For anglers who prefer diversity, the next week or two should provide variety in abundance as moderately warm days are predicted to mix with others featuring snow showers and and chilly temps. With that, ice fishing opportunities will continue on higher altitude area lakes while prairie lakes will present open water for fishermen who prefer casts with splashes.
Pactola (in spots), Deerfield (in more spots), Lakota, Sylvan, Roubaix, Dalton, and Stockade Lakes have accessible (with caution) ice. For those fishermen who prefer their ice in beverage glasses, Angostura is totally open as is the Missouri River below Oahe Dam. And walleye are on the move.
And so while the last vestiges of winter (dare we hope?) weather have prevented optimal fishing conditions, lakes are opening up and signs are improving. Here’s a quick look at conditions around the area.
Angostura Reservoir: A few boats have been out on the lake testing the newly opened waters and a few of the early birds have been experiencing some success catching walleyes with jigs and minnows.
Belle Fourche Reservoir (Orman): Most of the shorelines have opened--dam area being the exception though ice is unsafe. The channel is running full bore which makes fishing darn near impossible. Some anglers have been working the points at Gadens and Fruitdale above by casting onto the ice and pulling back into open water. Some walleyes reportedly caught though gaining access to either location through fields of mud might curb enjoyment.
Black Hills Fly Fishing: Trout fishing was very good last week and should remain as temperatures continue to creep upward. Hatches of midges continue to be very good and blue-winged olive mayfly hatches are picking up as well.
Deerfield Reservoir: Safe ice reported (watch the shorelines) with 18” of ice currently in play near Dutchman’s and Gold Run areas. And a nice perch bite is in progress as well with most of the action taking place in 40-50 foot of water near the dam. Waxworms and red spikes are the baits of choice.
New Underwood Dam: Bluegills are showing up on nightcrawlers.
Pactola Reservoir: Most of the shorelines have opened up though some ice fishermen are still getting out in Jenney Gulch in pursuit of lake trout. However, bite was slow last week.
Sheridan Lake: Edges are breaking up and ice is crystallizing, a situation that will likely put a hold on fishing activity until open water conditions prevail.
Lake Oahe: Some of the lakeshore points are open and a few anglers have been out seeking northern pike, though without a great deal of success to this point. Conditions should continue to improve over the next couple of weeks weather permitting.
Lake Sharpe: Walleye action reported near stilling basin and near the bridges as walleye move upriver to spawning locations.
Lake Francis Case: Excellent walleye bite reported with anglers trolling with plugs along rip-rap areas having the best of it. Shore fishermen working rocky shorelines have been doing well also.
Fishing Tournaments Notice
● Walleyes Unlimited: April 28-29 at Angostura, 60 two-man team limit, $120 entry fee per team. Entry forms available at area hunting and fishing merchandise outlets or by contacting Walleyes Unlimited.
● Keith Merrell Memorial Kids Cancer Fundraiser sponsored by High Plains Anglers: April 28 (9 a.m.- 1 p.m.) at Belle Fourche Reservoir. At time or registration (Wheel and Bait Shop (18696 Fishermen’s Road) participants will be provided with a 30” inch kids fishing pole ($10 per child, $30 adult) to use during the event. Hot dogs, chips and drinks will be served around noon. Prizes awarded for biggest fish caught. Contact Wheel and Bail Shop (605-892-3000) for additional info.
● 3rd Annual Jared Roe Memorial Walleye Fishing Tournament: June 2 at Angostura. $50 per 3 person team. Briefing at Shelter No. 3 at 7 a.m. Prizes include money and fishing gear with a portion of the proceeds donated to the South Dakota National Guard Supplemental Mission Fund. Visit jaredroememorial.com for additonal info.
● Fall River Swim Team Father’s Day fishing tournament: June 16 at Angostura. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for additional info.
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.