Slow, slower, and slowest perhaps best summarizes last week’s fishing activity as a combination of an unusual summer of rainy weather, an abundance of bait fish bait in area lakes, and the typical slowdown come the dog days of August continued to hamper fishing action in the area.
Nonetheless, Saturday has been designated National TRACK Trails Day and with pleasant weather predicted for the week, a trek on one of the area’s many trails with a fishing pole in hand for company might be an excellent manner in which to celebrate the first-time event.
With that in mind, here’s a look at some possible stopping off points to test the waters.
Angostura Reservoir: Recreational activity remains the primary activity at the lake as the walleye bite has been slow all summer due to high water and resultant murky conditions. However, a bobber and minnow near structures in a bay may find a crappie or two.
Belle Fourche Reservoir (Orman): Fishing activity continued to slow last week as a profusion of shad in the lake are serving up plenty of bait for hungry fish. Most of the walleye caught at present are overs with unders and slots hard to come by. Current hotspot appears to be near the highway in the Fruitdale area. Minnows and worms are working best in the morning while crankbaits are the ticket in the afternoon. A few catfish are being caught near the canal as well.
Black Hills Fly Fishing: Fishing activity on Rapid Creek — both in town and in the Hills — continues to improve as water levels and conditions return to normal. Nymphing generally remains the best option though grasshoppers are starting to work also. And a Caddis hatch is providing opportunities for dry fly-fishing.
Canyon Lake: Rainbow trout bite continues with powerbait and small trout spinners working well.
Deerfield Reservoir: Perch are active with most of the fish being caught on nightcrawlers at depths of 30-40 feet.
Horsethief Lake: Trout bite reported on spinners and nightcrawlers.
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New Underwood Dam: Bluegill activity continues on nightcrawlers with fish suspended in 10-20 foot of water. Some catfish activity as well.
Pactola Reservoir: A slow summer on the fishing front continues with little activity reported. A few lake trout — white plastics in 25-30 feet of water —showing up on occasion and some bluegill activity in bays is about it.
Sheridan Lake: Perch bite picked up considerably in the wake of the cold front that moved through on Saturday. Best action reported near Dakota Point—crawlers and small jigs in 10-15 feet of water. Trout activity remains steady while a few large bass were taken near the forked bay.
Sylvan Lake: Trout bite remains quite active either on nightcrawlers, Powerbait or Panther Martin spoons.
Lake Oahe: Walleye have moved into deeper water — 30-40 feet — adding to the degree of difficulty in locating. Vertical jigging using minnows and crawlers is the best bet. Also, shore fishermen have been finding a nice catfish bite in the shallow water of feeder creeks.
Lake Sharpe: The walleye bite in the Pierre area remains on the slow side with the best activity on the lake found farther downstream in the lower Brule area utilizing spinners and crawlers in 15-20 foot of water.
Lake Francis Case: In the Chamberlain area, some walleye action on spinner/crawler rigs worked in 10-20 feet of water though high water levels continue to hamper fishing activity.
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.