National Walleye Tournament comes to Devils Lake

 Devils Lake, ND (WDAZ TV) – Top anglers from around the country are battling for the biggest catch on Devils Lake this weekend at the Walleye Masters Circuit tournament.

A lot is on the line, including a trip to the national championship, and for anglers, hopefully a few big fish to get them there.

There have been plenty of big fish on day one of the tournament. In fact, anglers say Devils Lake is one of their favorite places to fish.

Troy Morris/Professional Angler: “Large fields. Big crowds. Lots of excitement. We’re walleye fishing.”

You know it’s a big fishing tournament when hundreds of people come out just to watch the weigh-in.

Corey Heiser/Pro Angler: “It’s a big circuit. This is a national event.”

Devils Lake is one of nine stops on this year’s Masters Walleye Circuit. The Lake Region holds a special place in the hearts of many pro anglers.

Heiser says, “We travel around the country, but coming to Devils Lake is always a favorite.”

Troy Morris and Corey Heiser lead the tournament after day one. They hauled in five walleyes for a combined weight of more than 34 pounds.

Morris says, “There’s big fish out here. Devils Lake’s a big fishery.”

They love Devils Lake because it’s a big, versatile body of water. They say most lakes cater to only one style of fishing.

Morris explains, “You can come to Devils Lake. You can fish what you fish, how you want to fish.”

Heiser adds, “Walleyes will be anywhere from two feet shallow all the way down into like 35 feet of water.”

Anglers competing here today are raving about the fishing conditions on Devils Lake. Local officials say they hope this tournament will help spread that message around the country.

Suzie Kenner/Devils Lake Tourism: “It’s a huge boost.”

The circuit has visited Devils Lake five out of the last six years. Devils Lake Tourism is already working to lure it back next year.

Kenner says, “It’s not necessarily an annual trip, but it almost seems like it is.”

That’s fine with pros out the lake.

Morris says, “There’s not an angler on the planet that doesn’t want Devils Lake on their schedule. Devils Lake is a go-to fishery. Everybody wants to come here.”

The two day tournament wraps up Saturday at Grahams Island State Park. Boats launch at 7 a.m. The final weigh-in starts at 3 p.m. The public is welcome to come out.

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