Lethargy prompted by helpings of Thanksgiving turkey and the trimmings lessened an interest in fishing activity this past weekend as angler numbers were decidedly on the low side. Apparently the beautiful weather in the area was devoted to long recuperative walks with family and friends instead.
For those who prefer to have their casted bait splash rather than dropped through a hole in the ice, best get after it this week as a temperature drop accompanied by snow flurries are in next week’s forecast. As perhaps added incentive to get out this weekend, a local bait shop is predicting Dec. 10 as the possible date for area ice fishing opportunities. Here are some late season spots perhaps worthy of such an endeavor.
Angostura Reservoir: No on-site reports received this week though grapevine has it that a few walleye are still being caught on occasion, a situation that should continue through what promises to be a nice weather weekend.
Belle Fourche Reservoir (Orman): Though Thanksgiving family festivities limited the number of fishermen venturing out over the weekend, the few boaters out (main dock is still in at present) were catching some nice-sized walleye (virtually all fish caught were overs). Jigging with a minnow or chub seems to be the trick.
Black Hills Fly Fishing: Trout bite continues to be excellent in Black Hills area streams particularly during midday hours. Dry fly fishing success has dropped off considerably with nymphing with small midge patterns the preferred presentation.
Deerfield Reservoir: There hasn’t been much activity on the lake though brook trout have been showing up below the dam on Castle Creek, a situation that will likely continue until icy conditions prevail. Working deep spots rather than shallows is the key to success.
Pactola Reservoir: Virtually no activity on the lake over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
Spearfish Creek: The creek has been fishing well with a jig trailed by a small midge dropper working best. Deep, heavy, and with patience is generally required. Fish are typically slow to react in colder water and thus working a good spot for a longer than usual period of time is recommended.
Lake Oahe: No reports received on the big lake as a slow summer and fall season draws to a close.
Lake Sharpe: Walleyes are still being caught in Pierre with a decent bite reported from below the dam to points south on days when wind best allows. Shore fishermen continue to find some action near the stilling basin.
Lake Francis Case: A late season walleye bite near Chamberlain has kept some boats on the water around the bridges while shore fishermen have been joining in on the action working riprap areas.
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.