Continued warm weather kept the September bite on the back burner last week though cooler temps, particularly during night hours, upcoming should soon prompt nature’s alert to fish that it’s about time to put the feed bag on. A nice thought to keep in mind while watching the opening weekend of pro football this weekend. Walleye aficionados will likely find Angostura to be their best bet. For others, trout streams and a possible uptick in pike activity in Black Hills lakes are possible alternatives.
Angostura Reservoir: Walleye bite improved somewhat last week with limits caught with a number featuring fish in the 20 inch plus category — and a 32 incher as well. Lindy rigs and minnows worked in 15-20 feet of water are the winning ticket at present. Limits of crappie are being caught along the tires near the south marina as well. A Black Hills Bass Bandits fishing tournament originating at Horse Head ramp is scheduled for this Sunday. Call Mark Zacher at (605) 391-1710, or Todd Willis at (605) 391-3135.
Belle Fourche Reservoir (Orman): Though lake level is low (40 percent capacity at last report) boaters have been able to access the lake. Walleye bite remains quiet due to warm water temps and an excess of bait fish available. Anglers have been catching plenty of catfish in the channel, a situation that varies according to water releases.
Black Hills Fly Fishing: Shorter days and cooler nights (the lament of a country song maybe?) should add up to improving conditions soon though Rapid, Castle, and Spearfish Creeks continue to provide plenty of action. Through town, Rapid Creeks has plenty of trout action in the morning (scuds and jigs with midge patterns).
Deerfield Reservoir: Boat and shore fishermen were finding plenty of trout action last week using powerbait, spinners, and occasionally, cowbells. Perch activity continues as well with crawlers suspended on a small jig in 30-40 feet of water working best.
Pactola Reservoir: Boat fishermen have been picking up 15-20 pound lake trout in 80-feet of water using jigs and white plastics. Some bluegill activity in south bays as well.
Roubaix Lake: Early morning and late evening trout bite in progress with fish responding to powerbait or trout spinners.
Shadehill Reservoir: Not a lot of activity on the lake though the walleye bite has been picking up recently. Lindy rigs and bottom bouncer (minnows or crawlers) have been prompting a bite in 12-18 feet of water.
Sheridan Lake: Trout bite has been steady near mouth of Spring Creek with some boaters reporting limits. Perch remain busy along marina bay buoy line, and a few largemouth bass are showing up in north bays.
Lakes Oahe: Boat ramps were busy over the holiday weekend though walleyes remain difficult to locate. Fishing back bays in 10-15 feet of water has resulted in some success. Elsewhere, fish are at varied depths adding to difficulty. Bass and catfish are being caught with the bass schooling in 20-40 range and responding to bouncers and minnows, and catfish remaining in shallows.
Lake Sharpe: The West Bend area continues to produce limits of walleye though not without some work as old spots have been pretty well worked over by this time of year. An uptick in walleye activity should soon arrive in wake of cooler weather.
Lake Francis Case: Not a lot of activity reported though some walleye are showing up in the Chamberlain area. Trolling in 10-20 feet of water with crawlers or minnows has been working best. As elsewhere on the Missouri, better days lie ahead.
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.