Anglers who weren’t able to get out and enjoy the very pleasant mid-week weather will likely be forced to the sidelines for a second consecutive weekend as colder temps and a bit of snow is in the forecast for Saturday and Sunday. Fortunately, next week’s Thanksgiving Day turkey will be accompanied by a nice serving of good weather as well, so perhaps a serving of fresh fish can be added to menus at some point to cap off the holiday weekend.
With last weekend’s cold snap, the thoughts of many anglers turned to an ice fishing future rather than a windy and cold present--the answer is a resounding no as though ice is forming along shorelines of some Black Hills lakes, safe ice is nowhere to be found.
And while reports were few and far between last weekend, here a few positives to keep in mind heading into what will soon be the last days of 2018 open water fishing.
Angostura Reservoir: For walleye fishermen, Angostura was the place to be early in the week as limits of walleye were being caught trolling slowly with Lindy rigs and minnows or jigs and minnows. Most of the high volume activity is located on the north side of the lake.
Belle Fourche Reservoir (Orman): Very little fishing activity was reported last week due to windy, cold, conditions. However, the main dock is still in place and walleye fishermen have been catching nice, fat, overs recently. Also, water is still being run over the dam, and with that, shore fishermen working the canal may find not only walleye but possibly crappie and bass as well.
Black Hills Fly Fishing: Warm mid-week weather should spur bug activity, and trout interest as well. Some dry fly fishing during mid-day hours though nymph patterns and streamers will remain the more consistent options.
Deerfield Reservoir: More deer hunters in the area than anglers at present. There has been some trout and perch activity recently with both species suspended in deeper water and responding to minnows. Some ice along shorelines but certainly not fishable as yet.
Pactola Reservoir: Rainbow trout, including a number of fish over 14 inches (one keeper only), have been taken recently on a spinners and small jigs. There is some ice formed in Jenney and other gulches though nothing remotely walkable at present.
Rapid Creek: Nymphing has been working well at higher elevations while small flies have been the better choice below. Serious action this time of the year is typically confined to deeper waters and edges of fast water during mid-day hours.
Shadehill Reservoir: For area fishermen wishing to venture a few miles up the road, the walleye bite at Shadehill continues to be excellent. And some large crappies have been showing up as well. Minnows are the go-to bait at Shadehill as well.
Sheridan Lake: No reports received this week though in recent weeks, anglers were finding some trout and perch action with a nightcrawler and small jig suspended off the bottom in deeper water. No pike activity reported, but one would think…
Spearfish Creek: Excellent trout activity with nymph fishing consistently good throughout the canyon with larger fly recommended in deeper/faster waters.
Lakes Oahe, Sharp, and Francis Case: The temps have been too cold in Central South Dakota to cause one to set aside the shotgun and pheasant hunting for thoughts of braving the elements for a walleye or two. For the diehard, however, walleye are available with the stilling basin (Sharp) below the dam at Pierre, and in and around Chamberlain were shore fishermen have been enjoying some success off rocky points.
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), Horsecreek Inn and Campground, 23570, Hill City, and Angostura State Resort have contributed to this report.