Summer fishing is still going strong at a fair amount of areas across Lake Sakakawea. If the wind is moving the water a bit, you can haul in good numbers and a few nice fish to make a good bag limit. The pods of walleye may be up in 22 feet on such days, but 25-28 is more common. There are also pods down in 35 out to 45 at times, but I haven't had the need to chase those much yet. The smaller 13-15 inch fish are the most active, but if you keep fishing through them, there are 18-22 inchers to be found and some occasional great photo fish much bigger.
With the temps this week being over 90 degrees for an extended period of time, we may see fish push out super deep, so it's something to keep checking by the day. The walleye obviously follow the bait, and if the bait is happy up in 22-28, the walleyes will come get it even if they aren't there all day long. Fish are feeding heavily on smelt, as you can tell by the ones they puke up in livewells or on your shorts (speaking from experience), so that's the starting point for finding them but also can make them tough to catch in areas where the bait levels are super high. I've noticed some parts of the lake the fish, though still healthy, aren't gurping up as much bait and not coincidentally are more active biters.
The best patterns for me lately have been deep rock transition zones, points, and humps, and if you can find a place that has all three, it's something worth fishing thoroughly. Bottom bouncers and crawlers have been my best tactic. Leadcore and cranks are working too, especially smelt-looking baits, but perch colors work well too. I've heard some reports on good jig rap bites, mostly in the Van Hook area, but I haven't had much success yet (or possibly haven't dedicated enough time to it). That jig rap bite should be quite good as August rolls into September.
August is mostly over (and mostly full), but I have openings in September and October. If you've been waiting all year for your shot at that free replica for the biggest walleye this year, make a date for October and you'll have a great shot at it! #wallhangers2020
I get soooo excited for fall fishing...so excited!