Though another spell of chilly weather is predicted for the next few days, the mere hint of warming temperatures, the presence of clearing waters and heavy does of cabin fever conjoined last week to offer a peek at the possibility of a soon-to-be decent spring sendoff to the 2019 summer fishing season. Though not yet escalated to the dramatic level, angling interest perked up last week as did the frequency of success.
The trout bite picked up on area streams and the hint of an expanding walleye bite on larger lakes appeared as well.
Despite dreary weather for the next few days, Mother’s Day on Sunday promises to be bright, sunny and near 70 degrees. And for outdoor enthusiasts, an excellent prescription for the ills of cabin fever.
Angostura Reservoir: The walleye bite improved last week particularly for anglers exercising the necessary patience to find the right spots. Lake is clearing though fish are scattered. A few pike and panfish are showing up at times. As elsewhere, a period of warm weather should do wonders for fishing possibilities.
Belle Fourche Reservoir (Orman): Despite a weekend fishing tournament in which the top team on Saturday weighted in a meager 7 pounds with two overs and two unders, the walleye bite improved on a cold, windy Sunday. With that, the walleye bite is slowly improving though fish are scattered—Rattlesnake Creek area seemed to have the most action--with a variety of presentations working—minnows and worms primarily.
Black Hills Fly Fishing: Nymph fishing with weight is the name of the game at present as flows remain high on most area streams. With rapid flows, particularly on Rapid Creek, fish are generally congregated in pockets along shorelines or behind boulders. Streamer fishing with smaller flies have been working on occasion as well. Rainbow trout are currently feeding with abandon at Pactola. Nymphs or buggers work as well.
Custer State Park lakes: Activity has been slow though warm temperatures predicted for next week could very well change that as trout begin to feed more aggressively.
Deerfield Reservoir: No reports received of late as persistent weather fronts are apparently discouraging anglers from making the trip.
You have free articles remaining.
Keyhole Reservoir: The walleye bite is perking up in the Wyoming lake as well.
Pactola Reservoir: Though some excellent rainbow trout, attracted by flies, are being caught, the bluegill and perch bites remain stagnant at present. An occasional northern pike is being caught in Jenney Gulch.
Prairie Lakes: As the weather heats up, so does the bite on prairie lakes with fish aggressively seeking a spring feed. On Durkee, Gardner, Opal, Newel and New Wall Lakes, a variety of species are becoming active.
Sheridan Lake: Anglers were finding a nice perch bite to go along with some northern pike activity near the mouth of the inlet.
Lake Oahe: With water temperatures remaining on the chilly side in Oahe, the best fishing at present is in the shallows, or back in the Cheyenne where water temps are around 50 degrees, a condition that is allowing for some walleye activity in that area. In the lake proper, northern pike and smallmouth bass are the most active including some nice-sized pike in the 15-18-pound range. Walleye were showing up in 6-8 feet of water and hitting on plugs while northerns in the shallows near Spring and Cow Creeks were responding to smelt rigs or casting spoons.
Lake Sharpe: Waters are beginning to clear downstream from the Bad River and limits of walleye are being caught on plugs in shallows and bouncer minnows/jigs minnows in deeper water. Fish are scattered, however, and searching may be required. A nice smallmouth bass bite is in progress as well. Better weather is bringing out more fishermen and boat traffic so be prepared for a busy boat ramp.
Lake Francis Case: A fair to middling walleye bite around Chamberlain both on shore — pitching jigs — or from boat with jigs and minnows. Most of the fish caught are on the small side, however, and sorting required.
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.