With cooler temps in the forecast, the typical drop-off in fishing activity associated with mid-summer spells of hot weather should be lessened to some extent. Or at least will become so when waters settle after recent rains.
With fish gone deep in warmer water lakes, area streams, and the abundant trout therein, might be an excellent option until air pressure and water temps align more favorably. And in addition, a trip to the hills may be more enjoyable now rather than later when the roar of motorcycles will echo through the hills. As levels rise and water darken, trout will likely move from cover and begin to feed more aggressively.
Meanwhile, for families looking for a shared fishing experience, a trip to a lake may well be the ticket as panfish are feeding very actively at a number of area locations.
Either way, whether taking the solitary route, or loading up for a family outing, here are some area locations worth considering.
Angostura Reservoir: Walleye bite remains slow. Some largemouth bass action on spinner baits reported in the Horsehead area. And occasional crappie action near the tires by the south marina. Small minnows recommended.
Belle Fourche Reservoir (Orman): Fishing activity slowed last week as numerous campers began to pick up stakes for the summer in lieu of other activities. Walleye bite has become unpredictable as fish are stacking up at different levels with some fishermen finding action at depths of 12-14 feet and others at 30 feet. Though the lake has been subject to heavy pressure this summer, fish are showing up on fish finders, but aren’t feeding very aggressively at present. On a positive note, the specimens caught —nightcrawlers with spinners are working the best — are typically good sized with fish in the 20-24-inch range being taken.
Black Hills Fly Fishing: The recent rains should refresh and stimulate fishing activity in Black Hills area streams. Spring Creek has been an excellent choice for fly fishermen recently though most mountain streams — and Rapid Creek through town as well — are setup for excellent dry fly activity.
Curlew Lake: A few nice crappies in the 10-12-inch range are caught. Fish are suspended at depths of 5-7 feet, and slip bobbers and minnows are recommended.
Deerfield Lake: Trout activity continues with boat fishermen limiting out on spinners and lures.
Horsethief Lake: Good trout action reported in late afternoon hours and trout spinners, powerbait or nightcrawlers the baits of choice.
Pactola Reservoir: Boat fishermen are limiting out on 18-20-inch rainbow trout using flashers with spinners or flatfish. And excellent family fishing possible as small bluegill are extremely active while responding to bobber and crawler setups.
Roubaix Lake: Trout activity is picking up with shore fishermen finding good action at present on powerbait or nightcrawlers.
Sheridan Lake: Lots of trout activity reported. Though lake wide, the most active areas seem to be around the mouth of bays and near Dakota Point. Limits of crappie and bluegill reported as well with the fish typically located a few feet off the bottom. And a few northern pike have been caught near Spring Creek inlet on chubs.
Stockade Lake: A late afternoon bite of largemouth bass reported on spinner blades or top-water lures.
Lake Oahe: Walleye fishermen with daily limits remain the norm on the big lake. With the excellent bite, boat ramps and cleaning stations can be crowded. Fish have moved out to 30 feet of water. Nightcrawler/bouncer rigs are the popular choice though at present, a wide variety of presentations are getting the job done.
Lake Sharpe: Walleye bite is slower than up above as the lake has an abundance of bait fish. Limits are being taken though with lots of boat on the water, the take may take a little extra work. Fish are at depths of 25 feet and responding to bouncers with crawlers or minnows.
Lake Francis Case: Walleye bite remains slow near Chamberlain with better luck reported farther south in Platte area. Bouncer/crawler rigs at depths of 15-25 foot of water are 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; 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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