Judging by the forecast, a steady diet of 90-plus temp days, the lazy, hazy days of summer are coming to the area. With that, the prospect of heading for the old fishing hole with an ample supply of favorite beverages, a sufficient supply of suntan lotion, and just as a precaution, a can of bug spray, takes on an even more special allure. After all, when properly prepared, spending time near or on water on a sunny day is hard to beat.
Even better: an active bite of walleye, trout, bass or other game fish to one’s liking. An angler’s nirvana in other words.
Judging by recent reports, a scenario somewhat similar may await fishermen in the days ahead as fishing prospects appear bright particularly during early morning or late evening hours.
Here are some spots to perhaps catch a fish or two while enjoying Saturday’s “National Get Outdoors Day”.
Angostura Reservoir: Walleye bite remains steady. Fish have moved out into deeper water and though still responding to minnows, nightcrawlers are becoming increasingly effective. Smallmouth bass bite remains very active as well.
Bear Butte: Two-to-four-pound northern pike have been showing up on frozen smelt as well as a few crappie on minnows and jigs.
Belle Fourche Reservoir (Orman): Anglers continue to limit out on walleye including a nice mix of overs, unders and slots. Worms and leaches seem to be the baits of choice at present. Fish have remained in shallow water though the hot days in store should change that soon. Also, a 36-inch northern pike was caught on chubs near Gadens Point. And white bass and catfish are showing up in the canal.
Belle Fourche River: Hot weather typically produces a nice catfish bite on the river, a forecast supported by some recent catches of 2–3-pound specimens. Break out the stink bait or chicken livers.
Black Hills Fly Fishing: Floes remain good on most streams though drier weather on tap will lower levels. Rapid, Castle and Spearfish creeks are best bet at present. Warmer temps will mandate early morning and late evening windows of opportunity. Nymph patterns remains the best bet though dry flies are attracting activity as well.
Canyon Lake: Rainbow trout action reported on either salmon eggs, worms or minnows. Ponds below dam have been the most active area.
Custer State Park Lakes: Center, Sylvan and Legion lakes are all producing limits of trout. Spinners with powerbait or nightcrawlers are working best.
Deerfield Reservoir: Perch activity continues during early morning hours. Fish are typically located in 25-30 feet of water and responding to nightcrawlers and small jigs.
Memorial Lake: A report of small northern pike — 14 inches or so — being caught last week.
New Underwood Dam: Bluegill action continues though is very much an early morning or late evening bite. Small jigs and minnows or crawlers worked some 10-15 feet off cattails appears a winning formula.
Pactola Reservoir: Limits of rainbow trout action are still being picked up on powerbait and spinners. And also, a few lakers are showing up on chubs. Some bluegill and crappie are being caught on bays.
Shadehill Reservoir: Walleye activity continues. Jigging with crawlers seems to be working best at present replacing jigs and minnows as the popular choice. Some crappie action as well at times with catches in 10-13-inch size range reported.
Sheridan Lake: Anglers are finding a crappie action on small jigs and minnows. Perch bite has picked up as well on small jigs and crawlers. Perch are located in deeper water—30-35 feet of water.
Stockade Lake: Bass bite is improving though heat-restricted to early morning or late evening hours. Poppers or minnow presentations recommended.
Lake Oahe: Walleye bite apparently slowed a bit on upper Oahe though limits are being taken on jigs and crawlers of bouncers with spinners and crawlers worked in 10-15 feet of water. Farther south walleye and bass activity reported in the Cheyenne, Spring and Cow Creek areas. Jigs and minnows or bouncers with spinners or crawlers worked in 5-20 feet of water recommended.
Lake Sharpe: Walleye activity remains steady, and bouncer rigs with spinners and crawlers are the ticket. Tailrace area below the dam remains a convenient hot spot as does Farm Island area. Downstream, West Bend and Joe Creek areas are fishing well. Fish are located in 5-15 feet of water.
Lake Francis Case: Anglers are catching walleye near Chamberlain working jigs and bouncers with minnows in 5-15 feet of water. Shore fishing has been excellent as well. Fishing is probably better south of Chamberlain in the Platte area at present using similar presentations.
• June 19: Father’s Day Tournament at Angostura sponsored by Fall River Swim team, 3-person teams ($120). Contact Jeff Reetz (firstname.lastname@example.org or call 605-890-1595.
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.