Sakakawea & Devils Lake Fishing Report-August 18th, 2020

Written by Mike Peluso

ABOUT MIKE PELUSO Mike Peluso is an infamous North Dakota fishing guide that’s well known throughout the state. Mike prides himself on being consistent, as well as versatile on any body of water he fishes. Mike guides year-round, so you can find him on the water or on the ice. Give Mike a call for your next fishing adventure!

August 18, 2020

Kind of a dual fishing report, with a little more Lake Sakakawea in the mix. Although, once again Devils Lake is still holding strong! Actually, come to think of it, next week I’ll be able to bring you a Missouri River Report as well. The postponement of the Big Muddy event will be August 29th.
So let’s start with Devils Lake. Not much change for scene here. Lots and lots of fish being caught. The go to tactics remain the ever popular bottom bouncers and spinners with crawlers pulled on structure and weed edges. The lake has had a fairly big algae explosion. Remember, this thick green moss blanket, only thrives if it has sunlight. So underneath it is fairly clean. This blanket is your friend on those hot calm days. Don’t be afraid it and it doesn’t hurt the fish or the fishery.
Now back over to Lake Sakakawea. You know what, this lake has been really good all year with the exception of about a two week period toward the end of July. I think 🤔 and this is only speculation on my part is we had some sort of big bug hatch during that slower time. Therefore, what we are seeing now is the smelt and perch have pulled up chasing the big hatch of larvae and the walleyes and other predator fish are right behind them. Fish are being caught relatively shallow, 18′ to 30′. In my mind for this time of year, that’s under the normal. I do need to vent for one second. We have a ton of smaller walleye 12″ to 14″ inch fish who like to swallow hooks. Two things you can do here if this happens. If the fish is already bleeding once you have gotten it to the boat, keep it. No sense feeding them to the seagulls and pelicans. Plenty of other junk fish for them to scarf up. The other thing you can do and I do this all the time, is simply cut the line. I’ve even cut the line on fish I’m keeping and many times before the day is over, I will find the hook in my livewell. Another thing I’m finding in the well along with my hooks, is a ton of smelt. I think this is somewhat backing up my philosophy of the smelt moving up to feed on the larvae.
Whatever your flavor is to catch walleyes on Sakakawea, you can pretty much get it to work right now. For me, bouncers with some variation of a slow death hooks seems to be putting both numbers and quality topside. Cranks, jig raps, lindys are all working as well. Good solid fishing reports coming from the way East End all the way up to the Van Hook Arm.
Things are busy! Remember, once school starts I continue to guide. I’m considered a “full time” guide. So I will take trips on Sak, Devils and the Missouri River as long as the weather holds. I’m also taking bookings for Darkhouse Spearing on Sakakawea and ice fishing/angling on Devils Lake. Yes it’s early but spots seem to fill and if your looking to go I want to make that happen! Email me at

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  1. Frank Weber

    Rather short notice. Are you available Wednesday of this week 8/26 to guide two boats out of Indian Hills?

    • Mike Peluso

      I’m sorry I’m all booked that date


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