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FISHING LINE

FISHING LINE

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Pleasant weather and respectable fishing prospects highlight 2020 Father’s Day festivities for anglers new and old this weekend — including free entrance and fishing at state parks. In the mix, a couple of Black Hills area lakes that are producing limits of walleye and trout as well as streams bubbling with trout activity.

A perspective a little too rosy?

Perhaps. But for anglers, the faith that a hungry fish awaits every cast is part and parcel of the fishing experience. Why else expend the time, energy and bucks inherent to the pastime.

Another plus in this very unique year is that fishing offers a temporary respite from the cares and concerns associated with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

If sold, here are some waters where the fishing has been good particularly at Belle Fourche Reservoir where easily taken limits of walleye are attracting 150 to 200 boats daily.

Angostura Reservoir: Walleye activity has slipped back into the very slow category with the few fish caught generally small and non-keepers. Some crappie action reported on minnows and small jigs with the marina area the busiest location.

Belle Fourche Reservoir (Orman): A hot, hot walleye bite with a limit of five fish typically taken in a couple of hours. Nightcrawlers and bottom bouncers are suggested or pulling crank baits. While the Fruitdale area is attracting attention, walleye activity seems to be lake wide. Boaters are having the best of the walleye bite though shore fishermen are catching white bass and drums. The only negative at Orman at present is often over-crowded boat docks.

Black Hills Fly Fishing: Area streams are returning to normal flows. And even those that are on the high side are fishable. Rapid Creek is producing plenty of trout from below Pactola though the city. Nymphs are working well at most locations though where shallow waters exist, midge patterns may create some action.

Curlew Lake: Crappie action on small jigs and minnows reported along with an occasional walleye catch.

Deerfield Reservoir: The usual reliable perch bite continues along with some trout activity on trout spinners and powerbait.

Pactola Reservoir: Rainbow trout activity, including fish in the 18-20-inch range, continues as does a bluegill bite. Trout spinners and powerbait have been working best for rainbow while minnows are stirring up the bluegill action. Some lake trout are being caught (chubs and smelt) though most are under the 25-inch requirement.

Shade Hill Reservoir: Walleye bite continues to improve with limits being taken. Fish are located in 15-18 feet of water and responding to minnow or crawlers

Sheridan Lake: Trout activity is fairly steady with the best spots near the mouth of bays. And working a jig deep may produce a crappie or bluegill as well. Increasing water temps, now approaching 70 degrees, have slowed down activity a bit.

Sylvan and Deerfield Lakes: Trout bite is improving with powerbait and nightcrawlers the premium presentation.

Lake Oahe: Walleye bite, including lots of larger specimens in the 18 and 20 inch plus range are showing up. Fish have spread out from the Cheyenne and points north with positive reports coming from the Cow and Spring Creek areas. Fish are shallow — 10 feet or less. Nightcrawler/bouncer rigs are working best.

Lake Sharpe: Walleye bite is steady as is smallmouth bass activity. Walleye caught are typically small — 16 inch and under. Fish are shallow — 15 feet and less — and responding to jigs or bouncers with crawlers. Lots of boat traffic can lead to congestion at ramps on weekends.

Lake Francis Case: Walleye bite remains steady around Chamberlain. Jigs and minnow/crawlers or bouncers and minnows/crawlers pulled in 5-15 feet of water seems to be the ticket.

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; West Prairie Resort, 28354 182nd, Pierre (605-264-5303), Horsecreek Inn and Campground, 23570, and Angostura State Resort have contributed to this report.

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