A cool, damp weather snap over the weekend led to a slight dip in water temperatures on area lakes and streams, which should begin to jumpstart fall fishing opportunities particularly relative to the walleye bite in area lakes and trout bite in Black Hills streams. Area fishing activity was light over the weekend as fishing enthusiasts, with a nod to the weather, apparently opted for college or NFL football. Perhaps this weekend’s expected nice weather will renew interest. Should that be so, here are some spots worthy of attention.
Angostura Reservoir: Prompted by the cooler weather, a somewhat unpredictable walleye bite gathered steam last week with some anglers limiting out in a couple of hours. Working 15-20 feet of water with Lindy rigs and minnows was the ticket. Also, crappies continue to be active near tires in the south marina.
Belle Fourche Reservoir (Orman): Activity remains very slow as low water level and an abundance of shad as bait have kept walleye largely inactive. Reports do indicate that anglers working the Gaden’s Point area are finding come smallmouth bass action.
Black Hills Fly Fishing: Cooler temps and rainfall contributed to enhanced dry fly fishing opportunities for trout in area streams. Also, a blue-winged olive hatch through September should further enhance dry fly fishing activity.
Deerfield Reservoir: Trout bite slowed from previous week though boat fishermen were catching plenty of perch in 35-40 feet of water on small jigs with powerbait or nightcrawlers.
Pactola Reservoir: Some lake trout in the 15 to 20 pound range are being caught on white plastics and jigs in 60-80 foot of water. Also, boaters are catching trout on flat fish or spinners.
Roubaix Lake: Trout bite has resumed on trout spinners and powerbait the presentations of choice.
Shadehill Reservoir: Limits of walleyes and crappies reported on minnows and jigs.
Sheridan Lake: Largemouth bass and crappie action reported in the north bays on minnows and small jigs. Also, perch activity is usually present near the marina buoy line though catches are typically on the small side. And anglers continue to harvest a few trout near the Spring Creek inlet.
Sturgis City Dams: With the dams scheduled to be drained next week, fishermen have the opportunity to enjoy some excellent rainbow trout activity. A five fish limit will be in force and anglers must be licensed. Dams are located south of Sturgis on Vanocker Canyon Road and are not accessible by vehicle and require a two mile hike.
Lakes Oahe: The good news/bad news scenario continues on Oahe. The good news: there isn’t much boat activity so uncontested water is easy to find. The bad: there aren’t many walleye to be had regardless of location as the fish are quite deep. Most of the activity is found near structural elements—underwater points, sunken reefs, humps and bars — and in 40-50 feet water off the very end of points though activity is frustratingly unpredictable.
Lake Sharpe: Walleye bite is reportedly fair around the Pierre/Fort Pierre area with fish typically found in shallow water and responding to bouncers/crawlers. Antelope Creek and Fort George areas remain the most active locations and are producing a nice smallmouth bass bite as well. Crawlers have been best on warm days and minnows on the cooler.
Lake Francis Case: Some walleye activity below Fort Thompson with success often fluctuating with weather. Elm Creek has been producing decent results as well. An improved walleye bite awaits cooler weather.
Dakota Angler & Outfitter, 513 Seventh St., Rapid City; The Rooster, 1441 W. Main St., Rapid City; Wheel and Bait, 18696 Fisherman’s Road, Fruitdale; West Prairie Resort, 28354 182nd, Pierre (605-264-5303), and Angostura State Resort have contributed to this report.