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Fishing Line, Nov. 3

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The month of November can be a conflicting period for fishermen, a time when fair weather anglers ponder the possibilities of chilly outings during the waning days of the soft water season, while ice fishing aficionados begin the countdown to the hopeful arrival of safe ice.

Score one for the soft water guys this week as temps are expected to hover in the mid-60’s through the weekend and into next week providing an excellent opportunity to enjoy some Autumn fish while still lightly attired.

Also, fishing activity in the Black Hills area, though hampered by periods of inclement weather, has improved somewhat in the last week or so with the walleye bite picking up a bit in Angy and Orman, and other species putting on the feedbag in smaller lakes and area streams.

All, of course, subject to the multiple vagaries associated with the sport. And the knowledge and knowhow of the person holding the rod.

With that, here’s a brief summary of recent results. 

Angostura Reservoir: A few walleyes are being caught though don’t heat up the fry pan too quickly as the bite is erratic. Crappie bite around the tires (small minnows) near the south marina remains steady.   

Belle Fourche Reservoir (Orman): The walleye bite remains pretty solid though been a mix of really good days coupled with the fair to middling variety. Catches are typically heavy on the overs though slots and unders have been showing up as well. Buck tail jigs and minnows have been working well. Anglers are also finding a crappie bite below the dam.

Black Hills Fly Fishing: Trout activity in area streams is excellent with both nymphs and streamers working well.

Deerfield Lake: Perch remain active though most of the catches are of fish in the eight-to-nine-inch range. A small jig with a waxworm or minnow is recommended. Trout activity can be expected most days on a variety of presentations.

Pactola Reservoir: Rainbow trout, bluegill and perch activity ongoing. Also, a few large northern pike have been caught on creek chubs. No locations reported on the pike though Jenney Gulch is usually a hot spot for the species. Trout have been responding to a variety of presentations as have panfish.  

Rapid Creek: The creek though town continues to offer up a very active trout bite for anglers itching to try their luck while short on time.

Sheridan Lake: Perch and trout bites remain steady as well as a few bluegills on occasion. Activity has been steady off highway 385 and near the marina. Small minnows and powerbait have been working best. Not much northern pike reported as yet.

Stockade Lake: A nice crappie bite reported on small minnows and powerbait.

Lake Oahe: Not a lot of activity on the big lake at present, a combination of high winds coupled with a much better walleye bite enticing anglers to Lake Sharpe. Anglers out have been working smallmouth bass and catfish in bays.

Lake Sharpe: Walleye action remains strong from below the dam to De Grey Recreation Area. Spinners and bouncers with minnows or crankbaits have been working best. And an added plus for “cast and blasters” bite for walleye and catfish has been steady off the rocks below the dam in morning and evening non-pheasant hunting hours.

Lake Francis Case: Anglers are catching some walleye in the Chamberlain area, a situation that should improve as waters continue to cool. Jigs and bouncers with crawlers or minnows have been working best.

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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