I recently guided a group June 7-9 and did a little solo fishing (pre and post) on the 6th and 10th myself. As per usual with Devils Lake, things were not how I remembered them...this place loves to change. The cold snap in May left the fish quite shallow looking for warmer water (the warmest spots were upwards of 65-68 degrees), while at the same time the lake is super clear in many areas, which makes finding fish, and catching them, a little difficult.
Super windy conditions basically made June 7th a lost day with only two fish to show before heading back to the ramp early.
Day two, while still windier than we'd like (and rainy), provided a few more walleye, a gigantic 13.5 inch crappie, and a flurry of white bass action (about sixty of them in ninety minutes) to keep us busy at the end of the day while the walleye were being a bit stubborn. And then we got kicked off the water by a thunderstorm.
Day three was the highlight of the group trip, putting together a pattern of casting cranks into shallow shorlines where we could find the most stained water and some chop. We caught a good number of fish and a gorgeous 26 incher to make one heck of a memory. And believe it or not, maybe five minutes later there was another big one on that headed under the boat and snapped the line. Certainly wish we could have seen that one, but thankfully we got one of the two.
Also, if you need proof of the windy conditions, check out my windshield mess in the pictures below. I'll be working on shoring that up before the next outing...
The name of the game was getting baits away from the boat whether casting slip bobbers or pitching cranks and plastics, and I must say it was a humbling experience but also gave me an education and a new weapon in my arsenal for the future. I'll be the first to admit my weakest spot in my walleye game is shallow water and casting, so this was probably a blessing in disguise. All things considered, I was pretty happy with the week; we had a great time with enough fish to feed everyone, a trophy crappie, a very nice walleye, almost another very nice walleye, a white bass smackdown, and a few pike for good measure.
On my last day solo fishing I did start to see some more stain and algae showing up and had some success catching fishing over structure in slightly deeper water (12-18 feet), so the summer patterns may finally be emerging. For those going to Devils Lake in the next week or two, you may be able to start working the humps and points and trolling spinners now, though I imagine shallow crank casting will still produce on days with some chop (which I had none of that last day).