The Devils Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau reports that all of the public access points to Devils Lake and other area fishing spots are open and cleared for use.

The Devils Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau reports that all of the public access points to Devils Lake and other area fishing spots are open and cleared for use.

They report there is at least a foot of snow on the ice with some huge drifts. The lake access ramps will be open all of New Year’s weekend.  
The Devils Lake guide services have been venturing out with clients, but travel has been limited. The fishing is just “Okay,” and the ice thickness is reasonable.  
Another cold front ahead will create even more ice after the New Year’s weekend. Midway between Christmas and New Year’s Day, ice thickness throughout the main lake was reported to be 10 to 18 inches.  

The northern basin lakes, Lake Alice and Lake Irvine have nearly 18 inches.  Six Mile Bay and Creel Bay have approximately a foot of ice.  
John Dirks, owner of Ed’s Bait Shop, who is also a guide, said, “Check with the bait shop (edsbaitshop.com) on where to go.  Fishing’s fine!”  A few days ago he and a friend fished perch in 10 to 12 feet, hauling up 38 in less than four hours.  “Most were 10 to 12 inchers, with a few 13 and 14-inchers mixed in,” he said.
Right now, he’s found perch in 12 to 18 feet of water in the old flooded trees on the west side. He also located some perch in 20 to 40 feet on the main lake. “My advice is to select an area and drill, drill, drill,” he said.

Rapala Slab Raps and Buck Shot rattle spoons with minnow heads are consistent walleye producers according to Dirks. He prefers six to 12 feet of water close to deep water for the early and late-day bites, and slides out to 15 to 20 feet during the day.  He added, “Lots of 14 to 17 inch walleyes are being caught, with some bigger ones also biting, but it seems the hefty walleyes are in six to eight feet of water.”

Last week Mark Bry with 20 clients cleaned more than 400 perch. He said, “They averaged 10 inches long, but there were some 12 to 14-inchers in the buckets. The best bites seem to be shallow, starting at eight feet.  We’re catching fish despite the up and down weather.”
For walleyes, Bry’s advice is to pick a part of the lake and fish it.  “It’s just getting going, and not on fire and we haven’t gotten to what we consider our best early-ice spots yet,” he said.  He said some walleyes are hitting in water as shallow as four feet, but also some have been in 31 feet. 

Early morning and the 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. are when the walleye bites are best.  
“Hey, it’s been brutally nasty, but when the weather pattern straightens out, the fish will go,” he predicted.  
For more, see brysguideservice.com  and devilslakend.com.