Muskie blog

Midwinter doldrums haven’t dampened the spirits or appetites of feisty northern pike in North Dakota’s Devils Lake. Veteran guide and Lindy pro staffer Jason Feldner reports fast action for pike ranging from eater-size to trophy proportions.

 

“Pike are still ferocious along the edges of submerged roadbeds in shallow bays,” he says. As has been the case throughout the season, jigging whole minnows on a ¼-ounce Lindy Rattl’n Flyer Spoon has been a top tactic, either alone or in conjunction with tip-ups and herring.

 

While Feldner often threads a single minnow on a Rattl’n Flyer’s treble, he notes that doubling up often boosts your odds of icing a giant. “Just the other day, a client caught a 38-incher on a Rattl’n Flyer tipped with two minnows,” he says, explaining that the added bulk and flavor often proves too tempting for big pike to pass up.

 

On the walleye front, Feldner reports that the bite window along gravel shorelines in 4 to 7 feet of water has narrowed to a fleeting flurry of feeding around sunrise and sunset, but average fish size is hovering in the very respectable 17- to 24-inch range. To make the most of these brief bites, Feldner favors a 3/16-ounce, firetiger-pattern Lindy Rattl’n Flyer Spoon tipped with a minnow head

 

“There’s a steady daytime bite on deep-water humps, but you’ll catch way more 13- to 16-inchers and fewer large fish,” he adds.

 

The big lake’s legendary jumbo perch remain on the move and a bit elusive. “Perch action has been spotty lately,” he says. “The Stump Lake area and east side of Devils Lake have been the most consistent, with key depths running from 20 to 45 feet. The fish are cruising in tight schools and their location changes every day, so being mobile and punching plenty of holes is critical.” Once atop a pod of portly perch, Feldner throws down a Lindy Tungsten Toad tipped with a pair of waxworms.