The Peluso Report: Fall Switch on Sak

Mike Peluso

By Mike Peluso

I can’t believe the open water guide season may be coming to a close. The long-range weather forecast isn’t looking good. However, I’m holding out hope to possibly get some nice days toward the end of November yet.

I was fortunate enough to fish Sakakawea the last few days and also the Missouri River south of Bismarck. Both are interesting right now. I know I have been a bit doom and gloom about the condition of the river this fall, but all indications are pointing that this coming spring may be the pinnacle of a chance at catching a state record walleye or at least a fish of lifetime!

Just these last two weeks guys down in South Dakota have caught some absolute monster walleyes over 16 pounds! This coming spring, if you are looking for a trip or two, get ahold of me as both I and my partner are already booking up.

Sakakawea has gone through an attitude change over the past week with lots of fish on the screen, but at times it was difficult to get them to eat. We caught limits every day, but a few changes in our approach needed to happen to make it work. One thing we noted is that we definitely caught way more fish on a jig and a minnow. I did get a few on a Jigging Raps, but had to cast it out in order for them to eat it.

Another big factor for us was lake location. We did better more towards the mid-section of the lake for numbers. The traditional Shell, Pouch, Skunk, Deepwater areas were a little off for some reason. Rest assured we saw some big fish in that stretch, however. We just didn’t get the numbers like usual.

As long as the weather holds, I’ll report on the river in my next installment. 

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: Seeking Sak Success.  A jig and minnow combination was the best bet recently on Lake Sakakawea as fall settles in.  DEO Photo by Mike Peluso.

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