Devils Lake vs. Lake of the Woods: The First Annual Walleye War

Two of the most popular ice-fishing destinations in North America—Devils Lake, North Dakota, and Lake of the Woods on Minnesota’s northern border—are about to go head-to-head. The contest, slated for Jan. 3, 2019, will be carried live on Facebook.

Each area’s tourism spokesmen will be competing on their respective ice, with walleyes the main target. Representing Devils Lake is Tanner Cherney. In the Lake of the Woods corner is Joe Henry. Fishing happens to be in each man’s blood. So, too, is a love for their regions.

A social media fishing battle royale!

The two will air continuous Facebook reports with Lake of the Woods at the top of the hour and Devils Lake at the bottom of each hour, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. In addition to fish-catching, Facebook fans will learn significantly more about each lake’s fishing tactics, where to go, what to do, how to schedule a trip, guide services, lodging, history, and much more.

The “fun” rivalry will produce a winner, but the real winners will be anglers with each destination on their Bucket Lists. Learn, from the two guys who know the intimate details about their lakes, why almost every first-time-visiting fisherman returns.

Two great spots, but which is best?

Cherney said, “Both destinations are great walleye fisheries. This contest will help anglers understand the unique characteristics of each. I can’t wait to talk on Facebook with thousands of people while doing what I love to do. This could be the first annual Walleye War.”

Henry added, “This celebration will benefit two of the best winter walleye lakes. Both are great destinations. While some might think our regions compete for business, our goal is to fill all the resorts on both lakes. Ice fishing is part of our culture, and we will have fun showcasing the sport.”

Devils Lake is a natural lake that has grown from about 40,000 acres to nearly 180,000 acres in the past three decades. The portion of Lake of the Woods in the US is the largest freshwater lake after the Great Lakes at 307,000 acres (US acres only). It is also the self-proclaimed “Walleye Capital of the World.” Devils Lake claims four major species: perch, walleyes, northern pike and white bass. Lake of the Woods also boasts of perch, walleyes, pike, but contains sauger, muskies, lake trout, smallmouth and largemouth bass, crappies and sturgeon.

Opportunities for the whole year

Resorts and guide services in both communities cater to outdoorsmen and women. In North Dakota, 25 percent of out-of-state fishing licenses are sold in Devils Lake. At Lake of the Woods, ice fishing outpaces open-water fishing in numbers of participants and popularity. Devils Lake offers a year-round open fishing season. At Lake of the Woods, the season is much longer than the rest of Minnesota.

Devilslakend.com and lakeofthewoodsmn.com are the two websites loaded with details about each area’s motels and resorts, guide services, fish-cleaning stations, ice conditions and trails, fishing reports, community activities, upcoming events, dining, casino and much more.