Johnnie Candle spoke about the type of lake anglers will be fishing and the bite. “Devils Lake is one of two closed basins in the USA, the other being the Great Salt Lake. This means water comes in, but does not go out. No rivers, no dams, just a big hole in the prairie. It is a very fertile lake.” Candle also noted that there is a lot of agricultural land on the lake that starts the food chain. For baitfish, fat head minnows, perch and white bass make up the primary forage.
According to Candle, the water is up three feet over last year, and is the most dramatic three feet it has ever been. “Other years the water came up, but the lake still had the same feel. Not this year. It is a whole new world out there. Add 3 feet to flooded roads and favorite rock piles and you can imagine how it changes fishing. Number 5 Shad Raps may no longer reach the structure and a number 7 may be too big to get bites. These are the types of situations the anglers will be faced with for the MWC and well beyond.”
“Usually at this time of year, pitching shallow shorelines and flooded cover is the main tactic and windy shorelines are key locations,” said Candle. “Without the wind, bobber fishing in similar location will be the dominate choice. The fishing at this time of year is what Devils Lake is famous for. It is bass fishing for walleye and can be very exciting. It is a blast to catch walleye casting and there are not many places where it happens often.”
Mid June is a transition time. With water temps in the 60’s and fish becoming active as the water warms, fish will begin to leave the shoreline structure and cover and move to deeper summertime haunts. There is no real way to know when this transition will be, but it could be a huge part of the MWC/Chamber of Commerce tournament.
Teams are allowed to put seven fish in the box, but weigh their best five. Culling is not allowed. They can fish the main body of Devils Lake, with the Hwy 57, Hwy 19, and Mauvais Coulee Bridges as boundaries. Fish must be at least 15” long. The tournament will begin on Friday, June 24th and end Saturday, June 25th. Should the tournament be cancelled one of those days, the final day of the tournament will be Sunday, June 26th.
First flight will leave Grahams Island State Park at 7am and return at 3pm for the weigh-in. Stay tuned to Walleye Central for coverage of the tournament.