By Mike Peluso
The spawn is on! While I was hoping it would hold off a little longer for the spring, we all know Mother Nature has her way, and her way is right now, and walleye spawning activity is peaking on the Missouri River.
We are catching some big hen walleyes still full of eggs, but we are catching those that have completed their spawning activity as well. The majority of fish we are encountering seem to be ready or in the act of spawning, and the process, by my records, is a tad bit early, but it is definitely happening in the waters of the Missouri River near Bismarck.
For some anglers this can be good news, but it is always bad news for me as it brings the feeling as though spring is over. We wait all winter for the solid pre-spawn bite and it just seems a bit early this spring for it to be happening. As always, it’s like a turn of a light switch and once they start, the process happens fast.
Despite the beginning of the spawn, the walleyes are biting and they’ve been biting really well! Jigs and minnows along with very shallow running crankbaits up to size 7, and stickbait options like floating models and husky jerks are also working extremely well.
So, what to expect from now until the end of May? Hopefully, a lot of good eater-sized walleyes as they begin to stage. You can always find these fish stacked up along the faster current edges in the river. Cranks, crawlers and livebait rigs will all work well during the upcoming timeframe. I think we should see strong numbers of eating size walleyes from now until the end of May.
Mike Peluso is a Dakota Edge Outdoors Contributing Writer and ND Licensed Fishing Guide on the state’s premier walleye waters.
Featured Photo: Anglers are currently encountering large female walleyes on either side of their spawning activities on the Missouri River. DEO Photo by Mike Peluso.