By Mike Peluso
This report is a combination fishing report for both the Missouri River near Bismarck and the east end of Lake Sakakawea. This will probably be my last river report until this fall. I do have to say this is very bittersweet for me. It feels like only yesterday I was rushing home from the thawing ice on Devils Lake and it is crazy how fast the spring river run went for me.
Fishing still remains pretty good if you’re looking for the perfect eater size fish as there are lots of 13 to 16 inch walleyes in the river. They do seem to be moving a tad deeper in recent days. My thought process is the fish are moving south and the ends of the spots are normally deeper. Both combinations of jigs and minnows and jigs and crawlers are working excellent.
Lake Sakakawea has been completely the opposite of the river. The river is offering quantity, and the lake is offering quality. I’ve guided twice on the lake this week and every walleye we have caught has been between 20 and 26 inches. Slow moving jigs on wind swept points with minnows have been best.
Tip: if you catch a white bass right now, the walleyes are nearby. Work those areas hard and if you’re marking fish, don’t give up on them. Another fun part is there are a ton of smallies biting also.
I have a couple more river trips yet and after those I’ll be moving back and forth between Devils Lake and Lake Sakakawea. So there will be lots of fishing reports from those bodies of water coming up.
Mike Peluso is a Dakota Edge Outdoors Contributing Writer and a licensed ND Fishing Guide specializing in walleyes on the state’s premier waters.