A hot weather weekend is on tap making the alure of cooling waters even more attractive than usual. And perhaps an ideal time to partake of what has been, because of unfortunate conditions, an excellent summer for escaping to the solace afforded by a lake or stream. Making that experience doubly attractive: the fishing has been quite good in the area with walleye aplenty showing up at Orman, and plenty of trout activity in area streams.
And for anglers who want to head to the big Missouri River lakes, the walleye bite, especially on Oahe, is one of the best in recent years.
Here’s a brief look at where the action was the hottest, fishing wise, last week.
Angostura Reservoir: The early season promise of an improved walleye bite on the lake this summer seems to have fallen by the wayside as activity remains slow with but a few small fish showing up. There are, however, some nice smallmouth bass being caught on spinner blades. And a fair crappie bite reported on minnows and small jigs near the marina
Belle Fourche Reservoir (Orman): The fishing extravaganza continues on the lake with anglers limiting out on walleye and finding plenty of white bass and nice catches of catfish — a 15-pound catfish was caught in the channel last week--as well. The better activity at present is on the north side of the lake. Walleye are being located in 8-15 feet of water and responding to nightcrawlers/minnows and bottom bouncers as crankbaits seem not to have lit up yet. Though obviously boaters have the best of it, shore fishermen are finding success in either early morning or evening hours.
Black Hills Fly Fishing: Area streams have returned to near normal flows. While most area streams are producing plenty of action, Rapid Creek—below Pactola—has been particularly active. Nymphs are typically a sure bet with lots of different patterns working. And fish are surface feeding in the evening inviting fly presentations.
Cottonwood Lake: Crappie action on minnows reported.
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.
Lakota Lake: A steady trout bite in progress with powerbait the presentation of choice.
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.
Shade Hill Reservoir: Walleye activity slowed last week with the catches mostly consisting of specimens under 15 inches.
Sheridan Lake: Crappie action off Dakota Point highlighted the action last week as warming waters have contributed to a slowdown in activity.
Lake Oahe: The best walleye bite in years reported on the lake with limits of healthy walleye — 18-20 inchers commonplace. Fish remain in shallow water, 12 foot or less, and responding to small blade spinner nightcrawler rigs though most options are attracting fish at present. The negative: lake is really busy so cleaning stations and boat ramps are very busy.
Lake Sharpe: Like above the dam, the walleye bite is excellent on Sharpe as well with West Bend and Joe Creek areas producing the stellar activity. Fish are shallow — 15 feet and less — and responding to jigs or bouncers with crawlers. Catches can be on smaller side thus requiring sorting.
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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