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Sakakawea - July 8

This week has shown a few changes as fish are moving more towards a summer setup. The whole system has been a bit behind this year seasonally, but now that water temps have been above 70 degrees for a while, we've noticed two things: early morning bites are becoming a little more important, and some of those 15-20 feet dwellers are active feeders that'll bite when you mark them.

Deepwater Bay and Van Hook seem to be the best bets for numbers and size on most days, but the East end and Douglas Bay are getting more consistent as well. It's still hard to find a terribly consistent bite on the main lake, though, and we've found better fish inside or just at the mouth of the major bays yet at this point. When I do fish the main like, I try to stay close to a bay and fish the main points and adjacent shoreline at the mouth.

Crawlers or Gulp grubs on spinner rigs with bottom bouncers are the go-to presentation, but we've also had luck some days early morning pitching Gulp and crawlers up shallow with jigs. If it's early, you get a mud line and/or chop, and the fish are up there shallow, it's worth a shot, but it won't last all day.

The best structure on the East end has been deep weed edges in 12-14 feet, mud lines on bluffs and points, and sunken islands. The fish don't go on the same spots every day, though, so if you aren't getting bit, keep moving. Some days we're lucky enough to fish one or two spots all day, others we may have to hit seven or eight or ten before we get on a good bite. Part of that is just classic reservoir walleye fishing, but I think part of it is also the fact that some of the migrating fish still haven't made it all the way down yet, so you have to play the numbers game with trial and error.

We have some openings in July and August. If you're looking to book a trip, this could be a unique year in that August might actually be really strong given the late start to the summer bite, so don't feel like you're missing the boat if you can't get here in July. Fishing by Garrison in August could wind up being pretty darn impressive!

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