The second day began shrouded by dense fog as we awoke to find the tent covered in heavy dew. After fumbling around camp, building a fire and preparing a hardy breakfast of sausage, eggs and onions, we set out for an isolated location of the lake. We noticed the spot the day before and thought it would be very productive. Only accessible by a 400 yard hike down the hillside, and protected from boat access by a row of partially submerged trees, it receives very little fishing pressure. After spending more than an hour with four poles in the water, we only were able to land one smallmouth bass. The shallow, clear water with no vegetation proved to work against us in the late morning sun. It was time to move on.
We packed up the vehicle and headed to anÂ inlet of the lake near Wolf Creek Recreational area, another experimental spot. The â€œJustin Rigâ€ was out in full force and proved successful once again as Justin hooked into a very large carp that almost took his pole into the lake. Only a diving catch saved it from a watery grave. The fish shook off the hook after a minute, and we watched it return to the depths.
Noticing a great deal of top-water action and large swirls in shallow water we began to work a small, calm area of the cove. Justin managed to land a 26â€ Northern Pike with a small spoon (color: pink, blue and white), which later became our dinner back at camp.
As we were wrestling with the pike on shore to remove the deeply engulfed lureÂ and striving to maintain all of our fingers, the â€œJustin Rigâ€ attracted yet another fish. This time, we were able to land the carp and snap a quick photo before releasing back into the lake.
We fished up and down the shoreline of the cove for the remainder of the afternoon, soaking up the mid-day sun, enjoying a few cold beers and catching the occasional smallmouth bass. There were a couple more encounters with carp, but they proved difficult to successfully hook and land. Probably for the best, as we did not intend to keep them and would prefer they returned to the water unharmed and healthy.
As the afternoon drew to a close, we had to head back to camp, clean the pike, eat, pack and get on the road to Bismarck, ND. Weâ€™ve all been there… standing on the shore, wondering what fish are waiting below, and debating when to call it quits. One more castâ€¦this is the one.
Well, on the last cast of the day, I managed to catch a nice drum which put up a great fight before I released it back to the big lake.
It was a fantastic end to my day, and our 2011 trip to Lake Sakakawea. Three years running, and my visits to the lake keep getting better.