After a final day of temperatures in the 70s, the balmy, halycon, days of what has been a gorgeous autumn will be taking leave of the area heading into the weekend. And sometime beyond according to weather prognosticators. With that, the period of demarcation separating the tossing of a line into rippling water and the dropping of bait through a hole in the ice may soon be upon us. Despite the recent warm temperatures, the strong winds of recent days limited fishing activity in the area last week though good fishing opportunities do remain as the temperature drop off could spur a late fall feeding frenzy. At the very least, a nice thought to ponder while considering an upcoming outing to one of these area hotspots.
Angostura Reservoir: Angostura continues to produce a steady walleye bite. Or did so until the winds began to kick up with a vengeance. Minnows with Lindy rigs and jigs and minnows were the baits of choice with the fish typically located in 16-20 feet of water. Also, some nice perch in the 10-12 inch range were showing up as well.
Belle Fourche Reservoir (Orman): On the good news front, the walleye bite was good last week with both shore fishermen (Gadens Point area particularly) and boaters sharing in the action. Unfortunately, high winds negated a good portion of the pleasure typically associated with such success. The dose of cold weather soon to be served up will add a double negative to the proceedings. Main dock is still in though the cleaning station has been closed.
Black Hills Fly Fishing: Onset of cooler weather scheduled to move in today shouldn’t hamper fly fishing in the Black Hills other than adding an element of discomfort to the rod-holder. Nymph and stream fishing will prove most effective while dry fly fishing will be best during afternoon hours. Cooler temps will likely expand areas of activity as trout move into faster flows at times.
Canyon Lake: Some trout activity reported at times with powerbait and trout spinners working best.
Deerfield Reservoir: Some trout activity most days on powerbait and night crawlers. Below the dam (Castle Creek), fly fishermen, taking advantage of a mid-afternoon BWO hatch, have been enjoying excellent trout bite as well.
Pactola Reservoir: A decent trout bite continues on powerbait and trout spinners, and anglers are still finding lake trout bite in deeper waters though fish caught now are on the small side with majority measuring out under 24 inches. Rumors of a northern pike bite appear unfounded as one dedicated pike fisherman out last week managed but a single four pounder in a day’s activity.
Roubaix Lake: Trout bite continues on powerbait and trout spinners
Shadehill Reservoir: Though walleye and crappie bites were ongoing last week, anglers for the most part passed up the opportunity last week due to strong winds.
Sheridan Lake: Litte action reported as the fall turnover continues to roil fishing activity. A few northern pike have been showing along Hwy. 385 though little action otherwise.
Lake Oahe: Very little fishing activity on the big lake last week as the opening of pheasant season coupled with high winds and a summer of slow walleye action on the lake dimmed angler interest.
Lake Sharpe: With walleye activity on Oahe below normal standards, fall fishing has been largely limited to Sharpe leading to crowded conditions at times, a situation that again arose last week as a number of sportsmen chose to mix in a late season fishing excursion into their pheasant hunting adventure. Nonetheless, the walleye bite remains steady throughout the system.
Lake Francis Case: Shore fishermen working the rip-rap areas continue to enjoy a steady walleye bite as are boaters near bridges though as elsewhere, the late week winds limited angler interest.
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.