I was able to get out and chase some northern pike over the easter weekend, and there are still plenty of pike in Lake Sakakawea! We focused on shallow areas(3-6 feet) near bays with creeks flowing into them. The bite was a little slower than some reports i had heard earlier in the week but we still had plenty of "flags."
Saturday we were out for about 4.5 hours and managed to ice 8 northerns between 3-8 pounds. Monday we had to search a little bit more to find clearer water and then once we found it we caught 12 in the 2-8 pound range in 3 hours. The fish seemed a little bit sluggish, they would ofter grab the smelt and run a little ways then drop it. Or they would be running like crazy, but when you set the hook all you felt was the smelt rip off the hook. I'm not sure if they were just small northerns or they would just have a small part of the bait in their mouth. It seemed like they were playing mind games with us... Just as you decided to let them swallow it, they would drop it. And then when you hustled over and set the hook right away, they would barely have it in their mouth.
The ice was still very thick and solid, but the warm temps and stronger sun will wear down shorelines quickly which might make access difficult, so be careful. Also remember to bring the sunscreen! The sun reflecting off the ice and snow can give you a nasty sunburn... I'm currently nursing my face back from the burn i sustained Monday.
Dates are starting to fill up for the summer. Please call to reserve your fully guided fishing trip on North Dakota's Beautiful Lake Sakakawea!