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Sakakawea - June 16

This lake is nothing if not an education in change. As bizarre as last year was, this year is the same thing in a different direction. To recap 2023: late ice out, massive warm-up, insane early June fishing, fish go to 30-foot-plus second week of June, trend deeper the rest of the year till October. This year, after an early spawn, we've seen everything possible to keep the lake cold. We've had obviously cool average air temperatures plus lots of rain, lots of clouds, and lots of wind which both prevents light penetration and mixes the colder, deeper water up to the surface. We've just barely made it to 60-degree consistent temps in the big bays this week, though we may see high-50's Monday after more big wind today.

All this to say that we've had a bite going for quite some time now, but it's a more "normalized" bite compared to last year's insanity, and until weather settles in, they remain rather scattered. You can obviously find pods of hungry fish on any given day and limit-out quickly, but I'd say the main trend most places requires steady, efficient work to get a good limit (and obviously knowing where to find them).

Depth-wise, fish are also scattered, and I've heard reports of people catching anywhere from 5-40 feet last couple weeks. You know me, though, I try to fish shallow as long as I can. What's been most effective for us lately is trolling in 10-14 feet with a bottom bouncer and tossing plastic up shallower. I think the bulk of the fish we are targeting have come out of 8-12 feet steadily for about a week. And crawlers have already become a little more consistent than minnows.

In terms of fish size, as we saw shortly post-spawn, there is still a large year-class of those 20-22 inch fish that were around 18-20 last year, but there is also a large year-class of 12-14s that are starting to make their presence known. I'm expecting during the hot summer crawler bite to be sorting through a lot of those certain days. And, as always, we still have really good chances at a couple 24-29 inchers for good photos!

If you're looking to get out there soon, My June is full, but I have some options in July and more in August. Look forward to seeing you!

And now...the videos:

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