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Fishing on North Dakota's Beautiful Lake Sakakawea!

Liebel's Guide Service


Liebel's Guide Service Fishing Reports

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5-30-14 Fishing Report

Posted on May 30, 2014 at 9:29 PM Comments comments (0)
I was able to make it out yesterday in the Little Beaver Bay area.  We headed east since the water looked dirty west.  The fishing was a lot slower than last Saturday, we did manage 8 keeper walleyes trolling cranks again, but it seems like the mass of fish have moved further down the river.  The wind limited us from running around a lot but it was nice to get out on the water again!  I will not be out any this weekend but will be fishing most of next week so stay tuned for updates and give me a call if you would like to experience beautiful Lake Sakakawea!

5-28-14 Fishing Report

Posted on May 28, 2014 at 5:09 PM Comments comments (120)
Well the school year is finished, my high school golf coaching season is done, so that only leaves one thing!  FISHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was finally able to make it out this past weekend with North Dakota Pro Jim Carroll.  We went out of the New Town Marina and ran up to the White Earth area.  The fishing was PHENOMENAL!  One after another after another.  We were trolling crank baits in 7-12 feet of water on the flats looking for active fish and there were plenty!  The water temperature was a big key to our success, the north side of the lake had temperatures around 62, while the south side had temperatures between 54-57 degrees.  The south side was very slow fishing and the north side was on fire!  That is a big key this time of year, you need to find the warmest water.  While we didn't catch any real big fish, but we did mark some bigger fish deep.  The big females are probably recovering from the spawn and in a few days will move back up shallow and feast!  We made a you tube video of the day as well!  Check it out here!

Since I am not done with all my other commitments, I am now available for guide trips starting next week Tuesday May 3rd.  I will have also put a calendar link for the upcoming months and will keep that updated so you can see which days I'm available.  Check that out on the Upcoming events page.  Give me a call (701)770-6746 to book your trip today!  Remember i do require a $150 deposit to secure a date.  I accept most major credit cards!

2014 Williston Sport & Recreation Show

Posted on March 1, 2014 at 1:07 PM Comments comments (111)
On March 14th, 15th, and 16th the Williston CVB will be hosting the 2014 Sport and Recreation Show.  This show is loaded with some great walleye fishing seminars.  There are seminars from, Jason Mitchell, Host of Jason Mitchell Outdoors; Johnnie Candle, and Ted Takasaki who are both longtime professional tournament anglers.  They will share years of walleye fishing knowledge of over the course of a few hours.  

I will also be presenting a couple of future angler seminars.  My seminars will be geared towards the youth or anyone who is just getting into fishing.  I hope to have a fun and interactive seminar showing the fishing basics that will get anyone hooked on fishing!  Also at the seminar I will have many prizes to give away.  Andy at Scenic Sports graciously donated 50 rod & reel combos to give away.  The NPAA and the Future Angler Foundation also donated future pro T-shirts, water bottles, and casting plugs.

Besides the seminars I will be hosting casting practice in the kid zone area.  The kids will get a chance to sharpen their casting skills in one of the racquetball courts which is great because it is a controlled area where kids can avoid major tangles!

I will also have a separate booth on the upper level of the show where you can book your guide trips for the upcoming summer.  Please be sure to stop by and talk some fishing!

2-26-14 Fishing Report & Rooster Run Recap

Posted on February 26, 2014 at 3:44 PM Comments comments (16)
Well the 2014 Rooster Run Ice Fishing Tournament is all wrapped up and we are looking forward to next year!  We once again want to thank all our sponsors for conrtibuting and making this event even better!  Things didn't go as smoothly as we had hoped but we have already decided on some changes that will be made for next year.  If you have any constructive comments or concerns please email me and we will adress them.  Just remember this tournament is put on by fisherman for fisherman so we like to participate as well.
Thanks again to all our Sponors
  • NorthCountry Marine
  • Scheels
  • Walmart
  • Newbies Ace Hardware
  • Runnings
  • DroptineProduction Services
  • Big Boys Toys
  • Dakota Tackle
  • Scott’s Bait and Tackle
  • Reef Runner
  • HT Enterprises
  • Veterans Roustabout and Hot Shotting
  • The Rooster
  • Sportsman’s Loft
  • Rosies
  • Andrus Outdoors
  • Home of Economy
  • Thrivent Financial
  • The Little Bar and Grill
    For my brother Nick and I we had a little bit of a tough bite, especially compared to last year...  We had a few places where we had caught some decent walleyes prefishing but it was never real consistent.  We never found a consistent sauger bite like we had the last year.  Our first afternoon was real slow only managing to catch 5 keeper sized fish and only 3 of those were what i would conisder decent at best.  We did catch a bunch of 11-13 inch walleyes that kept us busy during the evening bite.  We ended the day with 7 pounds and change and around 15th place.  The overnight bite really saved us from having a real disappointing tournament.  Nick caught 3 18-20 inch walleyes from 1-3am, without those fish we are looking at the same weight as the day before.  We managed to catch 6 keeper fish on day 2 and weighed 11 pounds and change.  We focused on rock points in 18-28 feet of water for our walleyes.  Some of the saugers came in that range during the 1 and last hours of daylight.  The other saugers came in 55-65 feet.  We ended the tournament tied for 7th place and the paid to 6 places... FRUSTRATING.  Here are the final results for the tournament: Rooster Run Final Results
    We should have about a month left of good ice fishing, I will try and report when i get chances to go out so stay tuned!

