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Fishing Line: High temperatures continue to plague anglers

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Fishing Line pic

Fishing activity took a hit last week as hot weather has apparently caused anglers to seek cooler surroundings. Or watching tournament baseball. Or vacationing during a break between summer activities and the onset of school a few weeks down the road.

Regardless, the larger prairie lakes that bookend the Black Hills appear to be home to more recreational pursuits than fishing activities.

Not surprising given the latter summer anxiety that typically accompanies the dog days of August.

Nonetheless, the die-hards are still stirring the waters with varying degrees of success. A few walleye are being caught at Angostura and Orman, particularly by anglers with electronics and plenty of know-how. And plenty of beverages, bug spray and sun tan lotion.

And Black Hills lakes are still producing trout for anglers willing to find a niche among the summer campers.

All in all, a familiar summer scenario in the weeks leading up to the Sturgis Bike Rally.

Angostura Reservoir:  Fishing activity has slowed somewhat though a few limits are still being taken. Some boaters out and a few shore fishermen though recreational activity prevails at present particularly because of heat. Fish are scattered and electronics a key to locating walleye. Pulling cranks, minnows and crawlers in 25-35 feet of water is recommended.

Bear Butte: A mixed bag generally with a few catches of walleye reported along with panfish and bullheads.

Belle Fourche Reservoir (Orman): Walleye bite has dropped off a bit likely due to a large population of shad providing easily accessible snacks. Catching fish requires working the electronics as fish are deep (25-35 feet) and scattered. Trolling at about 2 mph with crawler and leech presentations recommended. For those inclined, catfish and carp have been feeding in shallows.

Black Hills Area Streams: Rapid, Castle and Spearfish Creeks continue to be the best choices for trout fishing streams in the Black Hills. All have consistent flows at present coupled with fishable water temps. Dry fly and nymph fishing opportunities abound

Curlew Lake: Lake has been producing bass, catfish and the occasional walleye.

Custer State Park Lakes: Lakes are quite crowded this time of the year though anglers willing to mingle with park visitors will generally find some trout activity along with bass, perch, crappie.

Deerfield Reservoir: With the hot weather, the lake has become a more attractive alternative for anglers seeking large lake activity without the distraction of recreational boating. Most are apparently tight-lipped however as reports have been sketchy. At last report, trout and perch bites were steady. Perch were being located off the bottom in 20-25 feet of water and responding to crawlers and powerbait.

Horsethief, Lacota, Mirror and Roubaix Lakes: Trout action typically available with fish responding to a variety of presentations including minnows, crawlers and spinner baits.

Pactola Reservoir: Trout and bluegills have been active as well as perch. Crawlers and spinners are working well for both species. A few northern pike are being caught in bays on chubs or smelt.

Sheridan Lake: Perch and bluegill activity remains steady throughout the lake with minnows, crawlers and spinner baits all working effectively.

Lake Oahe: Limits of walleye are still typical though larger specimens are much harder to come by as smaller fish are the norm. Pulling propeller blades with nightcrawler/bouncer rigs worked in 25-35 feet of water has been working best though walleye are being caught at Spring and Cow Creeks. Smallmouth bass and catfish are hitting as well.

Lake Sharpe: Walleye activity has slowed somewhat largely due to hatches of baitfish. Some walleye can be found in shallow water where bait fish are congregated though typically fish have moved into deeper. Nightcrawler/bouncer rigs are working well in about 25-40 feet of water.

Lake Francis Case: Walleye bite remains steady in the Chamberlain area. Fish are being located in 10-20 feet of water and responding to bottom bouncers, spinners and crawlers. Lots of catfish and drum action as well.

Dakota Angler & Outfitter, 513 Seventh St., Rapid City; The Rooster, 1441 W. Main St., Rapid City; Wheel in Bait Shop, 18696 Fisherman’s Road, Fruitdale, and West Prairie Resort, 28354 182nd, Pierre (605-264-5303) have contributed to this report.

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