Warmer weather is predicted for the weekend which will likely slow fishing activity to some extent with both anglers and quarry lying low. Cooler weather on tap following the hot spell could stimulate fishing activity a bit.
Fishing numbers dropped off a bit last week, a response both to a slowdown on the fishing front and an improving job situation in the area. With the Days of ’76 rodeo in full swing this week and the Sturgis Bike rally right around the corner, this weekend may be a chance to find a secluded spot and enjoy the sights, sounds and solitude.
Here’s a look at what transpired last week, and what might lie ahead.
Angostura Reservoir: Fishing activity remains slow though some crappie action has been reported in Horsehead Bay. And occasional crappie action near the tires by the south marina. Small minnows recommended.
Bear Butte Lake: Bullhead and small bass (under the keeper limit) activity at present makes for a fun fishing outing for youngsters and the young at heart.
Belle Fourche Reservoir (Orman): The walleye bite has become time driven as the fish are voracious for short periods of time and off-putting otherwise. Unfortunately, the times vary considerably with no predictable pattern and right time/right place left to chance. On a positive note, the fish caught are in the 20-24 inch range and have been showing up in 20-24 feet of water. Pulling crank bait seems preferable to bottom bouncer option.
Black Hills Fly Fishing: The hot spots on Black Hills area streams will likely move to higher elevations this weekend with the onset of hot weather into Sunday. A Trico hatch on Spring Creek led to excellent dry fly fishing. And Pale Morning Dun hatches in the hills will add to the dry fly-fishing bonanza. The cooler weather predicted for next week on the heels of the hot weather should help the trout bite as well.
Center Lake: Trout activity reported with most of the action occurring in late afternoon hours. Trout spinners or powerbait are the baits of choice.
Deerfield Lake: Trout activity picked up last week with limits reported with boat fishermen having the best chance of attaining that goal. Flasher and flat fish were working well.
Horsethief Lake: Good trout action reported in late afternoon hours and trout spinners, powerbait or nightcrawlers the baits of choice.
New Underwood Lake: Bluegill in the 8-10-inch range are being caught on crawlers. Fish are suspended at 6-8-foot depths.
Pactola Reservoir: The rainbow trout bite continues unabated with some nice 20-22-inch rainbow showing up on trout spinners or powerbait. Bluegill activity in bays continues as well with bobbers and crawlers recommended.
Sheridan Lake: Perch, crappie and bluegill bites remain active along buoy lines responding to crawlers and small jigs, and trout are being taken near Dakota Point. As lake has warmed (74 degrees presently) fish have gone deep and are typically situated four or five feet off the bottom.
Stockade Lake: A slow summer at the lake apparently as reports have been few, far-between, and flat-out discouraging.
Lake Oahe: Walleye activity remains steady, a continuation of what has been an excellent summer for walleye enthusiasts. In last weekend’s Governors Cup Tournament, a North Dakota duo repeated as Governor’s Cup champions turning in 12 fish with a total weight of 36.55 pounds. Fish have moved into deeper water — 15-35 feet depending upon location — and are responding to bouncers with spinners and crawlers. Catfish and smallmouth bass are feeding in shallower waters.
Lake Sharpe: Not much change with the Pierre area continuing to turn out limits of walleye. Fish are located at depths of 10-20 foot and responding to bouncers with crawlers or leeches. West Bend area remains busy as well. Busy but perhaps not as busy as usual as the excellent walleye bite on Oahe is drawing away some traffic.
Lake Francis Case: Walleye activity has been somewhat slow in the Chamberlain area with better action reported below the dam at Ft. Thompson. Platte area has been more active with bouncer/crawler rigs at depths of 15-25 foot of water 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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