    January 28th 2014

    Posted on January 28, 2014 at 11:11 PM Comments comments (594)
    Well we are into 2014 and ice fishing is in full swing!  I have made it out a few times and have found some mixed results.  We have had some good days and some slow days.  The weather has been the same, some really cold and other really nice!  I did hear of some pressure ridges opening up last weekend so please use caution when out on the ice. Remember there is no such thing as 100% safe ice.

    Last weekend was the Tobacco Gardens Catch for a Cure Ice Fishing Tournament.  My brother Nick and I took part along with 52 other teams.  It was a great turnout and the weather cooperated pretty well for January in North Dakota.  The fishing was slow for us only managing 7 keeper saugers, and we weighed 6 for a total of 7.30 pounds. The fish were in a really neutral or even negative mood as they would rarely hit a jigging rod.  Most fish came on dead sticks and there was no real pattern for us.  It took 16 pounds to win the even and 10.5 to cash a check.  So we didn't finish where we had hoped but out pre fishing hadn't yielded much better results so it wasn't a big surprise.

    Coming up in a few weeks we have the Rooster Run Ice Fishing tournament so i will be heading to the skunk bay area to prefish.  I will give an update on the tourney as the time approaches.


    Posted on October 9, 2013 at 10:09 PM Comments comments (0)
    Mason Matthew Liebel.  Future Guide in Training for Liebel's Guide Service!Well once again it's been a long time since I've updated my website... its been well over a month, but what a month it's been!  The biggest and most important thing happened on September 17th at 12:59pm, when we welcomed Mason Matthew Liebel into the world!  He was 2 weeks earlier than expected and came at just the right time, we have to thank the doctors and nurses for all they did and also God for looking down on us with him!  He was born 4lbs 11oz and 18in long!  For his size the doctors said he was very healthy!  He did have to stay in the hospital for 10 days while he put on weight, but he is now home and doing great!  We are even getting some sleep at night(keyword: some)!

    North Dakota Moose swimming across Lake SakakaweaMy fishing time has been very limited as we adjust to a new baby, but I have managed to get out twice since he was born.  Jeff and I ventured out of Lund's Landing on September 29th for a few hours in the morning.  While the fishing was slow it was a beautiful morning!  The highlight of the day was watching a young bull moose swim across the lake!  The width of the lake where he crossed it 2.25 miles! He looked a little bit tired after the long journey.  Check out the photo gallery for more moose pictures.  While we only boated one nice walleye for the day it was nice to get out on the water!  

    The Tobacco Gardens Fall Walleye Classic was held last Saturday October 5th, and it was a chilly one!  With temps below freezing at takeoff it made for a cold run across the lake.  I was fishing with my brother Nick and we decided that with the cold weather, we would look to traditional late fall/early ice locations.  It didn't work out well for us.  We caught a lot of catfish and started bouncing around from spot to spot, putting over 50 miles on the boat.  We gave them a selection of jigs, lindy rigs, and cranks.  We couldn't seem to put a pattern together.  We ended up catching 2 walleyes for a total of about 4.5 pounds.  We also caught an 8.9 pound northern that won us biggest northern so we didn't go home empty handed!  The fishing was slow, the teams that did well sat on spots all day to try and grind out 6 fish.  That just isn't my style of fishing, I would much rather run and gun, trying to find active fish.  Oh well! That's why they call it fishing!  I have to again send a huge shout-out to Mike Russell and Concord Energy for sponsoring our entry fee for the event! 

    The fall fishing on Lake Sakakawea can be great!  The opportunity for trophy class walleyes is there and the fall is prime time to catch the fish of a lifetime!  I have a few weekends available, and also Thursday, October 17th and Friday, October 18th.  Give me a call and we can discuss a fall walleye trip!

