Periods of snow coupled with the seemingly ever-present winds have hampered fishing activity the past week or so. Fortunately, a reprieve in both areas is forecast for the weekend, and may help to spur angler interest as area lakes are generally open though partial ice may remain particularly in upper elevation bodies.
Trout bites are already in progress in area lakes ands streams. And while water temps will need to increase considerably before the annual walleye feeding frenzy associated with the spring spawn, walleye are stirring somewhat at Angy and Orman as well as the Missouri.
Otherwise, warming weather, albeit with periods of wind, should provide soft-water fishermen with bountiful opportunities to cast, troll and jig to their heart’s content in the days ahead.
Here’s a quick look at what’s been happening on the fishing front.
Angostura Reservoir: The lake is open and docks are in. Some walleye activity reported—jig and a minnow or Lindy rig and a minnow--as well as some bass and perch action. Bites are slow though the early open water season seems to be tracking more positively than in recent years, a situation that will be influenced by the bait fish population in the lake.
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Belle Fourche Reservoir (Orman): The lake is at 75% capacity and with all of the boat ramps in--including the new ramp on the eastern tip of Gadens Point—fishing activity should pick up soon when weather cooperates. Currently, a hit-and-miss walleye bite reported on jigs and minnows.
Black Hills Area Streams: Spurred by midday blue-wing-olive hatches, trout activity has been excellent in area streams particularly Rapid and Spearfish creeks though smaller streams should be stepping up soon. Nymph fishing has the best of it though dry fly fishing opportunities exist as well.
Custer State Park: Lakes are open for the most part though fishing activity remains light due to inclement weather. Trout should be feeding if and when weather stabilizes.
Deerfield Lake: Not much fishing activity recently due to weather. The lake does have some safe ice—two feet of ice reported in Gold Run area--though access can be treacherous. Open water reported near dam, and widening.
Pactola Reservoir: The lake is open and a nice rainbow trout bite reported with worms apparently working best. Some perch and pike activity though of a more limited nature.
Sheridan Lake: Remaining ice is unsafe as lake transitions to open water throughout.
Lake Oahe: The lake is wide open for the most part from Pierre north to the Mobridge area though wind and cold temperatures have idled anglers for the most part. Nonetheless, the ramps are in and the lake is accessible. With that, the annual spring northern pike bite should be opened up very soon. Toward that end, a six-man contingent from Wisconsin is scheduled in this weekend to try out both pike and walleye bites in the Cheyenne River and Miniconjou areas.
Lake Sharpe: Boaters are catching walleye below the dam and points south as walleye are stacking up for spring spawn. Much depends upon water releases, a boon to the walleye bite, though extremely low levels above may limit releases.
Lake Francis Case: Fishing activity has been slow. As elsewhere, problematic weather has lessened interest. Some recent walleye activity reported below Ft. Thompson.
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.