The longest running walleye tournament in North Dakota has been made even
better after the Devils Lake tournament committee spent several late winter
nights huddled around the fireplace. Several contests within the main
tournament have been added, and the community has created a walleye festival
around the tournament dates, June 27 – 28.
Todd Caspers, Devils Lake biologist said last summer produced a good walleye
and perch bite; the good fishing continued all winter and said, “Walleye
populations are at very good levels with lots of keeper-size fish in the
lake. Pike are under-utilized and anglers should consider taking home
limits.” Research shows many pike between 20 and 30 inches with top-end
pike in excess of 40 inches.
The usual walleye tournament rules prevail, but on day two, anglers who may
seem out of contention for the major prizes still have options for winning.
They may ante $50 on the final tournament day and compete in the one-day
pike contest by weighing two fish. Top three teams split all the money by
percentages – 50 for first; 30 for second; and 20 for third.
This year marks the 125th anniversary as a state for North Dakota, and a
number of special “125” awards will add money to contestant’s payouts. Any
perch or white bass weighed exactly at 1.25 pounds, and walleyes and pike
pushing the scales to 12.5 pounds will win an extra $125. The largest daily
walleye pays $500, the largest daily pike pays $250, and the largest daily
perch and white bass are worth $100. Other prizes will be given away from
Berkley, and a steak fry will take place Thursday night.
The overall winning walleye team will receive $5,000, with many places
receiving cash. Tournament Director and Professional Angler Johnnie Candle
said, “My gut tells me with so many great places to fish, this event will be
about locating the right school of fish and hoping they stay put.”
After years of tremendous fishing, and being at one of the best times of the
year to fish Devils Lake, he added, “This is the time for old friends to
enter and those who have missed the past couple of seasons to jump back in.
This tournament is about family, friends and fishing. We encourage families
to join this homecoming event.” Check www.devilslakend.com, or call
701-662-4903 for details and to enter the 38th Devils Lake Chamber Fishing
The local Chamber businesses will conduct a Reel Fun Days downtown with huge
sidewalk sales and a Friday night street dance. Slumberland Furniture will
be hosting a hot seat giveaway for the tournament and many more activities
are being planned.
For a map of the nine convenient public accesses, go to devilslakend.com. A
free-to-the-public 20 x 32 fish-cleaning station is located next door to
Ed’s Bait Shop (on Hwy 20 south of the City of Devils Lake). Like the
Devils Lake fishing season, its open all year; heated and A/C; has two
grinders, a clean-up sink, regular and handicapped bathrooms.
Devils Lake fishing guides target perch, walleyes, white bass and pike. To
contact guides and for the latest lake, ramp conditions, fishing reports,
lodging, Chamber activities, restaurants, tournament news and resorts, go to
the devilslakend.com website.