By Mike Peluso
When I grew up in Bismarck, we had a weather beacon that would change colors to tell you what weather was coming. If it was white as snow, down the temperature will go. If it was green, there was no change foreseen, and if it was red as fire, the temperature will go higher.
It’s a green-and-red situation on Lake Sakakawea for walleyes right now. Fishing just seems to be getting better and better, and the quality of fish is unreal. You may have to travel a little bit more to find them, but once you do, it’s game on.
The walleyes we’re finding are in that ideal range, as the 16-to-20-inch fish that make up the bulk of what folks are landing are so perfect for multiple reasons. They are fun to catch and even better to eat. I’m not the biggest fish eater, but I’ve eaten a few fish this week and I think I’m hooked again.
The majority of the fish are hanging in the 25-to-35 foot range. So they have slid a little bit deeper. Remember, most of these fish caught now will be suffering from barometric trauma when pulled from those depths. Plan on keeping the fish and once you get your limit, and move up shallower to catch a picture fish or the ever-abundant smallies that are in the lake.
We are still pulling slow death rigs with a mix of beads and propeller rigs. In this deeper water I’ll run two-ounce bottom bouncers up front and 1.5-ouncers off the back of the boat to avoid tangles. You’ll also have to slow it down a bit to fish the deeper water effectively.
Mike Pelsuo is a Dakota Edge Outdoors contributing writer and a licensed ND fishing guide specializing in walleyes on the state’s premier waters of Lake Sakakawea, Lake Oahe and Devils Lake.
Featured Photo: Quality eater-sized walleyes from 16 to 20 inches are on the bite on Lake Sakakawea right now. DEO Photo by Mike Peluso.