Devils Lake with Steven Rinella | The Canadian Angle

By | December 20, 2022

In this episode, we head just south of the Canadian border to Devils Lake North Dakota for some world class ice fishing. Jay Siemens is joined by Steven Rinella, Mandy Ulrich, Chester Floyd, and Ryan Callaghan in hope of catching and cooking the big four species that call Devils Lake Home; Yellow Perch, Northern Pike, Walleye, and White Bass.
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Foreign [Music] Videographer calling the Lake of the Woods Ontario my home I'm Jay Siemens And this is the Canadian angle Being a Canadian I often get strange Looks when I'm crossing the border Headed south into the states for a Fishing trip so often it's the other way Around in today's destination ride it to Devils Lake North Dakota a place which Been on my bucket list for years I've Heard some people call it the closest Thing to Canadian fishing for those Whose criminal record won't let them Cross the border we need a sizable crew Coming from Ontario Minnesota and Montana All to converge on this flooded Farmland that is Devil's Lake well we Got crew loaded up Um looks like we're going to beat the Sunrise I think we're starting off our Uh our North Dakota tour with hopefully Some perch there is a thing about the Cold where uh I don't want to call it Like stress levels but just something You know like just every experience Changes a little bit and look just same Way that your experience of things Changes quite a bit uh in high wind like Your focus shifts a little bit cold Weather ice fishing man there's a little Bit of like just kind of wondering What's going to happen

Is my stuff gonna work Will the fish play [Music] Here we go we got our first fishing trip That's the goal today hopefully a little More lively and a little more yellow and Maybe a little bit bigger but uh that is A yellow perk I decided to come down a few days early To do some poking around and make a game Plan for the upcoming week with the help Of good friends John Hoyer and Devils Lake locals the leflure brothers they Were able to help show me around and get Me tuned in with this massive system This trip had already been postponed Once due to extreme cold weather and go Figure it got even colder the second Time around when the guy saw the Forecast they offered up their snow Bear For the camera crew to use for the week Now that's in North Dakota Hospitality As mentioned we'd quite the crew coming Together for the shoot Steve Chester and Cal making the drive for Montana a Tournament angler and guide Mandy Urich Making the drive for Minnesota maybe it Wasn't going to be the communal outdoor Ice fishing experience we were planning For but we had the proper gear for these Fridge attempts and plan to stick it out For the next three days and most of our Gear works properly [Music]

It's so cold fire don't work Chester Oh okay you should turn that off What if it's not threaded in properly Yeah it looks like it got banned pretty Bad I think it was negative 27 degrees this Morning is what the truck said Steve Almost burnt himself this morning with The propane tank it seems like talking About the cold everybody's like oh it's Colder than that where I live I don't Care there's still just a lot of goes Wrong when it gets to a certain Temperature The story around the ever fluctuating Water levels of Devil's Lake is Definitely a polarizing topic what may Have been good for fish and fishermen Has meant flooded farmsteads for local Farmers I only just scratched the Surface talking to the locals about how The lake used to be but it's definitely A very interesting topic on the specific Morning we set up on a mud flat and 27 Feet of water with purchase the goal That's a good one Chaucer it's a keeper I'll take Oh Chester Chester [Music] Yo what's the technique you you want to Play keep away but you don't want to Play too much keep away there's a fish On both of us right now like right now Since the fish hasn't committed that

Fish is so close what I was going to say Is always on nice that's a perch pull Them direct first fish of the trip for Cal oh that's a good one nice perch That's what we're talking about that's Why you come to Devil's Lake That's a chunk they're all gonna be like That I read that the thing is when when The perch come in it's just go time like It can happen so fast That's a nice perch I am I'm pleased With that there's Ryan's jig there's my Jigging right there those couple bumps Those are fish just slithering on the Bottom what makes the livescope so cool Is that you can actually tell how many Fish are down there right and like see How they're chasing interacting and see That that's him kissing it Don't worry buddy it's not a giant What a fish man I mean the species I I Love it's I love that fish it's a Favorite freshwater fish of mine great To eat I've caught more of those you Know by a factor of 10 than any other Fish would be next to bluegills just Just there's nothing objectionable Bottom Man Chester is it a giant Okay oh sorry buddy can't talk that's a Little one yeah but we got a school We'll get down there There he is I literally held that one right in the

