I have seen an increase in deep trolling on Devils Lake, ND and the key is to get productive lures down into 25-45 feet of water. Anglers are using snap weights and lead core to reach these fish, but we are often catching the biggest fish on big baits like the Salmo Freediver. The number 12 will reach forty feet of water by simply longlining behind the boat with braid. The number 9 will approach thirty feet of water running braided line. These hand tuned lures have an attractive action that catches fish with a great selection of colors that work great on Devils Lake. 

We often find that the key is to troll and cover water until you mark clouds of baitfish near the bottom which are often young perch or white bass. The best locations often have some scattered rock or some type of transition. Map chips like the Doctor Sonar Maps that integrate old aerial photography when the lake was low are useful for keying in on these deep transitions and old shorelines. Over the past couple of years, we have caught some of our largest walleye off these deep contours and the Freediver is one lure I almost always have behind the boat.

About The Author

Jason Mitchell

Over the past decade, Jason Mitchell has earned a legendary status as a professional hunting and fishing guide on North Dakota’s Devils Lake. Jason began his career as a guide at an early age and in the span of a decade, built one of the largest open water guide services in existence (Mitchell’s Guide Service head quartered out of Woodland Resort) and was a key member of Devils Lake’s famed Perch Patrol Guide Service during the winter. Mitchell also spent up to seventy five days each fall as a waterfowl hunting guide before expanding into television. During that time, Mitchell logged thousands of hours on the water and ice, earning a reputation for not only being an extraordinary guide, hunter and angler but also a gifted writer, communicator and promoter. Jason’s credibility is grounded by a combination of extensive time on the water, a reputation for honesty and integrity. During Mitchell’s career as a guide, he worked with a “who’s who” of outdoor writers, television show hosts and celebrities in the fishing and hunting industry. Mitchell had a well earned status of being one of the elite guides making a living from fishing and hunting. The hunting and fishing industry began to realize what Mitchell’s guide customers did long before, several writers and television hosts began to trust Mitchell as a guide they could count on for both strong editorial and video footage. Mitchell’s experience and time on the water or in the field is hard to duplicate. “A step into Jason Mitchell’s boat makes any angler a much better fishermen because Jason is so in tuned to what is happening on the water and is such a masterful teacher,” explains veteran outdoor writer Mark Strand. While Mitchell’s reputation as a guide, hunter and angler may be recognized, what continues to drive his popularity is an uncommon modesty and humbleness that is refreshing to many viewers.