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Contact: Denny Fox, 920-505-0122

Anglers Insight Marketing LLC (AIM™)


 Lake Sak Looks To Be A Free-For-All As The Fish Are Ready And Waiting For AWWS North Dakota Division Teams


Better pack live bait. And cranks. And crawlers. And plastics. And jigs. And.….Right now, North Dakota’s Lake Sakakawea is as hot as it’s ever been for walleye, and for Sunday’s AIM Weekend Walleye Series Warrior Boats Open.

Everything’s working, say three who’ll be on the water trying their best to best the field and card what most say will be the more than 30 pounds needed to take first.

Kyle Hertz of Williston, ND, at the far western end of Lake Sak, is among those who’ll get the “go” Sunday morning, and says the lake is the best it’s been in years.

“The lake is outstanding right now. The average fish is 20 inches,” Hertz said. “Before, it was 16 to 18 inches, and it’s not uncommon for someone to be pulling a 5- to 6-pounder out of there. And, it’s about anywhere in the lake. It could be won right off the start, or it could be won out west. And it could be anything, pulling live bait or pulling cranks.

The mountain runoff is filling the lake fast, added angler Dennis Bense, of Bismarck, who reports the lake level is rising at a foot a week. That’s a lot of water. He, too, said teams can expect to boat a lot of fish.

“The question is, are you going to be able to catch the right fish. You can catch a lot up to 20 inches but the bigger ones are harder to come by. Right now, both agreed, it’s a presentation free-for-all.

“You can pull bouncers, crankbaits, live bait, minnows, crawlers, plastics. You can catch fish any way you want, Bense said. He’s looking for lots of action in the now in the “shallow” bays, which won’t be shallow much longer.

“We’re going to have some wind Sunday, so the north side of the lake will offer a bit of protection. Traditionally when it’s calm, the fishing isn’t nearly as good,” he said.

He might even be using his 350 Verado to run west to Vanhook Arm, which like the entire lake, is “on fire right now,” says entrant Gary Cayko of Mandan, just across the river from Bismarck.

“It’ll probably take 28 to 32 or 33 pounds to win it this weekend, Cayko said. “The lake is loaded with 14- to 18-inch walleye. There will be hundreds of them on the photo cards. It’s finding the 24- to 26-inchers.

Last year when AIM visited, the tourney was won within a mile or two of the boat ramp.

“I don’t think it’ll be won there. The fishing seems to be best farther west this year. It’ll probably be won in Vanhook Arm. That’s a 50-mile run one way. That isn’t too bad considering we ran 118 miles for the NWT.”

Cayko predicts that the minnow bite may be tapering, and leeches and crawlers will be coming into play.

“I’ve also heard of people using jigging Raps near the islands called the Seven Sisters. But whatever your favorite style of fishing is, you’ll be able to concentrate on that. The way fishing has been it’s not going to take anybody out of their comfort zones. Everything’s going to catch fish.”

The proof will be at Sunday’s awards. Team registration will begin at 5 p.m. Saturday at Garrison’s Hunter’s Bar and Grill. Launch and recovery, and the awards ceremony Sunday will be at Garrison’s Fort Stevenson State Park. Boats get the “go” starting at 7 a.m., and will return starting at 3 p.m.


Anglers Insight Marketing LLC (AIM™) is a unique tournament organization created and owned by many of the most accomplished and recognizable professional walleye anglers, along with others who share the mission of advancing competitive walleye fishing and making it sustainable into the future. AIM is committed to marketing excellence on behalf of its tournament competitors, the tournament host communities, and the brands that partner with it. AIM is also committed to maintaining healthy fisheries across the nation by the development of the exclusive AIM Catch-Record-Release™ format, which is integral to its dynamic events and unparalleled consumer engagement. For more information about AIM™, AIM Pro Walleye Series™, AIM Weekend Walleye Series, AIM sponsors and AIM anglers, visit

AIM Presenting Sponsors: Yamaha Motor Corporation U.S.A. and Warrior Boats, LLC.

AIM Supporting Sponsors: Mercury Marine, Nitro Boats, Navionics, Garmin, Power Pole, Worldwide Marine Insurance, AirWave Pedestals, Off Shore Tackle, Vibrations Tackle, Pro Chattrr, National Fleet Graphics, Gemini Sport Marketing, Warrior Boat Center.

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