Mud Steve like where I just felt it kind Of laid it there there he is Chester Whoa I mean they're like borderline but but You know up lamb first double of the day North Dakota jumbo oh yeah man That is a nice fish oh I love them So for bait I'm using these little Euro Larva kind of Frozen like everything Else today right there that's perch Candy Oh it's a good perch oh this is a good One there's like eight more fish down There Oh that's a big perch That right there Is why you come to North Dakota look at That normally perch our run and Gun Style fish you keep Drilling and moving Until you get on an active pot of fish We were fortunate on this day that the Fish were coming to us and we didn't Have to move around too much these perks Were cruising the mud bottom base and we Were fishing and between jigging spoons And small tungsten jigs tipped with Euro Larva the perch bite stayed steady You'll notice with perch if you can get The perch excited one perch will come up For your bait and then the second perch Will see the other perch and then like That cloud lifts off the bottom oh yeah Oh yeah come on

Nice yeah that was so good like they Were just racing from your base Hilarious man Are we keeping this Steve oh yeah oh Yeah Well we all hopped around from Shack to Shack throughout the day I'm not sure Steve moved his butt once and it paid Off with by far the biggest pile of Perch at the end of the day See that's the size no matter what you Gotta just skin them like the Skin's too Thick you know yeah Good pale of perch [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] I think Steve wins the fullest pail of Perch yeah but I win the didn't do Anything to do to help anybody with Anything you said you set the shanty up I sat down and I got it one time to take A leap that's what it takes so now uh Now that it's gonna get the sun's gonna Set it's like walleye time yeah the Perch the perch slowed down and this is When the Wally's activity pick up so Yeah so right now we've just been Fishing a basin we're gonna go around The corner and fish the mouth of a kind Of a creek it's an old old ditch that Runs out there and we'll probably set up

A 30 and see if we need to move around a Bit but it's a pretty specific ditch Like it seems like the last couple days I was checking out there was fish just Traveling right through it so all right And then we'll fish for how long like Two hours there's still five sort of Thing fish into the dark maybe half an Hour past dark yeah [Music] Foreign [Music] He's not a giant I'm not worried about It yep Yeah first one small one We're gonna eat them all right but uh It's better I think it feels better than The last one Beautiful Got him there's another one down there There's a big one on you right now this Isn't very big there's a big one right On you All right I'm excited to see you see What that is get him to buddy that's a Good Mark There he is there you go yeah That was a good fish man that was a good One it was like a really good [Applause] [Music] You got a lucky pair of fishing Underwear you just flip inside out every Time you need to catch a big fish no I'm

Not much of an underwear guy Jay [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] When this trip was being planned Something we all wanted to do was go Pike spearing it's not even an option For me back home so I was excited at the Prospect of experiencing my first Pike Spearing mission Chester had done some scouting the week Before on a small Lake just off of Devils this Lake had clear water which Lends itself to better Pike spearing Conditions the next day we headed out in Hopes of spearing a few North Dakota Pike and the first step in that process Is to cut a big hole in the ice The easiest way to do this is by first Using your auger to cut an outline of The steering hole next we take an ice Saw to connect these holes together the Final step is to push the chunk of ice Underneath this becomes increasingly More difficult as the season progresses And the ice gets thicker after a bit of Rocking you're usually able to slide the Chunk under the ice last step is to set Up a shack and make sure all outside Light is blocked out the darker the Better So we've got Tip-Up line because this is All we had

