By Mike Peluso
A few words come to mind this past week up here on Devils Lake: snow, wind, cold, warm and Covid. Yes, I said the bad word – Covid – and while it has not hit me, we have had a few groups cancel on us here as of late due to Covid. So, if you are looking to get a day or two in here in January, I do have a few random openings.
The other word I mentioned was snow. If you are concerned about getting around the entire Devils Lake region, you should be. Plan on utilizing vehicles with tracks or walking out. Truck travel is very limited with all the snow. There are a few areas where they have plowed, but you won’t be able to venture very far off the path.
As far as the bite is concerned the fish have been fairly cooperative. The perch are moving into the deeper water and are getting a bit touchy on certain days. I’m not sure if they get touchy due to being pressured, or if they just get this way once they move out into the basin. Normally, I would tell you to drill tons of holes until you locate some biters. This year it seems if you mark some, stay on that spot and grind them out.
We have had to downsize to smaller tungsten jigs baited with wax worms. Another issue with perch recently is that they want lures that are barely moving. I’ve told clients in the last few days to reel their offerings up a few inches off the bottom and put the rod on the bucket and watch the tip closely, then every once in a while just tap the rod tip.
As far as the walleyes go, they have been a lot more aggressive and we are finding them in pretty shallow water. It seems like a rattle bait will call them in, and the buckshot will seal the deal! Full minnows hooked in the back are edging out the minnow head as the bait of choice. The walleyes are moving back towards structure and are biting better early morning and late in the evenings.
If you are coming up to the Devils Lake region, be prepared to get stuck if you do not have tracks. Travel in pairs, bring shovels and tow ropes. If you are not interested in that, and want someone to do all the work, get ahold of us. We are equipped with tracks and are good at getting to where need to go!
Featured Photo: Upwind View. Snowy conditions have gripped Devils Lake, making travel challenging, while fishing remains good overall. DEO Photo by Mike Peluso.
Mike Peluso is a Dakota Edge Outdoors contributing writer and a licensed fishing guide specializing in walleyes on the state’s premier waters.