With weather conditions seemingly changing every other minute, charting either fish or fishermen is a difficult proposition at present. However, though the bite on most area lakes and streams (high for this time of year) have been relatively slow for most species in recent days, trout activity remains excellent throughout the area.
For anglers who desire reasonable temperatures on their outings, getting out this weekend might be wise as temps are expected to drop into mid-30’s next week, a situation likely made more unpleasant by gusty winds.
Fishing activity on big lakes is quickly dropping off with boaters preferring thoughts of winterizing more so than braving the elements.
Nonetheless, it’s part of a fisherman’s DNA to think that just one more outing, or one more cast, will produce that long sought-after trophy fish.
With that in mind, here’s a quick review of where fish have been feeding. And might once again.
Angostura Reservoir: Another “more of the same” with the same being not a whole lot of anything, results of a season in which the lake has never recovered from spring high waters conditions.
Belle Fourche Reservoir (Orman): Some walleye action reported, particularly in the dam area, though blustery weather is limiting boaters and relegating most of the activity to shore fishermen. Catches, once locating a fish that may have missed the abundant bait fish available, have included a nice mix of overs, unders and slot fish.
Black Hills Fly Fishing: Despite weather cooling next week and higher than normal flows in area streams, excellent trout fishing continues. With more rapid currents, larger nymphs with tungsten beads to get deeper are recommended.
Canyon Lake: Fall trout bite continues with rainbow activity reported on spinners, flies and powerbait.
Deerfield Reservoir: Perch are being caught in the Gold Run area. Fish are being located in 25-30 feet of water and responding to nightcrawlers. Some rainbow trout action as well on spinner baits or fly presentations.
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New Underwood Dam: Usually a perch or crappie looking for a jig or crawler.
Pactola Reservoir: Rainbow trout have been the go-to fish this fall with leeches or fly patterns doing the trick. Also a few pike have been showing up near drop-offs in 8-10 feet of water. And a few lake trout are being caught in deeper water on smelt.
Roubaix Lake: Trout activity picked up on powerbait last week.
Sheridan Lake: Some crappie activity reported off Dakota Point — small jigs and minnows along with the occasional northern pike caught near Spring Creek inlet.
Stockade Lake: Crappie and perch reported on slip bobbers and minnow rigs. And a report of some northern pike activity on small chubs.
Tisdale Lake: Northern pike bite reported on a variety of presentations.
Lake Oahe: Not a lot of fishing activity reported at present though reports though sketch do point toward a fair walleye bite in and around the mouth of the Cheyenne — bouncer rigs with spinners and crawlers. Some smallmouth bass and catfish action as well.
Lake Sharpe: Ditto the above as outdoor sportsmen are thinking hunting at present. Some walleye activity as fish are stacking up from dam to West Bend though high water releases are a problem Stick to current breaks, or possibly tailrace area during evening hours.
Lake Francis Case: Walleye are being caught near Chamberlain area—spinners and crawlers in 10-20 feet of water, and at locations farther south, anglers are finding success working crankbaits in 25-30 feet of water.
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.