By Mike Peluso
One thing is for sure, we are spoiled here in North Dakota when it comes to walleye fishing and so far, the dog days of summer are pretty dog gone good!
I’ll start with Lake Sakakawea since that is where I have been mostly. Lots and lots of fish are still being caught all over the lake. Many of the fish are still in 20 to 30 feet of water. You can catch them on crankbaits, bottom bouncers with slow death or a propeller rigs, or my favorite, the jig rap or shiver minnow. Watch for the jig raps and shiver minnows to really start to shine.
I know I have mentioned this a lot lately but pay close attention to how deep you are catching fish. Most fish caught in 25 feet or deeper are going to struggle to survive right now. Look in their throats to see if the air bladder is exposed or if their throat is red and irritated. If so, those fish are not going to make it so it is best to keep that fish and clean it.
Now we will slide over to Devils Lake. Again, this water just continues to shine. Of course, we are seeing a lot more structure showing itself with the water pumps on and draining the lake. I’d say it’s down a good couple of feet since this spring and the pumps are still running. So be careful, there are lots of obstacles to run into.
As far as the fishing goes, it’s still super good! Sunken structure and old shoreline is definitely holding a ton of fish right now. Slow death and spinner rigs are working great. On the super windy days, you can find structure and can anchor up on it and drop jigs, jig raps, bobbers or live bait rigs and you will do well. You can also pull Salmo or Flicker Shad crankbaits on the structure and do well. Both Devils and Sakakawea should remain good up until the cool down and after that, I bet the fishing will go bonkers!
I know I reminded folks last week to study your calendars to find some dates to book for ice fishing on Devils Lake with me this winter. It’s going to be an awesome winter season up there for sure, especially with the lower water.
Mike Peluso is a Dakota Edge Outdoors contributing writer and a licensed ND fishing guide specializing in fishing the state’s premier walleye waters.
Featured Photo: Hot Line. Walleyes are biting fast and furious on both Lake Sakakawea and Devils Lake, giving anglers a number of ways to target the state’s most popular gamefish. DEO Photo by Mike Peluso.