I put out a post earlier this week about the condition of the fish on the Missouri River. The fish are definitely on the skinny side. The good news is the water temps are falling and these fish should begin to feed heavily.
We finally experienced our first hard frost of the fall. This is typically the starting point for the fall bite to get rolling on the upper stretches of the Missouri River near Bismarck. Not sure what it actually does (other than drop the water temps) to the fish but they do begin to get into the mood!
The week on the river has had its ups and downs but it’s certainly trending upward. The fish are moving up and beginning to bite on a more regular schedule. Again, for me this is no secret. A Northland Jig tipped with a minnow is hard to beat this time of year. I just can’t explain how exiting the “thump” on a jig is.
So far this fall do not be afraid to fish shallow. We have caught fish all week in 3 to 10 foot of water. The fish (walleyes) are definitely relating to current. Trust your electronics and grind on the marks. Eventually they bite if you stay on them long enough. Both pitching jigs and vertical jigging is working well. Crank baits are also taking some fish pulling the long sandbar stretches.
Expect to catch some other species of fish right now as well. We saw catfish, pike, white bass, skipjacks and gar this week. All these fish are fighting for the same forage right now. If you are catching these (other) fish don’t nt be afraid to keep them. Nothing wrong with catfish and northern pike on your plate!
I’m also still taking open water bookings here on the river as long as the weather holds. I’m also booking my trips for upcoming ice fishing up on Devils Lake. I believe that bite on DL is going to epic this winter so don’t miss out.