South and north ends of the lake have shallows and weeds. THat is probably your best bet for panfish. I have heard the west side of the lake is pretty good for other predator fish and some panfish.
I just got back from Devil's and did the same thing the past week. I brought the yak and also fished from shore. Launching from the ramp on the south end you can work the weedy area. Top water in the morning and dropshot the edges and drop offs is always productive. Wind was a little rough, so I didn't venture too far into the lake.
The north end is shallow too. On the east bluff side you can get bass (rock, large, small). Once you start moving to the middle the water gets deep. I ended up catching most bass dragging a jig around drop offs with weeds. Bring extra terminal tackle. The rocks like to eat too. Surprisingly only one smallmouth all week. The rest were largemouth. Several keeper size, nothing huge.
The north and south ends of the lake have some shallows that will probably be good areas to work along the drop off. There are not many shallow areas in the lake for minnows and smaller fish to hang out, so I am figuring the Pike and Bass would patrol the edges of the shallows waiting for the minnows and smaller fish to venture out a bit too far.
Certainly if you plan on fishing for trout. But if you are just bass fishing or after panfish, then nope. You can probably push the rules and "accidentally" catch a trout or two, but if a warden is watching, he can still pinch you for fishing for trout without proper credentials and it would be on you to prove him wrong.
Does anyone know of any good trout streams within an hour or so of Devils Lake State Park? I will be camping down there for a few days and am looking for some decent stream trout fishing. Not very interested in fishing the lake for trout. PM me.
Bass that size certainly aren't common, but are definitely present. I lost one around that size (probably would have weighed less) a few years ago trying to lip em.
If you have ever spoken with anyone who has went scuba diving in Devil's Lake, they'll tell you about the huge Bass and Pike that roam the murky depths. Trouble is that they are extremely crafty and hard to catch.
Congratulations justfishmichael on a truly remarkable catch!