Even the fish have to be concerned after another week with little fishing activity reported on area lakes and streams following another week of foul weather. Spring fishing in snow flurries with temperatures hovering around 40 degrees leaves much to be desired. Nor is it a positive indicator when bait shops are closed due to the weather as was the case on Tuesday, and flood warnings remain in effect for the next few days.
However, temperatures are expected to climb back to respectable levels this weekend allowing a window of opportunity to enjoy the Memorial Day weekend before periods of rainy weather return to the area next week. And a chance to see if the old adage about fish biting better after rainfall has merit.
Given recent weather (and the possibility of more in what has been a very unusual spring) it might be worth one’s time to take advantage of in indoor learning opportunity and attend “No Boat, No Problem: Shallow Water Fishing in the Black Hills” free seminar at the SDGF&P Outdoor Campus West in Rapid City June 7, 6-8 p.m.
Though fishing reports were very limited last week, here follows reports of recent activity in the area. Something to ponder perhaps while waiting for conditions to improve.
Angostura Reservoir: Shore fishing, a situation that will likely improve as fish seek warmer waters, has been producing walleye along with some bass activity. Crappie rigs with minnows and fatheads seem to be the ticket.
Belle Fourche Reservoir (Orman): Some walleye activity — some overs and lots of unders — reported though as elsewhere the bite is greatly influenced by weather patterns. Fish are showing up shallow water, 10 feet or less. Fish are scattered and patience is required.
Black Hills Fly Fishing: The moderate to heavy rains of the last few days will result in high flows on most area streams including Rapid Creek through town. Despite the fast-flowing waters, in-town fishing should remain on the positive side for anglers who work nymphs in slower waters near banks. Area creeks have been fishing well, too, though holding off a few days until waters settle might be wise.
Custer State Park lakes: Trout bite has been excellent from shore in most areas with either flies or minnows. Runoffs from recent rains will muddy waters and calmer, clearer waters, and areas around feeder creeks, may provide best opportunities.
Deerfield Reservoir: No reports received. With recent weather, access may be a problem in some locations.
Pactola Reservoir: Activity picked up last week as bluegill, trout, lake trout and northern pike bites began to improve. Bluegill and rainbows were feeding in the shallows of bays—trout on the north side and perch in south end. And some nice-sized lakers have been showing up lately.
Prairie Lakes: Perch and bass activity reported lately, a situation that should continue as soon as weather and accessibility conditions improve.
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Sheridan Lake: Slow as expected last week with rainfall though northern pike and perch bites have been fair to middling. Nightcrawlers have been the bait of choice for perch while pike are favoring frozen smelt.
Lake Oahe: Weather remains the major obstacle to improving bites and angler interest on the big lake as the walleye bite remains spotty at best. On a positive note, pike and catfish bites are fairly good at present with dead smelt rigs working best when worked in shallow waters off shore.
Lake Sharpe: Fishing activity remains limited because of inclement weather. On fishable days, walleye and bass have been showing up on minnow/crawler rigs or plugs pulled in shallow water—10 foot or less. A stretch of warmer weather should do wonders for fishing activity and success.
Lake Francis Case: Walleye bite in the Chamberlain area has been fairly steady with shore fishermen having the best of it pitching jigs and minnows. Most of the fish caught are small, however, with sorting required.
• Jared Roe Memorial Fishing Tournament: June 1, Angostura Reservoir. Contact Jerry Roe (605-484-3495) for details.
• South Dakota Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 2 Fishing Tournament: June 8, Angostura Reservoir. Contact Jason Mitzel (605-786-4829) for details.
• Father’s Day Fishing Tournament: June 15, Angostura Reservoir. Contact Stacy Reetz for details.
Dakota Angler & Outfitter, 513 Seventh St., Rapid City; The Rooster, 1441 W. Main St., Rapid City; Wheel and Bait, 18696 Fisherman’s Road, Fruitdale; West Prairie Resort, 28354 182nd,
Pierre (605-264-5303), Horsecreek Inn and Campground, 23570, Hill City, and Angostura State Resort have contributed to this report.