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Walleyes and pike galore at Devils Lake

by Mike McFeely

Vacations are good. Vacations during which you get to go fishing are even better.

I just returned from a 3-day weekend of fishing at Devils Lake, N.D  , one of my favorite fishing destinations. The fishing was tremendous, as it often (but not always) is at Devils Lake. My nephew Dan Stark of the Twin Cities, my friend Mike Leier of Fargo and I caught numbers of eating-sized walleyes and a bunch of northern pike between 4 and 12 pounds.

Remarkable, really.

Here is a quick video of the biggest fish we caught on the trip, a pike we estimated to be 12 pounds. We didn't weigh it or measure it because I battled it for quite some time and we wanted to get it back in the lake as quickly as possible.

Over three days, our trio caught the three-person limit of 45 walleyes (5 walleyes per person per day) and several dozen pike.

The fishing was not difficult. We trolled bottom bouncers and spinners (mostly tipped with various forms Berkley's Gulp!   although we catch a few fish using nightcrawlers and leeches, too) over sunken roadbeds. As long as the boat's driver (me) kept us on top of the roads that topped out at 10-11 feet surrounded by 13- or 14-foot flats, we caught fish. When the wind or the boat driver's inattentiveness led us astray, we didn't catch fish.

If there was one negative -- and this is getting nitpicky considering we caught 45 walleyes -- it's that we didn't catch a fish longer than 20 inches. It was all 13- to 19 1/2-inch fish. Which makes for great eating, but it would've been nice once in awhile to set the hook and feel some serious walleye weight. It didn't happen for us, but some of the guides from Mitchell's Guide Service  I talked with said they were pulling in some walleyes longer than 20 inches.

Here are a few photos of the trip: