Missouri River Fishing Report- April 12th, 2021

Written by Mike Peluso

April 12, 2021

Busy is an understatement right now for Mike Peluso Outdoors and Guide Service. Being a full time guide, even if I do get an off day, I’m out scouting to make sure I stay on top of things. Lots of stuff is already beginning to change here on the Missouri River near Bismarck. Rising water levels as we near closer to the middle of April, is changing the spots and the navigational routes some. I feel it is important for a guide to be on top of these things for the success of the trip and the safety of the clients.

Lots of male fish are showing up already. These feisty fish normally don’t show themselves in these numbers until later April? Might be the lower water levels we are experiencing and these fish are just seeking more current. Judging by the water temps and the firmness of the eggs, we are still a couple weeks out from the main portion of the spawn.

I’m seeing a lot of fish showing up on side scan, and also on my livescope out in the current. This tells me lots of fish are still traveling into to position to spawn. How far they go is anyone’s guess.

Still seeing some of those huge hens out there everyday while guiding. Typical day we are catching one, sometimes two a day, in that giant range of 27 to 30 inches. Again, I’m so proud of all my clients and the vast majority of the other anglers on the water, placing these fish back into the river to do their thing and give someone else the opportunity to catch a fish of a lifetime! Hey, here’s the deal or my philosophy. If even a small percentage of the fish we release have a a little success in the spawn, it’s still better than no success. If those fish are in the livewell they have no chance to reproduce this season.

What to expect in the next week or do? I would anticipate a few really big fish getting caught! Jigs and plastics are edging out jigs and minnows right now for larger fish and shallow pulled crank baits up on the sand are holding strong for your chance at another state record.
I’m still taking bookings for the river here near Bismarck all through May. So feel free to contact me to book your trip! After May it’s Sakakawea and Devils Lake.

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