Sakakawea & Missouri River Fishing Report- Nov. 5th, 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!

November 5, 2020

I think my open water season is coming to a halt here Sunday. The long range forecast looks like it will once again turn cold and shift to ice making mode instead. I’ve had a heck of a good open water season and I’m certainly not going to complain that we have to call it quits, but before I do I want to bring you another open water fishing report for both Sakakawea and the Missouri River system.
So a lot has changed since my last report. Notably the Missouri River south of Bismarck. For those of you who have ventured south, you have seen a massive drop in water levels. Like I had said in previous reports, the initial drop in water late September was really good for the fishing. Lots of walleyes moved out of the flooded vegetation and backwater areas into the mainstream of the river. This made the bite really strong for a couple of weeks. However, this second drop in water levels has really put the brakes on the migration. The fish we were seeing showing up basically stopped, and most likely retreated back further south into the lake region of Oahe. We have some major sand walls out there right now, and if things don’t get better by spring we will see these sand walls slowing down our spring migration as well. My hopes are we get a massive amount of snow in the Rockies to hopefully replenish the water levels.
Moving up to Sakakawea now has been a tale of two lakes these past two weeks. Once the water temps started to drop during our first cold snap, we had the fish really putting on a feeding bender! The fish were aggressive and sliding up shallower making them easier to catch. Things were getting exciting and people including myself, were catching fish. Fast forward to some warmer weather coupled with a full moon and those extremely obese walleyes have slowed their feeding frenzy down a bit during the daylight hours. Early mornings and late evenings these past few days have been decent, but it is a short window of opportunity and you needed to be in the right spot at the right time to capitalize on them. The exact same story up on Lake Sakakawea, we need to keep our fingers crossed for a ton of snow in the Rockies this winter. The corps has pulled the water levels way down, and I’m a tad worried if things stay somewhat in a drought it could be an interesting future on the big lake.
With this being probably my last open water report for 2020, I want to remind people if your looking to book an ice fishing trip on Devils Lake or a spearing trip on Sakakawea to please get ahold of me and secure your dates. Email me at

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  1. Marv

    Thanks for your fishing reports. Hope you have a great ice fishing season!!

  2. joseph warner

    Well Mike, if your theory becomes fact, the low water may give us South Dakotians a chance to actually catch a Walleye over 14″. May even buy a net! Yes, I am still alive, Say hi to your folks.

    • Mike Peluso

      Pops!! Great to hear from you! I’ll let Jimmy and Margaret know you said hello. I think the lower waters will definitely keep a major portion of those fish down in the southern half of the reservoir. When the wind blows up here it looks like Afghanistan. Lots of shallow water and sand. Hope all is well and keep in touch.


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