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FISHING LINE

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A good/news, bad news scenario will be playing out in the Black Hills area this Halloween Day weekend. Following a stretch of warm weather, including near 70-degree temps on Friday, a cold front will visit the area on Sunday sending temps plummeting into the low 40s for much of the week.

Bad news, perhaps, for those who prefer warmer autumn days (and pleasant conditions for the little spooks and goblins out on Halloween night) but much better news for fishermen given that approaching cold fronts often spur fishing activity.

It will perhaps spur a late season uptick in fishing activity as area anglers have apparently been otherwise engaged in recent days in light of the dearth of recent fishing reports. Hopefully, the 70-degree Friday, and the approaching cold front and the promise of better fishing will alter that narrative.

Here’s a quick review of where the fishing action has been the busiest in recent days, and perhaps a guide as to what may await fishermen willing to squeeze another fishing trip into the month of October

Angostura Reservoir: Crappie activity has been carrying the fishing load during the past few weeks. South marina has been a busy area as have other areas where structure provides a haven for fish. A few walleye have been caught though limits taken are few.

Belle Fourche Reservoir (Orman): Walleye activity has improved as water temps lower. Anglers have been catching mostly overs and slots. Crappie bite has been steady as well. Below the dam remains the hot spot. Boat docks were in as of Wednesday.

Black Hills Fly Fishing: Trout activity in area streams remains strong enhanced flows from recent runoffs. Bug hatches should abet fly fishing though nymphs and streamers are also working well.

Custer State Park: All lakes have been producing plenty of trout activity.

Deerfield Lake: No reports received.

Pactola Reservoir: Plenty of rainbow trout and perch activity reported. Also, northern pike have been showing up on occasion. Trout have been responding to a variety of presentations, flies and otherwise, while pike in bays have been chasing chubs.

Rapid Creek: Though the creek has been producing plenty of trout activity throughout the system, the stream through Rapid City continues to provide plenty of opportunities for trout anglers seeking quick access.

Sheridan Lake: Though fishing activity has been limited, the few anglers trying their luck have been finding perch and bluegill action.

Lake Oahe: Windy weather and area sportsmen caught up with hunting has resulted in limited activity in the big lake. Walleye bite has been problematic though a smallmouth bass bite that has been excellent all summer remains strong, and catfish bite is excellent as well. Also, the last day to view salmon spawning operations as the Whitlock Bay site will be November 3rd. Building is closed though a large TV stationed outside the building provides a view of the spawning action.

Lake Sharpe: Nor much change from last week as walleye bite has been excellent though, as always, this time of the year, fishing activity is highly dependent upon weather and amount of water being released from the dam. Spinners and bouncers with minnows or crankbaits have been working best. Though walleye bite is good from dam to points farther south, “cast and blasters” have been utilizing morning hours to fish off rocks and access roads below the dam before departing for pheasant hunting adventures during afternoon hours.

Lake Francis Case: Reportedly, the walleye bite has been steady in the Chamberlain area as water temps continue to drop. Jigs and crawlers and bouncers and crawlers worked in 20-30 feet of water has been working best. The area remains an excellent stop-off point for hunters looking to spook pheasants in the Platte area.

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, and West Prairie Resort, 28354 182nd, Pierre (605-264-5303) have contributed to this report.

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