The Outdoor Channel/Berkley Pro-am is over. It was quite the experience. It was walleye fishing that I have never experienced before. Trees, trees, and more trees. Areas of the lake, in 30ft of water going full throttle, then all of a sudden you have a stump right in your line of travel. With that said, I can’t wait to go back. Devil’s Lake is a heck of a fishery.
After a few mishaps, my prefishing went pretty good. I had a couple incidents with my trolling motor that were my fault that kept me off the water for at least half a day.
The first day of pre-fish I was lucky enough to get a partner in the boat, that fishes Devil’s Lake 4-5 times a week. He showed me some very productive areas. It was a lot to get used to. We were casting crankbaits, weaving in and out of trees, getting hung up very often. FireLine is a necessity out there, unless you want to want to retie often and lose a lot of crankbaits. I believe I only lost two cranks for the 10 days I was out there.
The days leading up to the tournament, I did a lot of casting crankbaits, trolling lead core, and slipbobbering. I found some areas slipbobbering, but I failed to go to those areas until the last half a day on day 3. That was my biggest mistake.
I had a few good areas where I picked up some good fish. I felt I could get 15lbs a day, without a kicker, with the program I had. Throw in a kicker, and I could weigh 18-20lbs a day.
Day 1 started with driving the 15 miles in a steady rain. I went to my first area, couldn’t pick up a fish in the first hour, I moved to another area. We picked up a couple 16’s right away. We put those in the box. We could keep 7 fish and weigh 5. With those two 16’s I just wanted to be able to weigh fish, not knowing how the weather would affect my bite.
That was all we got in that area. We went to an area I knew there were big fish. The sun came out and the fish started biting. In the first 5 minutes my co-angler had a 20. Right after that we had a 24 inch walleye that weighed 7.25lbs. One thing about the fish out there. They are very fat and healthy.
Then the walleyes started following the lures up to the boat, they were comparable to the 7lb’er that we had in the boat. I have experienced follow up’s with muskies, but never with walleyes. I was getting very frustrated seeing all the big eyes following up to the boat. I had to try something, the next follow I had, I could see the fish had an orange jig in its mouth. When it got about 10ft from the boat, I put the rod tip in the water, went from one side of the boat, around the bow to the other side, still nothing. I started figure eighting. The fish came up and nailed the crankbait, but I missed it.
We ended up throwing some 17’s back, which ended up haunting me. The dark clouds started rolling in; guys were calling the PWT on the radio, trying to see if there were any bad storms around the area. It got pretty ugly out there, I decided to leave. I didn’t want to get caught in a bad