By Mike Peluso
If you follow me on my Snapchat you know there are two things I absolutely hate. One is the beet juice they use on our streets in Bismarck in the winter, the other is wind. As you can guess by the time of year, I haven’t been complaining about the beet juice yet. The wind on the other hand, that’s another story. It’s been a battle trying to guide with the heavy winds we have had the last month or so.
Now for this week’s fishing report. Even with the heavy winds, both Devils Lake and Lake Sakakawea have been fair to good. Early last week the walleye fishing was pretty good on Devils Lake. I had to hide from the wind, but we still managed limits. Jigs and crawlers, jigs and minnows anchored on structure or moving water was best for walleyes on DL.
Sakakawea was a tale of two different pursuits. One day we targeted big fish staying in the 20′ to 28′ zone with jig raps and creek chubs. We didn’t catch many, but the ones we did catch were giants. 23-to-27-inch walleyes were boated and two absolute tanks were lost on jig raps near the surface. It was definitely a grinder bite, but they were tournament quality fish.
The next day for some reason those fish wouldn’t cooperate, so we slid out to 50-plus and honestly as deep as 70 feet and caught our fish. Again, jig raps were the ticket. The tough part with jig raps is they are the most client-friendly way to fish.
Lots of big fish are showing up on Sakakawea. Water temperatures are still pretty high for this time of year. We saw on average anywhere from 62 to 66 degrees. I would like to see it drop into the 50’s. It seems like the magic fall number up here is around 55. I think once it gets to that point, things will really begin to fire up and we will have an unbelievable fall bite.
I’m still hoping we will get a good fall walleye bite south of Bismarck on the Missouri River. I will begin to probe the river probably a few times next week and I will keep everyone informed as to how the bite is going on the river near Bismarck.
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: Wind Some, Lose Some. Catching walleyes recently has been a challenge due to the shifting winds that come with fall. Higher water temperatures though have sustained a steady bite into autumn on Devils Lake and Lake Sakakawea for both big fish and eater-sized walleyes. DEO Photo by Mike Peluso.