Sakakawea Help

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Hello all,

My father retired from teaching after 45 years and wants to take a trip to Sakakawea for the first time. He called yesterday and wants to leave Sunday or Monday! Doesn't leave much time for planning, so I am on here hoping several of the fishermen "in the know" will help a guy out....

I've read a few of the posts on here, but we don't know the lake at all. Looking for walleye and could use help with where to go, what depths to target, what baits to use, what colors to use, where to put in, you know, the usual stuff. We like to cast jigs or cranks, or bottom bounce/ lindy rig, haven't quite got pulling plugs down like we should, but willing to try. We would be happy with some eaters to fry up at camp and some to bring home for later!

Also, any hotel accommodations and bait store suggestions would be helpful. Thanks in advance and I look forward to hearing from hopefully several of you!

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Lake Sakakawea


  1. Ericb's Avatar
    Sak is a big lake, any clue which part you plan on going to? I haven't been there yet this year but kids are being shipped off next week so the wife and I will be there aswell.

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  2. zoops's Avatar
    I'm no Sak expert but with as good as the fishing has been, there will be plenty of boats around to follow as a starting point. A map chip helps a lot too. Fish have moved a little deeper in general, 25-35 ft from what I've heard although I'm sure they can be found anywhere on the right day.

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  3. Petras's Avatar
    Check out Van Hook. The folks at the bait shop are great about giving good information. Wish I had more info for ya, but It's been 2 weeks since I was last out.

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  4. Fishmission's Avatar
    if its in the budget, get a good guide out of Vanhook or Parshall Bay for the first day. You'll learn enough to make the rest of the trip stellar. If not launch at Parshall Bay, talk to the bait-shop guys there at Brendles Bay.

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    Updated 07-27-2018 at 08:41 PM by Fishmission
  5. Buckmaster81's Avatar
    how big is your boat and how do you feel about waves? lol

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  6. shorthairman's Avatar
    Thanks for all the help so far...please keep up with all you can give. We will be in an 1880 Ranger Angler. Not afraid of waves for the most part. You guys on here are so far waaaay better than the guys over on walleyecentral. Only one reply over there...this is an awesome site. I was just looking around on it. Enjoy all the photos! Thanks again, Jeff

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  7. Lapper's Avatar
    Contact Brendle’s for a cabin or condo to rent, they also have camp sites. In their convenience store, they sell a map of the lake with a whole bunch of spots labeled like independence point or shell island etc. all of these are well known spots and they all hold fish. Spinners in a wide array of colors, just mess around until you find which one is working best that day. I’m not sure you could go to Van Hook and not catch fish. Have a great time.

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  8. shorthairman's Avatar
    I called Brendle's to reserve a cabin and the lady on the phone said they are having a large family reunion and the cabins are booked. Any other suggestions? Also, does that area of the lake (Van Hook Arm) have the best bite going? Meaning should we concentrate our efforts to stay close to that area? For some reason my dad was thinking we should stay down closer to Garrison....also Van Hook Arm looks really big... at least on the map...any particular area to focus on if we fish there? Thanks again.

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  9. Riverbottoms's Avatar
    Indian hills resort , would put you in a right in the middle of the lake , and also some good fishing. They have cabins for rent.

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  10. shorthairman's Avatar
    Cabins at Indian Hills were also booked...looks like we may have to drive a bit and not stay right out by the lake.

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  11. Riverbottoms's Avatar
    Garrison has two hotels to look in to, north shore and garrison motel. New town has a couple hotels also. Should be able to find something

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  12. tikkalover's Avatar
    Been a week and a half since I fished the east end, but the fishing was good then. Quite a few fish caught in the Governor's cup. Main lake points pulling BB's with a prop blade and 4" Gulp crawler in 16 to 30 feet of water. Fort Stevenson has cabins to rent, nothing spectacular, but at least you have a roof over your head, unless they are booked to.

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  13. NJL's Avatar
    If you want to be close to Van Hook, check out Little Missouri or Teddy's in New Town if you just want a hotel room. Seems like most of the fish are spread out a little so you might have to try a few different spots to get your limit. Depending on the wind direction, Independence and Pouch point are good bets, should find fish from 12-30 FoW. Otherwise, points and flats off any of the islands in Van Hook should have fish in the 20-30 foot range. Pulling BB & spinners with crawlers or Gulp is a pretty solid tactic, but jigging & cranks will also produce fish if you find the right spots.

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  14. shorthairman's Avatar
    Hello all,

    Well we finished our first trip to Sakakawea and although the fishing was very rough for us we still enjoyed the trip. Saw a beautiful lake, talked to some nice people and even enjoyed the long drive with some beautiful scenery and good conversation. Thought I would give our fishing (not catching) report!

    We ended up staying in Garrison. My dad thought the bite would be better on the East end due to the walleye starting West and moving toward the dam area. We arrived on Monday and only had a couple hours to fish so we went to Steinke Bay. Dead calm, and no walleye. Caught a few smallmouth and a couple pike, but we didn't expect much for as little time as we had. Tuesday, got a good (we thought) report from a local that said he had good luck out of Deepwater by the slides on Sunday. We headed to the slides straight across from the mouth. Fished 20-40 fow and had 8 keepers along with a few shorts and a lot of crawler stealing perch. Wednesday barely any breeze and dad wanted to try closer to Garrison. Fished all day and only had 3 total walleye 26-40 fow. Talked to the guys at 6 Mile Corner Bait shop Wednesday morning before heading out and because of the 20 mph wind had limited options. Went back to Deepwater because it was fishable with the wind. Didn't start until 10ish and boats were already coming in from the main lake saying it was too windy to fish and they didn't have luck. We stayed in the bay in 15-25 fow and caught nothing. Wind went down and we decided to head across to the slides again. Only one short walleye over there. Went back across and tried a long drift going north from the mouth of Deepwater. Moved the boat back and forth from 20-30 fow with no luck. Went back into the bay and started casting various lures toward shore and caught a couple pike, a few smallmouth, and got into some good whitebass action (caught and released over 30). My son caught a 16" walleye but since it didn't have any buddies in the livewell and day was ending we left him for one of you guys to catch.

    Thanks for the help and information you guys gave us. Never did get all the way to Van Hook which I was disappointed about and that was the plan on Thursday until the wind. Dad was driving and it was his boat so I let him do what he thought. (He even said we should have went up there Wednesday when there was no wind). Oh well. I think dad is already talking about going back next year, but trying to get there earlier.

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