A moderate improvement on the big lakes and a continuance of an excellent trout bite in area streams summed up last week’s fishing activity in the region. The slight uptick in area lakes is likely attributable to lowered water temperatures resulting from the onset of cooler, late summer evenings. And the high-quality fishing in area streams to ideal water conditions resulting from a dip in recent rainfall accumulations.
Though the walleye bite in the Black Hills area has been very slow during the summer months due to high and murky waters, a slight nudge upwards in the last week or so hopefully sounds a welcoming chime for the late summer and early fall season.
And pleasant weather that typically signifies late summer days often offers a welcome outdoor getaway. If so, here’s a peak at what’s happening in the area.
Angostura Reservoir: Walleye bite is beginning to pick up somewhat. No limits reported though activity is a definite improvement over the last couple of months. Some crappie activity reported in bays as well.
Belle Fourche Reservoir (Orman): Activity remains on the light side though are a few walleye have been showing up below the dam. Due to warm weather, fish remain deep--40 feet or so. Catfish bite continues in the channel—an early morning or late evening activity.
Black Hills Fly Fishing: An excellent late summer trout bite in progress throughout area streams aided by pleasant weather and favorable water conditions. Dry fly fishing is picking up with blue-winged olive mayflies, grasshoppers and crane flies working best.
Canyon Lake: A nice rainbow trout bite in progress with some specimens in the 3-5-pound range showing up on salmon peach powerbait and spinners.
Dalton Lake: A good trout bite reported on powerbait.
Deerfield Reservoir: Perch activity continues with fish typically suspended in 25-30 feet of water and responding to nightcrawlers.
Horsethief Lake: Trout bite reported on crawlers and powerbait.
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Mirror Lake: In the lower lake, numbers of trout in the 14-inch plus range are being caught on trout spinners and powerbait.
Newell Lake: Catfish bite reported with fish in the 3-5-pound range being caught on cut bait.
New Wall Dam: Crappie bite reported on a slip bobber and minnow worked in 8-10 feet of water.
Pactola Reservoir: Trout activity continues with both boat and shore fishermen catching fish on small jigs and minnows.
Sheridan Lake: Fishing activity slowed a bit last week though anglers were finding some pike action along the Hwy. 385 corridor and a bluegill and crappie bite as well near Dakota Point on minnows and small jigs.
Lake Oahe: Warm weather continues to keep fish deep that when combined with an abundance of bait fish in the lake makes locating hungry walleyes a hard-go at times. Some activity has been taking place in the Cheyenne with fish in the 8-10 pound range reported. Fish are deep — 30-40 feet — and vertical jigging with minnows and crawlers remains the best bet. Nice-sized smallmouth bass bite — 4 pound and over — continues as well.
Lake Sharpe: A fair walleye bite reported in the Ft. George area with fish located in 5-10 feet of water and responding to bottom bouncers with spinners/crawlers. Walleye activity reported from the Iron Nation to Ft. Thompson Dam reported as well. However, many of the fish are small and with the 15-inch limit back into effect on the lake, sorting is required.
Lake Francis Case: Walleye bite remains steady if not spectacular. Jigging raps in 20 foot of water is an effective presentation at present.
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.