By Mike Peluso
There is a lot happening here in the Bismarck, North Dakota stretch of the Missouri River. As of April 8, the ice in town has finally moved out and I would anticipate Fox Island boat ramp being opened up shortly.
As far as my guiding is going, we are getting on the water! A little further north than I like, but hey, beggars can’t be choosers with the winter and spring we have had.
Fishing has been a bit better than I expected. Especially if you are looking for a personal best. I had a client hit the dirty 30 mark and the fish tipped the scales at 12 pounds, truly a fish of a lifetime! We also were able to scrape together a batch of eating size fish along with a few really nice walleyes we released back into river.
The presentation and tactics so far are nothing fancy. Anchor locking in the softer areas behind the reefs and sandbars and pitching light 1/8 oz jigs tipped with minnows downstream is what’s working. The fish were lethargic, so paying close attention to your line is critical! We did lose a fair amount of fish just outside the reach of the net. We also caught a smorgasbord of other species.
All in all, it has not been a bad start to the 2023 season. We still have a lot of snow to melt here. Hopefully it melts slow enough to not make the river chocolate milk. Only time will tell.
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: Solid Connection. Walleyes are beginning to bite on the Missouri River. Anglers are finding success by slowly working jigs tipped with minnows behind areas of current break. DEO Photo by Mike Peluso.