The walleye spawn is near on most lakes and rivers in South Dakota but we found out this past weekend that it has also started on parts of Lake Oahe. With the temps in the 90s, a couple buddies and myself thought there would be no better place to spend the day but back in the Cheyenne River on Lake Oahe. As our captain, Travor Diegel, put the throttle down on his Skeeter I couldn’t help but think how much nicer it is heading into the Cheyenne River on a calm day rather than fighting 3 or 4 footers all the way across! Those of you that have fished this area of Lake Oahe know what I mean.
As we pulled into our first spot of the morning, I looked over at the graph and surprisingly saw the water temperature was 47 degrees. Most walleye will begin spawning when the water temperature hits 45 degrees. Knowing this, we decided to fish shallow for those females that are getting ready to spawn and also knowing the males wouldn’t be far away.
As we pitched our jigs towards shore we picked up a few nice walleye. We jumped around to a couple different points but we managed to catch six or seven 22-24 inch walleye and one nice 6.5 pounder. Knowing most of these fish were full of eggs we made sure to get them back in the water quickly. We did find our “eaters” later in the day in deeper water. We sorted through a good 30 fish or so to bring home our limit of 16 walleye.
Between the four of us in the boat we were trying a couple different approaches. Travor and I in the front of the boat pitched different types of jigs, tipped with plastic or a minnow most of the day while my buddies Michael Warren and Derek Stanley pitched crank baits and dragged a jig and minnow.
With this time of year being so crucial to the walleye population, let’s all make sure if it’s not going on the wall to release those large overs and keep the walleye population outstanding for years to come!