Sakakawea Spring Walleye

Sakakawea Spring Walleye

LIST

Sakakawea Spring Walleye

Sakakawea Spring Walleye (Ice Out through May) Sakakawea is quickly becoming known as one of the nations best walleye fisheries. Start your hunt for spring time Sakakawea walleyes in areas of the lake with warmer water and in proximity to tributaries and bays. The far western arm of Sakakawea all the way up through the river heats up first in the springtime and attracts the largest concentrations of active walleye. Popular locations to start in the spring include Lunds Landing, White Earth Bay, and New Town. Look for active walleyes on shallow rocky points or flats in proximity to creeks and bays. Walleyes run up some of these creeks to spawn, while others creeks are used by hoards of smelt for spawning and large numbers of post spawn walleye aren’t far from this feeding fest. In addition, warming points, flats, bays, and creeks attract large schools of emerald shiners, and other baitfish for walleye to feed on. Productive depths are usually shallow in the spring ranging from 2’-14’. When selecting colors on Sakakawea chrome/blue is hard to go wrong with, but when water clarity decreases bright colors or high contrast patterns such as chartreuse or firetiger can be hard to beat. Remember windblown shorelines tend to get fish feeding more aggressively and are good areas to begin your search. Also, water levels and water clarity are in constant flux on Sakakawea. Don’t get hung up on fishing memories, keep moving until you get on the fish. Jigging Minnows and Hardbaits: 1/8oz and 1/4oz flasher jigs or stand up jigs such as the Mission Tackle Willow Wabbler and Stand Up Short shank jig are great options for either fathead minnows or 3” Gulp! Minnows. For a more aggressive presentation that can trigger even inactive fish at times, try working these same areas with Rapala Rippin Raps or Strike King Red Eye Shads (I like the red eye shads in shallower water like 2'-6') using a quick rip off bottom followed by a 1-2 second pause on bottom. Look for points with rock or steep drop offs nearby and pitch these baits against the shoreline and retrieve them all the way back to the boat. Do this until you find active schools of walleye or productive depths and then replicate that pattern on similar structures. Casting Crankbaits: Along with pitching jigs or lipless crank baits, having a second person in the boat casting crankbaits in the same areas listed above can be a good one-two punch to find what mood the walleye are in. Suspending crankbaits such as Rapala X-Rap Shads and Glass Shad Raps can be phenomenal baits especially when worked in a pull and pause manner in the springtime. Trolling: Large flats and large points with scattered cover adjacent to bays or creeks can be very productive. The most efficient means to cover ground in these situations is usually by trolling. Flatline trolling Berkley Flicker Shads and Rapala Shad raps are great lures to begin the search with. Generally, if the water is dirty or the wind is breezy, jointed baits and high contrast/brighter colors tend to get more bites. As the water warms especially over 55 degrees, slow death rigging nightcrawlers with Macks Smile Blades becomes a great option as well.

Waterbodies: Lake Sakakawea

Species: Walleye

Strike King Red Eye Shad 2.5" / Bleeding Chrome Blue
Strike King Red Eye Shad

Size: 2.5"

Color: Bleeding Chrome Blue

$5.89

Rapala Rippin Rap 2-3/4" / CHROME BLUE
Rapala Rippin Rap

SIZE: 2-3/4"

COLOR: CHROME BLUE

$5.99

Mission Tackle Willow Wabbler 1/4 OZ / GLOW BLUE
Mission Tackle Willow Wabbler

WEIGHT: 1/4 OZ

COLOR: GLOW BLUE

$3.29

Rapala Glass Shad Rap 2" / GLASS SHAD
Rapala Glass Shad Rap

SIZE: 2"

COLOR: GLASS SHAD

$6.29

Berkley Gulp Minnow 3" / Smelt
Berkley Gulp Minnow

LENGTH: 3"

COLOR: Smelt

$5.99

VMC Spindrift Hook #1 / BLACK NICKEL
VMC Spindrift Hook

SIZE: #1

COLOR: BLACK NICKEL

$3.29

Smile Blade® Slow Death Rig 1" Smile Blade / Blue Scale
Smile Blade® Slow Death Rig

BLADE: 1" Smile Blade

Color: Blue Scale

$3.69