Tied to a decoy let's pull that up real Quick this is my first decoy actually I've never been spear fishing what is That a perch yeah it looks like a perch A cool natural looking pattern and it's Got an amazing action when you give this A twitch it just swirls around it seems Like just some sharp short pops just get It kind of swimming in a loop I can see Why they come into that yeah I know some People use like live suckers and stuff Too yeah so we've got that tied off to The top of the Eskimo here and then we Have a spear Just a steel rod I tried it Um can't be more than 12 inches in North Dakota we have that tied to paracord and We just put an ice screw in the ice so We don't lose it I can see that Happening just jigging this up and Downward and like what probably like 12 Feet it's pretty deep but we can see the Bottom a good clarity Well once again Mandy and Steve had the Activity at their Shack it didn't take Long and the first customer of the day Came by to take a look at their decoy Oh but he's close wait he's right there He's right there he's right there he's Coming in he's coming he's coming in You take it Hey he's right there he's right there He's under the propane tank right now He's going back around your chair right

There I'm gonna come back Not a giant but it definitely definitely Shooter That's a big fish That's a good one Oh I'm sure I missed Yep wow I should just let him come back Man why did I not just let him come back I should just wait and see if he circled Back around that was a good that was Probably 30 yeah That was so cool ah can you come back Now so cool I'm now like rethinking everything about What just happened [Music] [Applause] [Music] Foreign [Applause] [Laughter] Yeah you don't you don't even have the Option today man no no unfortunately we Don't Come on no there he is that's a good Shot you made up for the other one well I feel like he might be the other one You think it's the same fish well I mean It looks about the same size yeah and Then you know I don't know like in you Know he approached took a gander swiped At it it was like he did the exact same

Approach exact same swipe I don't know I Feel like he was like oh wow there's Another one of them I don't think you Can make a better shot because you Didn't touch any meat no he didn't he Didn't do a whole lot he got wow it Stoned him that is sweet yeah that's Great man nice work Chester and I had a Few flybys in our Shack but nothing to Throw a spear at after a few more hours We decided to pack up one of the most Important things to remember when Cutting a giant hole in the ice is to Make sure you mark it before you leave Foreign Just just a full minnow guy so this spot Is kind of the same deal as the first Days that mud Basin collects all the Bugs collects collects the food chain And some perch and hopefully maybe a White bass for the ice my buddies took Me out here the other day and I caught My first Whitey through the ice and it's Not a commonly targeted fish of the ice It's like something you catch as a buy Catch open water but not something People really Target through the ice so It's kind of cool I mean I love that The Oddities and fishing and they're pretty Cool to see on the electronics they Bought up in like five or six and yeah I Haven't caught one of those in a long Time but we used to catch them trying to Catch walleyes oh yeah same spots yeah

They're kind of a weird and like unsung Fish you know compared to purge wall People love crappies like a big crappie Is so priced and basically there's like A super sized crappie they look like it Blows my mind how many fish get Harvested out of this Lake and now it's Still such a strong fishery I mean if There's 150 guides or 200 guys in the Winter let's say they're guiding two People on average so 400 Anglers and They each can keep 20 perch a day that's A lot of perch a little piece of meat on There for added attraction what they Want to close in and sniff it what are You switching to oh this bottom two Flies on them you know like a crappie Rig type yeah [Music] Quite the rig going on Oh there's another one coming in this is Good so we've been waiting for isn't That like that little delectable little Morsel I have oh man these are Good-sized fish yeah could this be the White bass the last VC to check off the List The small one is he gonna eat it I'm running out of room got him there You go nice Oh or it's a big perch way to work for Our first bite I'm thinking white bass you got a good One looking at you

Oh Oh I'll trade at the bottom of the hole Oh that's a big white pass oh nice look At that thing That's great look how fat it is Oh Beauty man they're such cool looking Fish That's awesome yeah tall fish like that You know he's got a good fighting Structure It's just a mini Straight bass basically No It's beautiful man I'm looking forward To eating one because I've heard they're Amazing like they are built like It's like a smallmouth yeah it's like a Really chunky Smallmouth yeah those are Cool okay we're gonna get some good Slabs off of that after crossing the big Three Pike perch and walleye off the List it was great to bring a white bass Top side and as you can tell by the Amount of time we spent in the shack it Was far from ideal conditions for the Entirety of this trip but we decided to Tough it out one last time and make a Move for the evening walleye bite so the Spa we're fishing uh my buddy was saying It used to be on Shoreline so before the Lake flooded The old rock yeah 22 23 feet of water to Think like then how much water that is Added to the lake There we go