    The Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers should also be heating up, as of now the water is dirty but the fish are there, and it doesn't take a big improvement in clarity for the bite to fire up!  Fall is just a great time to be on the water in western North Dakota!


    Posted on September 3, 2013 at 8:26 PM Comments comments (115)
    Wow, It's been way too long since I've updated my fishing reports.  I've been very busy with golf practice, school and preparing for a new baby boy expected to arrive October 2nd!  

    First off the Casino Cup Recap is pretty simple.  We had a few decent fish located a LONG ways from the start point, so we made the long runs both days and the bigger fish just didn't bite...  We caught alot of fish but nothing with any size so we ended up placing much lower than we would have preferred. But that's fishing!  Again I'd like to thank Mike Russell and Concord Energy Transportation for sponsoring us in these tournaments!  

    Fishing the past few weeks has been pretty good up on the west end of the lake from Lewis & Clark State Park to White Earth Bay!  The fish on this end of the lake have not followed the trend on moving deep with hot weather.  Our best bites have been coming in 5-12 feet, we have caught a few out to 16 feet.  Crankbaits have out produced spinners but yesterday it was the opposite.  Nightcrawlers were the bait of choice!  The fishing has been great all summer on Lake Sakakawea and believe it or not, it should only get better as fall sets in!  Big fish that are scattered right now should group up and put on the feed bag to fatten up for the winter!  Fall is usually your best chance at a whopper Lake Sakakawea Walleye!  The River up near Williston also cleans up and the big walleyes are lurking and catchable as well!

    I am now busy with school, so i am unable to guide during the work week, but i do have some weekend dates available.  Also with baby due Oct 2nd I will be guiding only out of Lund's Landing or Lewis & Clark State Park for the time being.  You may have noticed there is now a deposit page on my website, this 50% deposit is now required to reserve your date.  Please call first to confirm that I have the date available, then you can pay the deposit.  Paypal is the preferred method to make a deposit, but I can accepts credit cards over the phone(requires a 2.99% charge).  Once i receive your deposit I will call to confirm the date!  Deposits are refundable until 5 days prior to the trip.  Otherwise they are NONREFUNDABLE except for weather cancellations or cancellations on my end due to baby being born!  Sorry for the inconvenience but it is a necessary thing due to previous cancellations the morning of scheduled trips.

    7-29-13 Governors Cup and DWC Recap

    Posted on July 29, 2013 at 3:14 PM Comments comments (207)
    The past 2 weeks have been extremely busy with the ND Governors Cup and the Dakota Walleye Classic fishing tournaments!  These are 2 of the biggest fishing tournaments you will find anywhere and they are both very well run tournaments!  

    The ND Governors Cup was held July 19th and 20th out of Fort Stevenson State Park. The weather was pretty consistent throughout the week prefishing with temperatures in the 80's, but come tournament day we had cooler temps which changed the fishing for many people and it proved to be a very tough tournament.  We started out Friday morning in the old coal min they call Garrison Bay.  45 minutes into fishing we hooked a nice 22 inch walleye on a #9 shallow Shad Rap.  After a few more passes we moved to a steep point on an island and pulled live bait and Tory caught a 26.5in walleye right away!  Then a few minutes later i pulled in a 23.5 in walleye!  It's now 10:30 and we have 3 good fish in the boat!  We then caught a 15 inch walleye and a 18 inch sauger but since it was early and we only needed 2 more good fish we let them both go...  Then our bite died. We fished all over in Garrison Bay trying to get 2 more bites...  We finally left and ran over Douglas Bay to our Plan B spots and found that our fish there had moved as well... No marks on the HDS-8 anywhere.  So we had about 75 minutes of fishing time remaining, we blast back to Garrison Bay and put the cranks  down to try and find any active fish that wanted to bite.  After 2 big northerns tricked us into thinking we had a big walleye, we finally caught a small sauger that had to go in the well.  We ended the day with 4 fish and a total of 14.93 pounds and in 15th place.

    Day 2 once again had cooler temperature and some scattered rain showers.  We decided we were going to try and grind out 5 good bites out of Garrison Bay.  We had the first flight and hoped to catch some before all the boats made it back there, but that plan failed...  We only had one decent fish at noon, we then moved out towards the mouth of the coal mine and managed to catch another decent 21 inch walleye and 3 other small fish to make our 5 fish limit.  We then searched hard to find 3 upgrades but we couldn't manage to get the right bites.  We had 8.22 pounds for day 2 and ended up in 19th place out of 252 teams.  That finish earned us a $750 check!  The bite was alot more difficult than most people expected, especially with how good the fishing has been all year on the lake.  Congratulations to the team of Bethke and Power, they managed to find 43 pounds of fish and run away with the ND Governors Cup Title!  A great effort when you look at the difficulty most of the teams had!

