Walleye fishing is s l o w here in the Bismarck/Mandan area. The word on the street (on the stream?) is that north of here, just south of the Tailrace — the backside of the Garrison Dam — and south of here near and in South Dakota is really active. But not a lot for walleye here.
Did go out to Heskett Station north of Mandan several days ago as well as tonight [Saturday night]. Last time, three bites on a jig with a minnow, nothing held on. Tonight [Saturday night], one small walleye (taco size), caught using a floating jig sitting on the bottom in about five feet of water. I would have let it go, but it swallowed the hook pretty well.
Last weekend, however, went to Fish Creek Dam, a small lake about a half-hour west of here. It’s south of I-94 about ten miles, so it’s off the beaten path, and it’s surrounded by hills, so the scenery is nice. It’s small enough it has a “no-wake” rule so I can get around with a trolling motor. No walleye there, but it’s loaded with rainbow trout, as well as brown trout and smallmouth bass. Nice change of pace, as trout really fight and as they’re more day feeders than walleye. So last weekend I caught my limit of rainbow trout (3) as well as my limit of smallmouth bass (also 3) pulling spinners (walleye rig harnesses) with crawlers. Might go out again tomorrow (Sunday), as this might be the last nice weekend we have until May.
Update Monday: I did go out yesterday, Sunday, briefly; the wind and cold did us in. One of us anyway. Not a great bite in any event — part of that was spending more time fighting snags, wind, and line in motors than fishing — but I did nail a 2.5 pound rainbow trout. Got it on a Swedish Pimple with a Gulp! minnow fishing at about 25 feet in 45 feet of water. There’s zillions of rainbow in this little lake, many of them big, and they hit hard and often enough. Fast becoming my favorite place: Small enough for a small boat, beautiful, and great for ice fishing in the winter.