Whether attributable to World Series watching, cold and windy weather, or the realization that November is upon us, fishing activity in the area slowed considerably last week. Needless to say, a paucity of fishermen testing the waters, doesn’t allow for a great deal of experiential evidence as to fish preferences. Nonetheless, perhaps warmer weekend weather predicted will entice a few anglers to try their luck before fishing morphs from a soft to hard water endeavor. Pessimism aside, here are some spots where the chances of fishing success remain positive. An additional favorable note: is the time of year where northern pike to typically put on the winter prep feedbag.
Angostura Reservoir: Windy conditions discouraged all but the occasional diehard last week. Walleye bite does appear to be ongoing, however, as the few anglers out were having success. Lindy rigs/minnows and jigs worked in 16-20 feet of water was still working best.
Belle Fourche Reservoir (Orman): To be expected, wind chill kept people off the lake for the most part last week. Walleye are still looking for a snack, however, so perhaps warmer weather predicted for the weekend will draw an angler or two. Main dock is still in though the cleaning station has been closed.
Black Hills Fly Fishing: Colder temperatures, particularly at higher elevations, will affect fly fishing opportunities though if temps stay above 32 degrees, trout activity should remain strong in area streams. Also, might be a good time to take the flies to area lakes and look to land some nice-sized northern pike. For anglers willing to travel Owen Lake (Perkins County), Gardner (Harding County) and Keyhole (Wyoming) should be producing pike activity as well.
Deerfield Reservoir: Anglers are still catching trout on powerbait and nightcrawlers on the lake and below the dam as well where fly fishermen have been utilizing a mid-afternoon BWO hatch to good advantage.
Pactola Reservoir: Trout remain active on powerbait and trout spinners, and the occasional lake trout — on the small side generally — is still being caught in deep water. While the northern pike bite perhaps hasn’t been off the charts, the fish are there and should be reeding near ledges and dropoffs.
Roubaix Lake: Trout bite continues on powerbait and trout spinners
Sheridan Lake: Northern pike activity on the lake should be picking up steam, an excellent opportunity for both fly and baited hook fishermen to have some fun on a fall day in the hills.
Lake Oahe: Low interest on the big lake continues as walleye and bass remain difficult to locate which when coupled with cold, windy conditions makes the thought of fall hunting a more inviting proposition. Salmon, however, are milking near Gettysburg so the salmon will be running shortly.
Lake Sharpe: Walleye remain active though fishing activity has dropped off considerably, however limits are being taken throughout the system. Tailrace below the dam continues to attract attention.
Lake Francis Case: Though water level is quite low, walleye bite at Chamberlain has been quite good with anglers-boat and shore--having success with crappie rigs and minnows.
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.