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Sakakawea - June 6

It's more ways than one! The month of May in Garrison was four degrees above average, and the last eleven days of the month were a shocking ten degrees above average. So far June has been more of the same. Somehow we went from a May 9th ice-out to 70-degree water on much of the lake in less than four weeks. And now already we're seeing crawlers outwork minnows as the live bait choice. I haven't been around long enough to know, but I can't imagine there have been too many years with that much change in a month's time.

All areas of the lake have hit their post-spawn bite in stride, though some areas are certainly better than others, mostly due to concentrations of fish. If you find them, though, they bite really well. The bays continue to be strong, but the main lake has started seeing some action in the last week already, and the Van Hook Arm is full of fish. Despite the warm water, though, you don't have to look incredibly deep yet. Many areas we've still caught fish in 3-8 feet of water still this week. The "river" upstream from Van Hook probably has a deeper trend, maybe 10-20 feet.

One exciting thing this year is that all those 18-20-inch fish from last year are now in the 20-22 range, and we're even seeing more big fish than the last two or three years. Most days it's not surprising to see a fish hit the net in the 24-29 range, and we've had multiple days with multiple big ones post-spawn already.

As far as structure, we continue to be in the heart of the flat season and shoreline-related fish. If you find a good point, breakline, or hump shoreline-adjacent with that 3-10 feet of water - and possibly some deeper stuff nearby - that's the ticket. Sand and gravel, baby! For the next week I'd bring a variety of bait too: crawlers, plastic, cranks, maybe still minnows, and even jigging raps. The fish transition at different points in time, and some are still doing the spring thing while others are ready for summer food.

Last season was incredible, and this season has been even better thus far. Sakakawea is a very special place. And yes, the water is coming up. We went from 26 foot below full in April to now 16 below, and it's forecasted to come up another 4-6 feet yet. By July most launches you want will be usable.

And now...the videos:

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