Lake Sakakawea is known for big fat and sassy walleyes. It was the walleye king back in the early 80’s and it was the home of the 8lb whopper.
Fast forward to the year 2019 and lots of things have changed. More people fishing it and the lake still has a ton of 8 pound plus fish in it and lots of food for these walleyes to eat. In my opinion too much food for us anglers.
After cleaning fish yesterday, I have no idea how or why we even caught the fish we did? On average I would say each fish had 15 smelt a piece in them and my livewell looked like a mini version of the Garrison Dam Tailrace (I’ll talk more about that in a moment).
When catching is tough, and it’s your job to catch fish you spend a lot of time trying to theorize. One of my theories is these fish have gone nocturnal. It’s no secret walleyes feed at night, but I think these Sakakawea walleyes have really turned the tide on us anglers. I was out 4 times this week both East and West and the story was the same. You would pull on a spot and mark fish under bait and you could catch them right away. After about an hour the depth finder would go blank of good walleye marks. The bait would still be there but the walleyes just seem to vanish?
Now I want everyone to know this is just my theory, but I think these fish fed or feed do heavy under the moonlight that once the sun comes up they cozy themselves tight to the bottom and lay around digesting their food. Hence why they are so difficult to mark at times.
Most of the fish we caught this week came off of jig raps both pitched and vertical. I’m hoping we get some nice weather here to get back up there a few more times yet this fall. I have to switch gears and guide Devils Lake here the next few days so I will bring you a report from DL sometime next week. The fish on Sakakawea that we caught were on structure in 20 to 30 foot of water. Look for the bait early in the morning and the walleyes are close by.
Just a reminder to everyone I will be offering full guiding packages with lodging as well up on Devils Lake this winter. No group is too big so please keep me in mind if your looking to get out a d chase perch, walleyes, and pike. I’ll also be offering dark house spearing as well on both Devils Lake and Sakakawea. Shoot me an email at and reserve your dates!