A very busy fishing season, a likely product of outdoorsman, old and new, enjoying the benefits of social distance inherent to the sport, will be even busier this weekend with a Fourth of July weekend on tap.
Added to the mix: fairly active fishing activity in the region be it on an area lake or a mountain stream.
Be prepared, however, for traffic both on the roads and at water’s edge in some locations with President Trump’s scheduled visit to the area over the weekend. Lake docks will likely be crowded — and on the lake, recreational boaters will add to the congestion while Black Hills roads will see high numbers of travelers as well.
Nonetheless, an active fish bite and anxious anglers are seldom separated for long so with that, here are some spots of possible interest.
Angostura Reservoir: A few small walleyes are showing up in what continues to be a slow summer bite. Most of the walleyes caught are being taken at night by anglers working weed lines. On a more pleasant note, smallmouth bass remain active and some crappie are being caught near the marina
Belle Fourche Reservoir (Orman): The walleye bite slowed down a little bit last week which raises the question as to whether the lake is fished out to some extent. With all the traffic on the lake this year, estimates have it that as many as 11,000 fish a week are being taken out, a significant number for a lake that size.
Black Hills Fly Fishing: Area creeks are at acceptable flow levels and continue to provide plenty of trout action. Rapid Creek is now fishable both above and below Pactola. And in town, Caddis hatches are attracting attention. Spearfish Creek and Castle Creek are fishing well also, and offer good options on hot days.
Curlew Lake: Crappie action on small jigs and minnows reported along with an occasional walleye. Reminder: the walleye limit on Curlew is two per day with a 15-inch minimum in place as well.
Custer State Park: Trout action on Center and Sylvan Lakes reported with the action taking place in early morning or late afternoon hours. Flies recommended at both locations.
Deerfield Lake: Usual summer perch bite continues though smaller fish are the likely take. Minnows and crawlers recommended.
Lakota Lake: A steady trout bite in progress with powerbait the presentation of choice.
New Underwood Lake: Bluegill activity on crawlers reported.
Pactola Reservoir: Rainbow trout action continues on spinners and powerbait. Panther Martins seem to be working well. And the bluegill bite continues in bays on bobbers and nightcrawlers. A few lake trout though majority caught recently have fallen under the 25-inch requirement.
Sheridan Lake: Plenty of activity reported both in terms of anglers working and fish responding. A steady perch bite in progress along buoy lines--fish suspended just off bottom. Crappie activity continues as times near Dakota Point, and northern pike are becoming more aggressive with best activity centered along weed lines opposite the marina.
Lake Oahe: Walleye bite continues with lots of healthy fish in the 18-20-inch range showing up. Though activity is excellent from the dam north to Mobridge, the Cheyenne River arm has been a steady producer of limits. Fish remain shallow —5-15 feet — and responding to a variety of presentations with crawlers and leeches with spinners perhaps atop the heap. Smallmouth bass and northern pike bites reported as well.
Lake Sharpe: Pierre area is producing daily limits of walleye with the fish located at depths of 10-20 feet and responding to bouncers with crawlers or leeches. Plenty of walleye activity farther south in the West Bend and Joe Creek areas. Be prepared for lots of company as boat traffic is unusually high even without a Fourth of July weekend crowd.
Lake Francis Case: Walleye bite remains steady in the Chamberlain area. Jigs and minnow/crawlers or bouncers and minnows/crawlers worked in 5-15 foot of water is 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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