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Fishing At Lake Sakakawea In 2024

AKA: Sakakawea Reservoir

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By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

Fish species to fish for...

Guide to fishing for smallmouth bass, channel catfish, walleye, Chinook salmon, northern pike and sauger at Lake Sakakawea in North Dakota.

Lake Sakakawea, ND

Created by by Garrison Dam on the Missouri River, Lake Sakakawea is home to quality walleye and smallie fishing, plus big pike and salmon. This giant, 368,000-acre lake is located in the west-central part of the state, stretching from Garrison to Williston.

The purpose of this page is to deliver an overview of this lake, the fishing options, and area amenities. Our goal is to provide info to first time visitors, as well as beginner and novice anglers. We gathered details from personal experience, numerous trusted websites, and videos of fishing activity on the lake. These websites include the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, marinas at the lake, campgrounds, boat rental agencies and others. By consolidating this information to one page it allows visitors to see the entire picture, all in one place.

Lake Video

Lake Sakakawea is a massive reservoir in northwestern North Dakota, formed by the Garrison Dam on the Missouri River. It is a highly regarded fishing destination known for its excellent angling opportunities and diverse fish species. Anglers flock to Lake Sakakawea to pursue a variety of popular fish species, including smallmouth bass, walleye, sauger, Chinook salmon, channel catfish, and northern pike.

Smallmouth bass fishing in Lake Sakakawea is particularly noteworthy, with anglers enjoying the chance to catch these feisty fighters. The rocky shorelines, submerged structure, and points provide excellent habitat for smallmouth bass. Anglers can use a variety of techniques such as casting with crankbaits, jigs, and soft plastics to entice these aggressive fish. Lake Sakakawea offers ample opportunities for smallmouth bass fishing, with the potential for trophy-sized catches.

Walleye fishing is one of the main draws of Lake Sakakawea, and the reservoir is renowned for its robust walleye population. The lake's structure, including submerged islands, points, and humps, provides ideal habitat for walleye. Anglers employ techniques such as trolling with crankbaits or spinner rigs, jigging, and live bait presentations to target walleye. Lake Sakakawea offers not only quantity but also quality walleye fishing, making it a favored destination among anglers.

Sauger, a close relative of walleye, is another popular species in Lake Sakakawea. Anglers can target sauger using similar techniques as walleye fishing, focusing on deeper water and areas with current. Sauger fishing provides a thrilling experience and a chance to catch both sauger and walleye in the same outing.

Lake Sakakawea is also known for its Chinook salmon fishery. These hard-fighting fish are sought after by anglers for their impressive size and acrobatic displays. Trolling with downriggers, flasher-fly combinations, and spoons is a common method for targeting Chinook salmon. The reservoir's deep, cool waters provide an ideal environment for these powerful fish.

Channel catfish and northern pike are also popular species in Lake Sakakawea. Anglers can target channel catfish using cut bait, stink bait, or live bait near submerged structure and channels. Northern pike, known for their aggressive strikes, can be caught using large spoons, spinners, or swimbaits near weed beds, points, and drop-offs.

Lake Sakakawea in the northwestern sector of North Dakota is a premier fishing destination offering abundant opportunities to catch smallmouth bass, walleye, sauger, Chinook salmon, channel catfish, and northern pike. Whether you're an experienced angler seeking trophy-sized fish or a recreational angler looking for a relaxing fishing experience, Lake Sakakawea has something to offer. Its scenic beauty, diverse fishery, and extensive boating and camping facilities make it an attractive destination for fishing enthusiasts of all levels.

If you like fishing the shallows around the shore, there is over 1,300 miles of shoreline to explore. If you like structure fishing or trolling, there is almost 180 miles of river channel, ledges and humps. In addition to bass, walleye, pike and salmon, the lake has healthy populations of catfish and sauger. Well over a dozen boat launch ramps are scattered up and down the lake for boat access from either the north or the south side of the lake. Kayaks and canoes can be launched from many of the public access areas, parks and campgrounds. Several marinas provide boating services, some with rental boats.

Fishing Boats For Rent In North Dakota

Primary fish species residing in Lake Sakakawea

Click images for fishing tips and details about each species.

