By Mike Peluso
I wish I had more news on the fishing end of things for this week’s Missouri River Fishing report, unfortunately the update is not much in the form of catching fish, but hopefully we are trending in that direction.
The ramps are all pretty much usable up and down the entire river system. The water clarity on the other hand remains an issue along with the water temperature. This week water temperatures have barely reached 37 degrees. It seems to me the fishing on the river gets better near 40. Our cooler weather just isn’t allowing it to warm up.
The good news this week is that the Knife River to the north of us here in Bismarck is mostly done with dumping mud into the main flow. The Heart and Cannonball Rivers, however, are still flowing pretty good. Apple Creek really hasn’t let loose, but maybe by the time it does, it won’t cause much of a problem. Below the Heart River the water clarity is maybe an inch or so.
I have caught fish in the past in these conditions. The only difference between now and then is that we seemed to have more fish around. This is the part that has me a tad mystified. Last fall right before we got hit with a crippling blizzard. I found a mass of fish (walleyes and bait) stacked up south of Cannonball.
It’s my fear those fish didn’t move much since last fall. With the Cannonball running as hard as it did here recently, I’m guessing a pretty good portion of our walleyes that normally make a run up into the river may have made a left turn. The same thing happened a few years ago with the Heart River. Only time will tell, but the problem is that the time is now, and things are really bare at the moment.
I truly believe this week will tell a lot. The male walleyes will be around no matter what, especially after the spawn. The big hens – I’ve been fortunate enough to have caught four so far this spring – may be fewer and farther between. We will surely see a decent bite here at some point. It always materializes, but it just might not be what we have come to expect or what we are used to. I will keep everyone updated as we go.
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: A berm of rock and dirt has been added to protect a boat ramp on the Missouri River in Bismarck. DEO Photo by Mike Peluso.