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Sakakawea / MO River - May 2

I spent three days last week fishing the Missouri River near Bismarck, so I'll start with a bonus report. The big muddy is...well...muddy. The blizzard snow runoff started things, and then a follow-up snow and rain week made it worse. Anything below the Heart River is about six inches of visibility at best, and above is only slightly better. That said, some fish are being caught, but not tons. Better numbers south, some trophy fish north. We were fortunate to get into some really nice ones the first day out, but the next two were just a handful of smaller 'eyes, both pitching jigs in current seams around sandbars. The flow in the Heart River is slowing now, though, so perhaps in a couple of days things will be better. Water temps around 40-42 degrees. Most fish caught four/five days ago were pre-spawn, but they may not be anymore as I'm writing this.

I got out on Lake Sakakawea today, and things were slow fishing out of Douglas Bay. Plenty of fish around, but few interested in biting. I suspect the spawn has begun, but I did hear of a nice 26-inch fish with eggs caught today on the East End. Water temps were 37 main lake, up to 42 back in the bays. I'll be curious next few days if any pre-spawn fish still come or if that's now over, in which case it may be a couple weeks before a post-spawn bite happens. On the bright side, the forecast is moderately warm, and the lower water levels should heat up quicker, so we may have an early post-spawn bite.

As far as lake access, Fort Stevenson west is usable but be careful of some mud and take some boots to launch the boat as it's pretty flat water. Ziegler's in Douglas looks better (steeper), and Steinke Bay's low water ramp is usable, but I've yet to see docks out on any of those. The Missouri River ramps were no problem, though, and Fox Island had a dock in.

If you want to book a trip, give me a shout, and let's get to planning!

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