By Mike Peluso
Well, I’m pretty sure I completely jinxed myself with my last report talking about my boat puller “Old Blue.” Unfortunately, Old Blue is no longer with us today and I’m looking for a replacement.
Thank goodness for my dad letting me borrow his vehicle until I can figure something out. What I really want to get is a full size AWD or 4WD van, which is not an easy find. I think for as much as I fish both summer and winter this would be a match made in heaven, so if anyone knows of one for sale, please let me know!
Now to the real important stuff: the fishing! I’ll start with Lake Sakakawea this time. Sakakawea is really starting to fire on all cylinders right now and lots of fish are being caught. You can still find the fish relatively shallow. The windier the day, the shallower the fish. 5 to 15 feet of water seems to be holding the bulk of the biting fish. I am seeing lots laying out deep, but those fish are either traveling or digesting their food because they are hard to catch.
One noteworthy shift this week is that the fish have switched over to crawlers. We are able to run half crawlers on slow death or live bait rigs with small hooks to catch our fish. This is very client-friendly and helps put numbers of fish in the boat. There are a couple things to pay attention to, however. The first is water temperature and the second is the current. This will assist you in tracking the fish down and once you find them, to fish them correctly. I’m seeing lots of anglers not pulling their baits correctly. With current you will have to adjust your speed if you’re going against it. Pay close attention to this factor.
Next on the list this week is Devils Lake. Again, this place just simply amazes me. The quality and quantity of the fish is impressive this year. Spinners and crawlers on structure are taking the bulk of the fish, but don’t forget to cast on those windy days into the wind-blown shorelines. The lake is reverting back to its old self.
On a side note, I’m still seeing a lot of folks launching their boats multiple times. Especially around the campground areas. Please, if you see these folks cleaning fish multiple times a day, report them to the Game and Fish! I feel our daily limit is more than fair, and there is no need to be double dipping. It’s not an endless resource. Limits are in place for a reason.
The fishing on these two bodies of water is absolutely world class right now! I have a few dates in August and September available if you looking to get out. Also, it’s definitely not too early to be booking your ice fishing adventure on Devils Lake with me! Those spots tend to fill up fast, so don’t drag your feet.
Mike Peluso is a Dakota Edge Outdoors contributing writer and licensed North Dakota fishing guide on the state’s premier walleye waters.
Photo: One in the Hand & One on the Line. Mike Peluso keeps tabs on fast walleye action on both Lake Sakakawea and Devils Lake. DEO Photo by Mike Peluso.