    The Dakota Walleye Classic was held July 26th and 27th out of Beulah Bay.  177 teams set out trying to find 10 walleyes big enough to bring home the $12,000 first place prize!  I fished this tournament with my brother Nick, and we had a great time!  Prefishing we had found a good crankbait bite in 28-32 feet of water, we lots of smelt along with many big arches nearby! So we decided that there was no need to fish live bait, even with another big cold front coming through.  On day 1 the fishing was good for smaller fish in the 16 inch range but we knew we would need bigger fish to win, so we kept trolling away trying to find some bigger bites.  We ended up getting 2 good fish in the afternoon and ended the day with 12.74 pounds and in 19th place.  Day 2 we had the same game plan knowing that the leaders were in the same area, and still seeing many fish on the HDS-8.  The fish were alot more scattered day 2 and didn't cooperate as well.  We made a couple moves and found one good walleye along with 4 smaller fish and ended the day with 10.22 pounds and moved up 2 place to finish 17th and take home a $350 check!  Congrats again to the team of Foss and Arndt for their efforts, pulling in 34 pounds of walleye to take home the first place prize!

    Coming up this weekend is the 4Bears Casino Tournament held out of New Town, ND!  The bite up on the west end of the lake has been good!  It will be interesting to see what the weather does and how the fish react!

    I have to throw out a big thank you to Mike Russell and Concord Energy for sponsoring us in these fishing tournaments!  It is very much appreciated!

    The summer is starting to wind down with school starting in less than a month so dates are becoming limited, especially weekend dates.  My next open weekend date is August 17th and 18th!  If you're looking for a guide trip on Lake Sakakawea give me a call ASAP!!! 

    ND Governors Cup Preview! 7-17-13

    Posted on July 17, 2013 at 1:41 PM Comments comments (109)
    Well it's tournament season!!! The North Dakota Governors Cup starts in 2 days, and the fishing has slowed down a little bit on the east end of Lake Sakakawea.  But there are still plenty of fish being caught, the tournament winning size fish are just tough to come by.  It will be interesting to see what the 252 boat field will find!  Somebody always finds the big fish and hopefully we will find some luck and put a good limit in the boat each day!  Good Luck to all the teams fishing!  I will report back at the conclusion of the tournament. So stay tuned!

    The fishing on the west end of the lake has been really picking up with good reports coming from the white earth bay area and some reports even farther west.  Lindy's, Spinners, and cranks have all been producing.  Depths have ranged from 5-25 feet so watch your electronics closely to see what depths they are hanging in!


    Posted on June 21, 2013 at 11:24 PM Comments comments (14)
    Thursday, June 20 we headed out of Deepwater Bay a little bit later than planned due to severe thunderstorms going through the area.  I was a little bit nervous since that the fish wouldn’t cooperate after that show Mother Nature put on.  But the walleyes didn’t care about the thunderstorms… They wanted to eat!  Slow Deaths and crawlers were the best but lindys and minnows or leeches also caught plenty of fish.  We had 15 in the boat relatively quickly and then as the wind came up we put the cranks down.  The walleyes and northerns loved the cranks in 10-12 feet at about 2.3-2.8mph.  One northern loved the cranks so much it ate even with a full stomach!  We noticed the big stomach then looked inside its mouth!  We decided it needed to go to the cleaning table for closer examination, that revealed a 16 inch sauger in its stomach!  Our total count for the day was 32 walleyes, 5 northerns, and 2 Smallmouth bass!   

    Then today Friday, June 21 I had Ethan his son Bohden and nephew Jalen out  for another fishing adventure!  We again went out of Deepwater bay and had the same program as yesterday!  Again the fish liked crawlers, minnows, leeches, crankbaits, you name it!  Our total count for the day was 48 walleyes, 8 northerns, and 4 smallmouth bass, 2 drum, and a few white bass as well!  Jalen caught his first fish ever today! Ethan had a personal best walleye!  Bohden caught a big beautiful white bass!  It was a great day out on the water with action a plenty!   Check out the photo gallery for all the pics from the trips!

    I have 2 days available next Monday or Tuesday if you want to book a trip while the fishing is hot!  I then will be busy and won’t be taking any more trips until the 11 of July.  July is very busy for me with 3 fishing tournaments so call asap to book the days I have available!