A fisherman’s dream scenario looks to be on tap for the week ahead: temperatures rising, walleye spawning in area lakes, and trout activity in area streams picking up steam. Though the unpredictability of weather in recent months may tilt toward caution, this should be the week when even the fair-weather fisherman throws caution to the wind. When so doing, here are some spots where a day or weekend outing may best be rewarded.
Angostura Reservoir: Weekend fishing tournament produced some nice catches with the winning team weighing in 12 fish at 68 pound total weight. Spawning is likely just completed as fish are currently located in 30 feet of water on fish finder but are presently unresponsive. Bite should take in next week or so.
Belle Fourche Reservoir (Orman): Good walleye bite off the dam with just a bobber and a hook. Spawning seems not yet begun as males are milking heavily. Unfortunately, many of the fish caught at present are in the 15-18 inch range and must be returned to the water. Catfish action in channel has been excellent with fish in the 24-26 inch range being taken. High Plains Anglers tournament will keep the lake busy this coming weekend.
Black Hills Fly Fishing: Warmer weather and increased flows have contributed to multiple fishing opportunities in area streams. Rapid Creek is producing catches on nymphs and streamers while trout have been responding to bright flies through the canyon. Castle, Crow and Sand Creeks are busy as well.
Canyon Lake: Trout activity reported with black wooly buggers working and trout spinners working best.
Deerfield Reservoir: The lake still has ice (unsafe) and very little activity at present.
Horsethief Lake: Northern pike in the three to five-pound range were showing up on smelt.
Pactola Reservoir: Bluegill remain on the prowl with small jigs and waxworms or a piece of nightcrawler working best. Most anglers are easily reaching 15 fish limit. Also some small lake trout are being caught in the Jenney Gulch area on golden shiners.
Sheridan Lake: Fishing activity has been slow though a perch bite is picking up near the dam with the fish located in 30-40 feet of water.
Stockade Lake: Some ice and no reports of fishing activity last week.
Lake Oahe: The lake has finally cleared of ice and the boat docks are in. Some northern pike action reported back in bays, however water temps in the 38 degree range have slowed pike spawning though should occur in the next week or so. Walleye activity has not yet taken off either though Cheyenne river bays off Minneconjou area will likely see the first action with the shallows heating up first.
Lake Sharpe: Walleye spawning has not yet started on the lake though a bit of warm weather and higher water temps will trigger spawning soon. With that most walleye caught will be males and majority as has been the pattern recently will be on the small side and require sorting for keepable fish.
Lake Francis Case: Walleye bite stayed hot in the Chamberlain area with the best action located along rip-rap and near bridges.
Fishing Tournaments Notice
● 41st Annual Center of the Nation Fishing Tournament: May 5-6 at Belle Fourche Reservoir/Orman Dam. For more information contact High Plains Anglers, 605-645-8949.
● Dakota Bass Anglers Tournament: May 5, Angostura Recreation Area. For more information contact Coltan Lick, 606-415-2814.
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.