Skip to main content

Dreaming about Devils Lake – After the Pandemic

Coronavirus has things on hold, but 'mid-summer is best time to come here.'

Dreaming about Devils Lake – After the Pandemic

Devils Lake is the largest natural body of water in North Dakota, covering more than 160,000 acres it has hundreds of miles of shoreline. (Photo courtesy of Devils Lake Tourism)

Devils Lake fishing is a dream-maker. It’s the reason so many out-of-area visitors plan vacations, trips, family fishing or guide trips and lodging in advance.

Those plans are temporarily on hold during the coronavirus travel and stay-at-home restrictions. But, it’s like the stock market, don’t wait. Those dreams will become realities in a few months at the famed North Dakota lake. Those who push back their mid-May and early-June trips to later in the year may also compete with many others trying to do the same.

Johnnie Candle, world walleye champion and Devils Lake guide said June and July are great months, with many days already booked. "But, take a look at August, September and October, some of the best fishing months. Even with back-to-school and hunting, this timeframe offers a great bite with all tactics in play," he said.

With his 10-man guide service, Mark Bry said he is keeping dates open. "Sure, the early open-water days are great, but mid-summer is the best time to come here," he said. Techniques include trolling crankbaits, slip-bobber fishing, casting cranks, running spinners, vertical jigging and more.


Coronavirus
Guide Johnnie Candle, with family of anglers, after a day on the water. (Photo courtesy of Devils Lake Tourism)

The warm months provide more locations to fish, shallow to deep. The weather is pleasant. "Most importantly," Bry said. "The variety of walleye sizes, from plenty of eaters in the 15- to 20- inch range with some trophies mixed in makes every day a treat."


Another bonus to mid-summer into fall is the multiple species opportunities. Northern Pike, present in great numbers, white bass in excess of three pounds and all the walleyes necessary to fill limits and make future dreams are willing to join the fun.

Devils Lake Tourism Director Suzie Kenner said, "When America resumes business as usual after COVID-19, Devils Lake remains a perfect destination to have a great time with family and friends. The best weather here is in July and August. In addition to great fishing, visitors can relax along the shorelines, golf the Creel Bay Course, explore at White Horse Hill National Game Preserve (formerly Sullys Hill) or enjoy a play at the Fort Totten Little Theater. Book your fishing trip nowhttps://devilslakend.com/pages/about and plan to take in all the activities the area offers."

Last summer, Candle guided a mom, dad, grandpa and two grandkids. "It was a family thing, and even though crowded, it turned out to be really special," he recounted. The crew cast bobbers. As a bobber went down, they took turns setting hooks and fighting fish. The youngest child landed the first fish, a pike. "He couldn’t contain his excitement," Candle said.

Coronavirus
Guide Mark Bry and clients after a day of walleyes and pikes. (Photo courtesy of Devils Lake Tourism)

They rotated landing fish. When it was the 6-year old’s turn again, a good fight took place. An 18-inch walleye came to net. After a photo, the young boy said proudly, "Mom, this is the best day of my life." Candle added, "This is exactly why fishing guides do what we do."


A similar tale came from Bry’s boat last year. With three generations including a 91-year old grandpa in the boat, they pulled spinners. "For some reason, grandpa out-fished everybody else five to one. It was uncanny. They all had a blast and will always remember the great day – and greater day for the memories of grandpa landing walleye after walleye," he said.

Bry said about 70 percent of his clients are repeat customers. "It used to be all about the fish, now it’s all about the people," he said.

For those re-booking early trips or new customers making plans, Bry said the late summer and fall have been "lights-out" bites. This time of year, the cooler, refreshing days bring waterfowl all around. For many fishermen and hunters, the 'Cast and Blast' trips are special. Hunting occurs mornings with fishing after lunch. Bluebird days are better for fishing; cloudy days are good for ducks and geese.


"Fishing is supposed to be relaxing and fun, and that's what we make it," Bry said. "We will be open as soon as we get the word. Reserve a spot now.”"

Devils Lake guide services are featured on devilslakend.com, along with weekly fishing reports, 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 701-662-4957.

— Article by Devils Lake Tourism

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Shimano Vanford Spinning Reel

Shimano Vanford Spinning Reel

In-Fisherman's Managing Editor, Rob Neuman, sits down with bass pro Josh Douglas, to get insight on the all-new ShimanoVanford spinning reel. It features a LongStroke Spool for long-distance casting. The Vanford spinning reel will be available in 7 sizes: 500-5000. MSRP: $299.99 - $239.99.

How to Quickly Re-Spool a Fishing Reel

How to Quickly Re-Spool a Fishing Reel

Stripping a reel and adding fresh line is a breeze if you know the drill—literally.

MLF Pros: What

MLF Pros: What's Your Go-To Lure?

When all else fails, here's what these pros tie on.

Penn Battle III Spinning Reel

Penn Battle III Spinning Reel

Jeff Weakly talks with Mike Rice, Product Manager at PENN Reels about the relaunch of the Penn Battle III Spinning reel.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Almost anyone can catch a bunch of small catfish. Hooking a true monster requires a different level of preparation, skill and effort.A Time for Giant Catfish Catfish

A Time for Giant Catfish

John N. Felsher - August 24, 2020

Almost anyone can catch a bunch of small catfish. Hooking a true monster requires a different...

Celebrate with great food for your backyard BBQ or picnic with these outdoor recipes.10 Recipes for Your Backyard Get Together Wild Game

10 Recipes for Your Backyard Get Together

Game & Fish Online Staff

Celebrate with great food for your backyard BBQ or picnic with these outdoor recipes.

Quick look at common, easy-to-catch fish species (video).Get On Board: Species 101 for Beginning Anglers Other Freshwater

Get On Board: Species 101 for Beginning Anglers

Game & Fish Staff

Quick look at common, easy-to-catch fish species (video).

When it comes to fishing baits, you won't find a more unusual variety than the strange brews of smelly ingredients often used to catch catfish. How To Make Your Own Catfish Dough Bait Catfish

How To Make Your Own Catfish Dough Bait

Keith Sutton - August 04, 2015

When it comes to fishing baits, you won't find a more unusual variety than the strange brews...

See More Trending Articles

More Fishing

A trip to Volusia County, Fla., pits anglers against the monster redfish that lurk the flats, canals and cuts.Bucket List: Bull Fighting in Indian River, Mosquito Lagoon Fishing

Bucket List: Bull Fighting in Indian River, Mosquito Lagoon

Larry Larsen - July 31, 2020

A trip to Volusia County, Fla., pits anglers against the monster redfish that lurk the flats,...

Mountain lakes offer exceptional trout fishing in late summer, early fall. Here's where to go, some tackle recommendations and what to offer them at the end of your line.Best Trout Fishing Out West: Where, When and How Fishing

Best Trout Fishing Out West: Where, When and How

Gary Lewis - September 15, 2020

Mountain lakes offer exceptional trout fishing in late summer, early fall. Here's where to go,...

The Upper Mississippi boasts an incredible fishery for panfish.Panfish Paradise: Late-Summer Bluegills, Perch and Crappies Panfish

Panfish Paradise: Late-Summer Bluegills, Perch and Crappies

Dr. Jason Halfen - September 02, 2020

The Upper Mississippi boasts an incredible fishery for panfish.

This Willamette River tributary in Oregon offers some of the finest float trips for summertime trout you'll find anywhere.Fishing Destination: Meet the McKenzie River Fishing

Fishing Destination: Meet the McKenzie River

Gary Lewis - August 10, 2020

This Willamette River tributary in Oregon offers some of the finest float trips for summertime...

See More Fishing

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Game & Fish App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now