Smallmouth bass Channel catfish Walleye Chinook salmon Northern pike Sauger

Lake Sakakawea Amenities

Marina: YES
Boat Rental: YES
Boat Launch Ramp: YES
Campgrounds: YES
RV Hookups: YES
Lodging: YES
Convenience Store: YES
Bait & Tackle: YES
Restaurant: YES

Today's Weather & Forecast

Boating is a popular activity on Lake Sakakawea, with numerous boat ramps and marinas available for anglers to launch their vessels. The vast expanse of the reservoir allows for easy exploration and access to different fishing spots. Camping facilities around Lake Sakakawea offer anglers the opportunity to extend their stay and enjoy the natural beauty of the surrounding area.

Public Boat Launch Ramps & Landings

Beulah Bay Campground Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, on the south side of the lake, off 6th Street NW, this is a three-lane, concrete ramp with docks and gravel parking.

Camp of the Cross Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the northeast section of the lake, off 13th Street NW, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and gravel parking.

Dakota Waters Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, on the south side of the lake, off Beulah Bay Road, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.

Douglas Creek Bay Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the northeast section of the lake, off 14th Street NW, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with gravel parking.

Douglas Creek Public Use Area North Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the northeast section of the lake, off 11th Street NW, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with gravel parking.

Douglas Creek Public Use Area South Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the northeast section of the lake, off 11th Street NW, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and gravel parking.

Fort Stevensons State Park Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the northeast section of the lake, off 41st Avenue NW, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.

Garrision Bay Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the northeast section of the lake, off 13th Street NW,this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and gravel parking.

Government Bay Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, on the south side of the lake, off Lawson Street, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.

Hazen Bay Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, on the south side of the lake, off Hazen Bay Road, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with docks and gravel parking.

Lewis & Clark State Park Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the northwest section of the lake, off 119th Road NW, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.

McKenzie Bay Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the southwest corner of the lake, off McKenzie Bay Road, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and gravel parking.

Parshall Bay West Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the northwest section of the lake, off 80th Avenue, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with docks and gravel parking.

Rodeo Bay Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, on the south side of the lake, off 42 1/2 Avenue NW, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and gravel parking.

Sakakawea State Park Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, on the south side of the lake, off 42 1/2 Avenue NW, this is a three-lane, concrete ramp with docks and gravel parking.

Sportsmens Centenial Park Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the northeast section of the lake, off 14th Street NW, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and gravel parking.

Steinke Bay Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the northeast section of the lake, off 38th Avenue NW, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and gravel parking.

Van Hook Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the northwest section of the lake, off 38th Street NW, this is two, two-lane, concrete ramps with a docks and gravel parking.

West Totten Trail Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the northeast section of the lake, off 14th Street NW, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and gravel parking.

White Earth Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the northwest section of the lake, off C Street, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with docks and gravel parking.

Wolf Creek Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the southeast section of the lake, off 9th Street NW, this is a two, two-lane, concrete ramps with a dock and gravel parking.

Marinas

De Trobriand Bay Marina
1252 41st Ave NW
Garrison, ND 58540
701 337-5576

Lake Sakakawea State Park Marina
42 1/2 Ave NW
Pick City, ND 58545
701 487-3315

Lund's Landing Marina & Lodge
11350 Hwy. 1804
Ray, North Dakota 58849
701 568-3474

Tobacco Gardens Resort & Marina
4781 ND-1806
Watford City, ND 58854
701 842-4199

Click here for a North Dakota Fishing License.

Campgrounds & RV Parks Nearby

Lake Sakakawea State Park Campground - 701 487-3315

Downstream Campground - 701 654-7701

Morning Star Campground - 701 654-7636

Wolf Creek Campground - 701 654-7411

Fort Stevenson State Park Campground - 701 337-5576

Parshall Bay Campground - 701 654-7411

Brendle's Bay Campground - 701 862-3611

Van Hook Resort Campground - 701 627-3377

New Town Marina Campground - 701 627-3900

Little Beaver Campground - 530 534-6500

Lewis and Clark State Park Campground - 701 859-3071

Dakota Waters Resort Campground - 701 873-5800

Stoney Hill RV Park - 701 337-2026

Lake Sakakawea ND Map - Fishing & Camping Areas

Contact Information

Lake Sakakawea
Lake Sakakawea State Park
781 42 1/2 Ave NW
Hazen, ND 58545
701 487-3315

 

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