By Mike Peluso
The first half of this week we couldn’t have asked for better fall fishing weather. For me, the week was spent both on the Missouri River and on Devils Lake. Unfortunately, I was going to fish Lake Sakakawea later in the week, but Mother Nature said otherwise.
I’ll start with Devils Lake since I did get 3 awesome days on it this week. The walleye fishing was exceptional! We caught good numbers and quality. I spent two days trolling leadcore line and smaller crankbaits like Salmos, flicker shads, and also the smaller flicker minnows. Each day the fish decided to change which bait they preferred, so we just changed along with them.
We targeted fish along old shoreline in 15-to-20-feet of water, moving slow. We trolled between 1.3 to 1.6 mph, letting the cranks hit bottom once in a while. This seemed to trigger most of the bites.
The third day we decided to use livescope and jigs and minnows and also Jigging Raps. This is undoubtedly the most fun way to fish in my opinion these days! Talk about a cat and mouse scenario. I love the one-on-one combat with these fish trying to figure out the mood and the cadence they want: simply awesome! Bridges and old roadbeds were the target areas.
Now into the Missouri River near Bismarck. Things are spotty at best. I’ve had a couple decent days out there. The walleyes still haven’t come upriver in big numbers. We have seen sporadic bites. I still have faith they are coming, and if weather permits, I’ll be running trips through November. If you see a nice weather opening, please get ahold of me.
I personally didn’t make it to Sakakawea this week but the reports are strong! The best reports are coming from the river section of the lake. I’m also hearing of a few reports of guys catching them in the mid-to-eastern sections. I’m still going to try and make it up there a few more times! Jigging Raps and creek chubs are the lures of choice.
Mike Peluso is a Dakota Edge Outdoors contributing writer and a licensed ND fishing guide specializing in trophy walleyes on the state’s premier waters.
Featured Photo: Fall fishing is heating up as things cool down on Devils Lake, with trolling and jigging options paying off for walleyes. DEO Photo by Mike Peluso.