.

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Last year we actually had 3 fish tip the scale at 3 lbs. Those are huge perch!! And we had a lot at 2 lbs or better.

Wow...3 lbs??? assuming you are talking about perch thats insane...you beat the state record 3 times last year and never registered a single one of them...wow

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i am starting to line up a trip to dl this winter it will be my first time we would go as soon as we can get ourer 16foot drop down out. so i need some info onif you can get out with big rigs and where would be agood place to fish. what resort would be to use for road servise. we allwayes go to low for ourer 1st trip with big schack so is it like that were just a few resort plow roades. or somthing like milaces

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If you go the last week of January, hit the Ice fishing tourney put on the the DL Fire Dept. Its a good source of information on whats biting where on the lake. Tickets go fast though. Hope to see some of you out there!

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My brother and I are going to reserve a sleeper with Woodland Resort sometime in January.....Are there houses usually set up for a walleye bite or perch??? Anyone stayed in any of there sleepers??? Thanks for any help....

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Woodland resort usually plows its own roads and sets up their shacks on the best bite they can. Nothing is guaranteed, of course, but the job of an outfitter and guide is to have clients catch fish. I'd think it would be in their best interest to make sure the houses are in good spots. If you want to fish one species or another, call in advance and see if they can put you in a particular shack. Devils Lake is notorious for nomadic fish. What holds fish one day does not hold fish the next day. My advice is to listen to the guides and try their way first. If that doesn't work, set out on foot and drill, drill, drill. You'll find fish eventually. Good luck!

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Devils Lake finally is covered with a blanket of ice. Its one of the few years that we have had the lake freeze over without any wind and it looks like a perfect sheet of glass.

With the forecast of below zero lows and hardly any wind we should be in good shape. i have heard a few reports of guys starting to walk onto some of the smaller lakes to the north or Devils Lake but I would recommend using caution for at least another week on the big lake itself. Once we get started, its a long season and we dont ever want to loose anyone!

I've been reading several reports on here about the Perch fishing on Devils Lake and as a guide this is what I have seen happening on Devils Lake.

Yes, perch numbers are down on Devils Lake but a lot of this has to do with that in the 80's in the so called glory years of perch fishing on Devils Lake the lake was only 30,000 acres. Take that same perch population and spread it out across 140,000 acres which is what Devils Lake is now and you have a lot more area to cover to find these Perch. Some of the best perch spots in the 80's that were 30ft deep are now 55 ft or deeper and dont hold perch like they used to.

I have had to change the way I look for perch on Devils Lake and it has woked to my advantage. Believe me there are still giant schools of perch out there and now there is a quarter of the fishermen willing to spend the time trying to find them. Some of the best perch fishing you will ever experience is in the flooded pockets of trees. And with 100's of miles of flooded shoreline they have alot of hiding places.

If your willing to drill some holes and think outside the box a little youll get into the perch on Devils Lake. Not to mention some of the best walleye and northern pike fishing in the country!

Jeff Dosch

www.doschguides.com

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Thanks Jeff I have heard about the great fishing up there and was thinking of planing a trip this year. I have a 16 ft wheel that I would you for base camp wondering how your service works If thats something you could work with and when would be the best time to head your way. I would want to be able to drive the truck out on the lake. Thanks Jeff hope to hear from ya

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Its really hard to say when the best time of year is on Devils Lake. The walleye and Northern Pike bite has been very consistent the last couple of years. The perch bite as on every lake is weather related. Its all about getting lucky enough to get some stable weather when your after perch. Its just best to pick a date and plan on staying 3-4 days. That way you have a better chance of getting into some stable weather and some good perch fishing.

If the weather stays like this we should be driving on some parts of the lake in as early as 10 days. And if the weathermen are right it looks like it will happen.

If you were to hire our service we would ask that you leave the wheel house on shore for the day. Mobility is the key on Devils Lake and very often we will get a call from one of our guides and we will be moving sometimes 30 miles, so time is important and with portables we can be picked up and on the road in under 10 minutes.

Dont get me wrong, Wheel houses are great but use them as base camp when you are fishing on Devils Lake.

I hope this helps.

Jeff Dosch

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jeff,with nonresidenst now able to spear in north dakota. i have a couple of questions i hope you could help me with.from what i can find you can spear with an angleing liscence but you have to registar with the state first?a shelter liscence needed? and do you do any kind of spearing guideing? if not could you point me in the right direction? is it clear enough to spear most years?

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As long as MN Allows ND Non Residents to spear during the ice fishing season you can spear in ND as a non resident.

You are correct on your licensing question; you'll need an Angling License as well as register with the state at http://www.gf.nd.gov

There is no Fish License required in ND.

marine_man

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I dont guide for spearing but I could sure point you in the right direction. There has been some guys out spearing and what I have heard is that the water is a little cloudy but that usually clears up about 2 weeks after first ice. The same thing happened last year and after a couple of weeks you were able to see about 6-10 ft. in some locations.

A perfect place to spear on Devils Lake is in the trees in the shallow bays. Some areas you can get back nto the trees a long ways and you wont have to worry about vehichle noise. Its a lot of fun to set up in the trees, you really learn a lot about how the fish use the trees as cover. Some of the biggest pike I have ever caught or seen speared have come from the flooded timber.

Jeff Dosch

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