By Mike Peluso
I split this week between fishing for walleyes on Lake Sakakawea and Devils Lake. I’ve talked about this in the past how guiding on three different bodies of water help make me a better fisherman and guide. You cannot get complacent and must stay on top of things, especially during the dog days of summer.
So, I will start with Lake Sakakawea. The biggest change on Sak right now is that the walleyes are sliding out deep. They are being found very deep at times, which is creating a fish to kill scenario. I’ve been telling my clients we have two options this time of year on Sakakawea: catch a limit (keep every fish big or small) and go in, or move up shallow after the limit and maybe catch a walleye or two and some bass. Most folks like to catch and get off which is probably the smart play for the resource.
The bulk of the walleyes are in water 25 feet or deeper right now. No matter how you catch them, these fish will die due to barotrauma. You may think just because it swam down, that it survived. It did not! So please keep those fish. For me with clients I’m still running slow death rigs on bottom bouncers along structure like sunken humps and doing well.
Devils Lake is experiencing its typical green algae stage. The fish are scattered all over the map. In Devils Lake fashion you can catch fish anyway you like to. Crankbaits, however, right now are boating the bigger average walleyes. The whole lake is busting at the seams with young-of-the-year fry. I would say within three to five years, the winter perch bite may be absolutely epic again! My fingers are crossed.
My August is completely booked up and September is getting that way also. I’m booking trips for late Missouri River walleye fishing and also ice fishing trips on Devils Lake right now. If you are thinking of fishing with me, get ahold of me!
Mike Peluso is a Dakota Edge Outdoors contributing writer and a licensed ND Fishing Guide specializing in walleyes on the state’s premier waters.
A Tale of Two Waters. Walleyes on Lake Sakakawea are moving deeper while the fish on Devils Lake are spreading out as summer hits its midpoint. DEO Photo by Mike Peluso.