By Mike Peluso
Just when I thought there was little chance left this spring for a really big walleye, boom goes the thump on a jig and presto, a 33 inch monster Missouri River walleye!
The one thing this last string of big post spawn walleyes has taught me, is never count a big fish in the system out of the equation. It’s my fifth walleye between 32 and 34 inches long! If I ever had any doubt as to if the state record walleye could still fall in the near future, it has since been erased. I predict that the state record will fall once again, either late this fall or early next spring. The number of 26-inch walleyes and up in the Missouri River system right now is beyond crazy. These big girls will drift back into the depths of the sunken cottonwood trees and feed all summer long on freshwater herring and smelt. Both forages are like steroids to walleyes.
What are seeing along with a random giant? Lots and lots of aggressive, hungry male walleyes. With the blooming of lilacs and the increasing water temps however, we are at the point of switching over to dragging crawlers around the river. I’ll be making the switch this week with all my guide trips and after this week, the Van Hauling tour bus will be taking this show on the road to both Sakakawea and Devils Lake.
So, before this report is over, don’t be afraid to pull slow death, Lindy rigs, and or small jigs with a chunk of crawler on it. The action I promise you will be fast and furious! Another area that is really turning on right now is Beaver Bay on Lake Oahe all the way down past the State Line. Fish are there and they are there in huge numbers once you land on them. For easy fishing, pull rattling or jointed cranks in 10 to 15 feet for nonstop action.
Again, I’ll be switching my gears after this last week here on the river to Devils and Sakakawea so the fishing reports are will change a bit in the near future. It’s been an incredible spring here on the Missouri River. I’m sad it’s over already, but the change of pace will be good for everyone.
Mike Peluso is a Dakota Edge Outdoors Contributing Writer and a licensed ND Fishing Guide specializing in the state’s premier walleye waters.
Featured Photo: Mike Peluso pulled this 33-inch post-spawn walleye from the waters of the Missouri River last week. DEO Photo by Mike Peluso.