By Mike Peluso
So, we dug out of this late spring snow here in Bismarck. We got anywhere from 18 to 20 inches of snow, but to the north and west of the Missouri River, they received a lot more. Now, as I wake up this Easter morning and look out my window, we are getting yet another shot of snow. Maybe two-to-four inches this morning by the time it’s over.
What is this doing for everyone’s fishing? Well, for me it’s extremely tough on business and I’m monitoring it very closely. Yesterday I drove the river and looked into launching situations. There are a few places a person can still get a boat in the water. The water clarity yesterday is what I still deemed “catchable,” but I do anticipate this getting worse as the snow melts. For us here in Bismarck, a lot depends on the Knife River to our north. If this decides to release some flows with runoff, we are in trouble for a while. The Knife is a known mud producer.
For me I’m probably going to have to move my trips to the north above the Knife River or to Sakakawea for those of my clients who still want to fish. Again, the walleyes will be here, but the problem with our fish locally when the water dirties up is that they don’t bite very well. The shore guys still get a few, but the boat guys struggle until you can see the cavitation plate on your motor in the water. Being able to see it is what I consider “catchable” water clarity.
Like always, I will continue to stay on top of things here on the Missouri River and report back. As of yesterday the ramps you could get a boat in were Fox Island, the Desert and maybe Misty Waters, but you would definitely have to break some ice on the way out. I know we needed the moisture so I’m not complaining quite yet!
Mike Peluso is a Dakota Edge Outdoors Contributing Writer and a licensed ND fishing guide specializing in walleyes on the state’s premier waters.
Featured Photo: Snowbound. Many ramps along the Missouri River are covered in snow and ice following last week’s blizzard and more snow on Sun. Apr. 17. Expect waters to be muddy as the melt starts this week. DEO Photo by Mike Peluso.