North Dakota Wildlife Federation
The Peluso Report: The Spawn Is On!
The spawn is on! While I was hoping it would hold off a little longer for the spring,
we all know Mother Nature has her way, and her way is right now, and walleye
spawning activity is peaking on the Missouri River.
We are catching some big hen walleyes still full of eggs, but we are catching those
that have completed their spawning activity as well. The majority of fish we are
encountering seem to be ready or in the act of spawning, and the process, by my
records, is a tad bit early, but it is definitely happening in the waters of the Missouri
River near Bismarck.
For some anglers this can be good news, but it is always bad news for me as it brings
the feeling as though spring is over. We wait all winter for the solid pre-spawn bite
and it just seems a bit early this spring for it to be happening. As always, it’s like a
turn of a light switch and once they start, the process happens fast.
Despite the beginning of the spawn, the walleyes are biting and they’ve been biting
really well! Jigs and minnows along with very shallow running crankbaits up to size
7, and stickbait options like floating models and husky jerks are also working
So, what to expect from now until the end of May? Hopefully, a lot of good eater-
sized walleyes as they begin to stage. You can always find these fish stacked up along
the faster current edges in the river. Cranks, crawlers and livebait rigs will all work
well during the upcoming timeframe. I think we should see strong numbers of eating
size walleyes from now until the end of May.
Mike Peluso is a Dakota Edge Outdoors Contributing Writer and Licensed ND
Fishing Guide on the state’s premier walleye waters.
Featured Photo: Anglers are currently encountering large female walleyes on either
side of their spawning activities on the Missouri River.