I was asked today why are the fish sometimes harder to catch during the spawn? Well, I’m not a fish expert by any means but I did offer up some of my thoughts.
The biggest issue during a spawn is the fish are all in different moods. You have some that are thinking of spawning, you have some that are spawning, you have some that are done and then you have some that don’t know what the heck they are doing.
So with that philosophy established it’s easy for me anyway, to understand why these couple weeks during a spawn are so inconsistent and your bite is sporadic at best. Don’t get me wrong, there are fish to be caught. It just may not be as good as we all would like it to be and it’s extremely hard to put a pattern together.
Another happening on our river is the water is coming up. This has a tendency to put the walleyes into a stressful mood. It moves them around, and all the spots change along with the currents moving sand. All these factors make it more difficult to pin down a consistent bite.
Everything seems to work as far as presentation goes. Jigs and minnows are my favorite along with jigs and plastics. Crankbaits can be really good now, but a bit tougher to run with the rising water with all the debris coming downstream. I usually place a split shot or a bead 3 to 4 foot above the crank to try and catch the junk before it his the bait.
Things will pick up here in the coming weeks and I expect to see a rush of males coming in behind the spawn. Once they show up the action picks up and you can expect it to turn into a numbers game and that can be super fun! I’m taking bookings and reservations now for May. Email me firstname.lastname@example.org and we can find you a date to get out and enjoy some really good fishing on the Missouri River/Lake Oahe out of Bismarck, ND.
Being back on Sakakawea has been fun! Honestly for me, I love being able to guide on both of North Dakota's big bodies of water this time of year. It keeps you on your toes and I feel I'm a better guide because of it! No time to get complacent. The fish are moving...