Sweetie You can see his tail kicking nice Okay Hey Oh All right that's probably the biggest One yet you know what I'm gonna do with This walleye Steve I'm gonna put in some Catch and cook I'm gonna give you the Catch and cook experience please please Please I think that's it Steve we caught A lot of fish man we did they were Considering the conditions no I mean Just in general over the last few days Considering the conditions this is like I'm from Canada and we like to act tough About the cold yeah this was like the Coldest probably three days of ice Fishing I've been doing cold and wind You couldn't hold hop no I mean I would Love to drill a couple for the perch Drill a couple holes move around but Like we I think we're pretty fortunate With where we set up and what we got Foreign I think we got the Devil's Lake Grand Slam we've got it pretty well covered Finish it off with a good another bike White bass your world record white bass The not world record walleye perfect Eating size in the very Middle of the Road Perch we did it it's a good perch Yeah no it's a nice perch No One's Gonna Throw that perch back these are all what

You would call uh mild white flesh fish I've heard this will probably be the Strongest tasting but I've I haven't Eaten a white bass though I would say That 90 95 of the fish I've ever pulled Through the ice of wound up being deep Fried yeah you know like this fresh Fresh water fishing a lot of deep fried We're gonna rig these fish up for frying [Music] Good night work man knife skills is life Skills I never heard that one Nate and Blake that showed me the ways Of the White Pass they said cutting off That red meat is pretty uh pretty key When you're eating yeah you're getting Away fast You got your Pike walleye Bass and our one perch we're gonna wash Them and uh start coating them so what's Your go-to for putting in like you put In water milk eggs what's your what's Your first typically sometimes I do Mustard and hot sauce mixed yep and I do Pre in there then I go into cornmeal yep Or I use you know various coating things And I've been eyeballing your particular Coating means too you'll give it a try Today this is your very own coating mix Very own me and my buddy Josh yeah catch And cook so we're gonna we're gonna go From water because water you always got Handy I know like when you're camping or Whatever to bring eggs along it's kind

Of a Hassler milk keep it some I like Using water and then we're gonna go We're gonna make sure they're wet into The catch and cook then back into the Water and then back into the catch and Cook would you call Jay the double dip The double dip summoning the cream Double dip So I'll put it in here And then I don't want it completely Soaked but I just want to like dab it And then get it back in and then when You get that little chunky stuff that's What's going to get really crunchy like Your KFC chicken or whatever right [Music] Guy peace boys it's getting cold I like The coating man Well it's hot yeah I see that you don't overcook no Everyone overcooks fish oh no Right this is like burgers right burgers Are good Fried fish is good each Burger has its Own little right maybe eat a burger and You really like the pickle what I'm Feeling right now that I like is Jay Here's uh It's almost like hold a piece of crab Meat in the claw that shell yep I like The crunch it's all about the crunch It's nice man that's nice Congratulations thank you all we got Marty Cook we got the white basket try

Yet I'm pretty sure this is I'm pretty Sure it's a piece of weight fast the red Meat we didn't cut off so man you grew Up hating white bass it is there they Were like a malign species yeah Yeah try one out I'm the lemon guy That's my job You can chase you and big he doesn't fit It's different I'd eat him hit me You can tell instantly he's got that Rough fish that kick that mud whatever It is you know what I mean it's good but There's a little something just ever so Faint lurking in the background I used To say it though if you fed the this Though to somebody that doesn't you know Have this in the regular diet I don't Know if they know the difference there's No way that they're going to pick this Out specifically not know that that's Not what food is supposed to taste like Yeah because everybody assumes it's got A fishy taste but after yeah you're Right after a lifetime of eating Questionable fish and rough fish you Start to really develop like a Fine-tuned sense of that whatever it is That gives them their little something On the Spectrum It's not it's low on the Spectrum so Like you go out fishing for them again You'd keep a few I would mess with them More and trim them more carefully [Music]

That's Northern That's a good fry fish I was a hell of a Bass though about it held a white bass I'm glad we got one [Music] [Music]