By Kellen Latendresse
As this fishing report finds you, I hope you are enjoying time with your friends and family. Personally, I am torn. I’m torn between driving across the country to visit my wife’s family or staying behind to partake in some of the best fishing of the summer. As I have recently finished a two-week guiding schedule though, I am looking forward to spending time with my boys.
As many of you know, I’m based in central North Dakota. I mainly fish the Missouri River, Lake Sakakawea and a number of central prairie lakes. I guide for walleye, muskies, bass and trophy pike, and here’s the latest.
Tame a Tiger Muskie
I’m excited to report my favorite species are starting to fire up and the muskies have started to come alive. The great thing about North Dakota is that we have an abundance of tiger muskies, and right now they’re hungry. Currently, the best bet for tigers is fishing the outside edges of deep weeds in depths from 12 to 20 feet. For the pure strain muskies, my best luck has come at sunrise or sunset, burning bucktails or having an occasional fish chase a topwater lure in the shallows.
Bust Bass on Topwaters
Lake Audubon and New John’s Lake have been great for bass, along with some small prairie lakes. Now is the time for topwater fishing, though the bass have transitioned a little deeper. Choose a frog pattern or topwater lure of your choice and watch them come rocketing out of the water, showing their best acrobatic moves with your bait in their mouth! Just thinking about these fish chowing, makes me smile.
Whack Walleyes Everywhere
The bite, like the weather, is hot! On Lake Sakakawea, it doesn’t seem to matter where you go! Drown a worm in 10 to 25 feet on your favorite live bait rig and you will find fish! Van Hook is firing on all cylinders with Shell Village producing limits most days, any time with any technique. On the other hand, the New Town area has slowed as the migration of fish have rounded the corner at Pouch Point and returned back into the main lake. The 14-to-17-inch walleyes are abundant on Sakakawea and great table fare!
Prairie lakes continue to produce good numbers of walleyes but with the water temperatures rising and low water, they are being choked by weeds so fishing techniques could be limited.
Good luck out there, stay safe, and happy 4th of July from my family to yours!
Kellen Latendresse is a Dakota Edge Outdoors contributing writer and a licensed fishing guide specializing in multispecies outings for walleyes, bass, pike and muskies in north central North Dakota.
Featured Photo: The Van Hook arm of Lake Sakakawea is going gangbusters for quality walleyes in the early summer heat. DEO Photo by Kellen Latendresse.