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  #1  
Old 12-28-2020, 02:43 PM
Dixiedawg Dixiedawg is offline
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Default North Dakota May Fishing

Looking for some advice/recommendations on choosing between Lake Sakakawea or Devilís Lake for a fishing trip in the last half of May. Bought a longer boat last summer and now feel adventurous to try some bigger water. Currently living in NE SD and have fished Waubay and Bitter, and other smaller lakes mostly with worm harnesses for walleye. Have never fished ND. Had dealer install Troll Master 3+ on kicker late last fall (from what I have read on WC that may have been a mistake) and plan to troll plugs more in the future. When we snowbirds return in the spring and if we encounter problems with TM3 will replace with an I-troll system.
But anyway, looking for advice about which lake may produce the most action in late May, including perch/smallmouth action. I have read that Sakakawea does not warm up until late June and fishing may be a little slow until then. Assume Devils Lake warms up quicker and may have more action. And of course if we knew what kind of spring is in store for us would help. Recommendations where to stay and where to fish are also most welcome. Cheers, Dixiedawg
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  #2  
Old 12-28-2020, 03:29 PM
Honkerslayer Honkerslayer is offline
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You are correct about DL vs Sak. Late May do DL. Better accommodations as well.
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Old 12-28-2020, 03:51 PM
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KPKyllo KPKyllo is offline
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I fish both and both lakes can be great in late May but it does depend on the spring like you say. If you want to catch smallies, you'll have to go to Lake Sakakawea because there are none in Devils Lake but there is not a really good perch population in Lake Sakakawea but there is in Devils Lake. If I was going to Lake Sakakawea, I'd target the Van Hook Arm. If you aren't used to big water though, it can be overwhelming your first time there. I've been fishing it since the late 80's and my wife fish there several times every year. I'm not sure if there's anyplace right on the lake to stay up on the Van Hook Arm but I'd start googling motels/etc. now because lodging has been tough to find if the oil boom is still like it's been the last few year. It was better this past summer though when the oil boom diminished somewhat.
Devils Lake may be more suited for you. There are plenty of walleyes, perch,white bass and northern and many of each that are trophy size. You can catch lots of fish on bottom bouncers and spinners or trolling cranks which I prefer. My wife and I go there very, very often. I'm assuming that fishing Devils Lake is similar to Waubay or Bitter like you mentioned you're familiar with.
There are several resorts around the lake to stay or motels right in Devils Lake and most are quite good. There are also some good eating places in town. We rarely stay overnight when we fish at Devils Lake and usually drive home each night so I can't really make a good recommendation on where to stay. Devils Lake has a great Chamber of Commerce with information on just about everything there. I'd contact them.
If you have some specific questions on either lake, let me know and I'll help if I can.
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Old 01-04-2021, 09:55 AM
DerHornen DerHornen is offline
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I've had some fantastic shallow water smallmouth and walleye fishing on Sakakawea in late May. The fishing is usually good at that time somewhere in the New Town to Deepwater Creek Bay area, but exactly where the bite is hot and how to target fish depends on how spring has unfolded. It could be a bottom bouncer bite or it could be pitching jigs into the shallows. With a very late spring the walleye may be thick in the river channel by New Town. Early spring and they may have started moving into Van Hook. As others have said there isn't much to speak of for perch. Can't comment on DL as I've spent very little time in that area.
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Old 01-16-2021, 04:15 PM
Dixiedawg Dixiedawg is offline
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We made reservations at Woodland Resort during the 3rd week of May on DL. Plan to head to SAK in September after Labor Day. Not sure where we will stay on SAK but would be happy for any recommendations you can provide. Previous comments greatly appreciated. Cheers Dixiedawg
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Old 01-18-2021, 08:22 AM
GMOTW_FISHING GMOTW_FISHING is offline
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You definitely would want to be fishing the West end of Sak in the spring... more notably up in the river arm around New town and West for the best bite. As mentioned the weather plays a big part. I went up a few years ago and there were 50mph winds for 2 days coupled with high run off so it was very tough conditions and water + debris with the run off! Definitely some variables in play with the weather and runoff from Montana.

Devils lake should have a decent bite regardless. Just don't get caught up in "devils lake" you won't be fishing on the main basin at that time of year! You'll be heading north! I'd put in at grahams and run north under the highway if you don't have luck up in channel A.
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Old 01-18-2021, 01:03 PM
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Husker525 Husker525 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dixiedawg View Post
We made reservations at Woodland Resort during the 3rd week of May on DL. Plan to head to SAK in September after Labor Day. Not sure where we will stay on SAK but would be happy for any recommendations you can provide. Previous comments greatly appreciated. Cheers Dixiedawg

I have been in Woodland Resorts but not stayed there. It appears to be a very nice establishment and I don't think you made a bad choice. Just pull out, fish Creel Bay, hang a right, fish Six Mile and you won't have to make long runs. There are a ton of underwater hazards in DL. Lots of ways to tear out your lower unit, so proceed cautiously. The residents of DL are extremely nice and seem to welcome the tourists.
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Old 01-22-2021, 06:06 AM
whyknot whyknot is offline
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If you choose Devils Lake decide if you want quiet lodging or busy. We have gone a few years and love it at Lakeview Lodge. Very quiet area just off the lake and centrally located. John and Maria are great hosts! just my opinion.
Great fishing too!
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