Fishing activity has dropped off somewhat in the area recently, a likely victim of the many other activities available with the beginning of the school year. And a very slow summer season in terms of a walleye bite on the area’s larger lakes has lessened interest as well. Nonetheless, trout fishing in area streams continues to rebound from the high-water conditions of the summer and should remain strong for the next month or two. Despite the fact that some of the Black Hills lakes are beginning to turn over, there is fishing activity to be had as perch, crappie and bass are being caught at numerous locations in the area.
Angostura Reservoir: Limited walleye activity, a situation likely to continue until temperatures drop and waters cool. Some crappie activity reported in bays on small jigs and minnows.
Belle Fourche Reservoir (Orman): Walleye activity remains on the light side though a few have been showing up below the dam. Due to warm weather, fish remain deep — 40 feet or so — and have plenty of shad to feast on when hungry. A few catfish are being caught in the channel either early in the morning or late at night.
Black Hills Fly Fishing: Black Hills area streams continue to produce plenty of trout activity. Nymph fishing is typically a winning formula everywhere. Streamer fishing on Rapid Creek has been producing solid results as well.
Canyon Lake: Rainbow trout bite continues on spinners and powerbait with catches in the 3-5-pound range reported.
Deerfield Reservoir: Perch activity continues with fish typically suspended in 25-30 foot of water and responding to nightcrawlers.
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.
Pactola Reservoir: Trout are active on spinners and powerbait or small jigs and minnows.
Roubaix Lake: A steady trout bite reported on spinners and powerbait.
Sheridan Lake: Northern pike bite continues near the Spring Creek inlet along Hwy. 385. A few rainbow trout have been turning up in that area as well. Perch have been active also though locating can be tricky as fish are moving around quite a bit and schooling at various depths. Also, a few crappie are being caught near Dakota Point on small jigs and minnows.
Lake Oahe: Limits of walleye are being taken near the mouth of the Cheyenne on occasion though electronics are often required as fish are at depths ranging from 10-45 feet. The walleye bite is sporadic with limits taken one day and a shutout the next. Lots of smallmouth bass activity as fish are easily catchable by raising bottom bouncers five feet off the bottom. Salmon activity is increasing as well as fish are starting to move to the Whitlock Bay area with Snake Creek and Fantasy Island areas the best bet at present.
Lake Sharpe: Though high-water releases at the dam still necessitate working the current breaks, area fishermen are finding walleye activity near Farm Island flats, Antelope Creek, Stony Point and downstream to the Ft. George landing. Fish are typically located in 5-10 foot of water and responding to bouncers with spinners and crawlers. Majority of fish caught are small, however, and with the 15-inch limit back in effect sorting is generally a must.
Lake Francis Case: Walleye bite remains steady if not spectacular though heavy rains last week have toughened conditions in most places. Jigging raps in 20 foot of water has been working best. A smallmouth bass bite reported as well.
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.