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FISHING LINE

Fishing Line pic

After a snowy day on Wednesday, warmer weather is on tap for the next week. It's a situation that should provide an excellent scenario for the typical upswing in fishing activity associated with Autumn in the Black Hills.

Indications of the upswing were evident last week as walleye activity picked up in both Angostura and Orman, while area streams continued to produce limits of trout.

And the opening of the pheasant hunting season to all last week coincided with an excellent walleye bite in Lake Sharpe allowing for double-dip outings for sportsmen and women in Central South Dakota.

Though reports were spotty last week, here is a quick look at what’s been happening recently, and a guess or two, at what the future may hold.

Angostura Reservoir: Crappie bite has been excellent — small minnows — during the past few weeks and should remain strong for a while longer. Area around tires near south marina has been productive but other spots offering submerged structure should work as well. Walleye bite improved somewhat last week due to a drop in water temps.

Belle Fourche Reservoir (Orman): Walleye bite improved dramatically last week, likely a function of lowered water temps resulting from recent cold spell. Anglers are catching lots of overs and slots with a few unders in the 13–14-inch range mixed in as well. Boat docks are still in.

Black Hills Fly Fishing: Trout activity in area streams remains strong with the increased flows due to runoff in high country. Bug hatches should abet fly fishing though if fish are not working the surface, nymph and streamers will work well.

Custer State Park: Trout bite remains excellent in park lakes.

Deerfield Lake: Not much fishing activity recently. Likely perch are still active in most areas.

Pactola Reservoir: Plenty of rainbow trout and perch activity reported. And some northern pike have been showing up in deeper water of bays. Trout haven’t been picky while pike have been chasing chubs.

Sheridan Lake: Perch and bluegill bites picked up last week, a not unexpected development with water temps dropping from recent snowfall in hills.

Lake Oahe: Walleye bite remains fair, at least for anglers equipped with patience and equipment with which to locate them. Water temps are dropping, however, and bite should improve as fish move into shallower water. Most of the activity recently has centered on smallmouth bass and catfish as both have been feeding aggressively. Be advised that the West Whitlock Recreation area boat ramps will be closed until approximately Halloween. And farther north, the Walth Bay ramp, south of Mobridge is closed through Oct. 30.

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 crawlers or crankbaits have been working best.

Lake Francis Case: Reportedly, the walleye bite is steady to good in the Chamberlain area and less so farther south where water temps, though dropping, remain in the 60-65 degree range. Jigs and crawlers and bouncers and crawlers have been the popular presentation. And 20-30 feet of water the workable depth.

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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