After the deluge of rain in the area recently, the balmy forecast for the upcoming weekend will be very much appreciated for outdoorsmen of all stripes, and the timing couldn’t be better for South Dakota anglers.
This weekend, Friday through Sunday, is South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks annual Open House Weekend, allowing free entrance to all South Dakota state parks and recreation areas statewide. It is also Free Fishing Weekend where fishing licenses are not required. A number of parks will also host special events to kick off the summer. Normal camping fees, however, fishing regulations and limits still apply.
An added plus: the spawn is over for most species and fish are aggressively seeking chow.
Here are some locations where perhaps that interest can best be met.
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Angostura Reservoir: Walleye activity has picked up considerably with numerous limits being caught, including a nice mix of overs, slots and unders. Fish are in shallow depths and responding to jig and minnow presentations. Also, a few smallmouth bass and the occasional catfish have been showing up as well. The Hat Creek area has been mentioned as a location of note.
Bear Butte: Water level is slow but some catfish and bullheads, along with the occasional walleye, have been showing up. Walleye were responding to a worm and Lindy rig dangled 10 feet off bottom.
Belle Fourche Reservoir (Orman): The recent weather has spiked some walleye activity in the lake. Reports indicate slots and overs are dominant. Jig and minnows recommended. Catfish have been showing up in the channel, and a few crappie and white bass action reported in spots.
Black Hills Streams: Trout bite is excellent in Rapid and Spearfish Creeks, though Spring Creek seems to be suffering from road construction in the area, which altered the routing somewhat. Fly fishermen are finding lots of action, and others are working Panther Martins, and other spinners to great success.
Curlew Lake: Fortunately, the lake has filled up considerably (dock is submerged). That, coupled with reports of some pike action as well as an active bullhead bite for those so inclined.
Deerfield Lake: Lake is open and boats have been out ,though fishing activity has been light and reports sketchy.
Keyhole Reservoir: Walleye activity reported, including some 18-inch-plus specimens. Also, crappie activity has been reported.
Lakota Lake: Pike bite has ramped up a bit. Still slow but a few nice specimens have been caught.
Pactola Reservoir: Trout bite continues in numerous locations on minnows and a variety of flies and plastics. Northern pike spawn is over and bite is picking up.
Sheridan Lake: Trout and pike bites remain steady.
Stockade Lake: A few perch and crappie catches reported, though traffic has been light.
Lakes Oahe: Water temps remain in the 40s, though tributaries are warming up (55 in places). Walleye activity is starting to gain some momentum with fish responding to bottom bouncer, minnow rigs, plastics, jigs and pulling plugs. Fish are shallow and are still spawning near outcroppings.
Lakes Sharpe: Walleye bite is strong throughout the system and fish are not picky as to offerings. While the immediate Pierre area is fishing well, particularly near sandbars, Causeway and Marrion’s Garden areas are recommended. This weeks heavy rains have muddied the waters below the Bad River, a condition that continues to the Fort George area.
Lake Francis Case: Walleye activity had been fairly steady. Smaller fish predominate, though some good eaters are being caught as well. Jig and minnow, and bottom bouncer with minnow have been working best.
Fishing Tournaments & other news
- Jared Roe Memorial Walleye Tournament: June 3, Angostura Reservoir. Reservations can be sourced at jaredroememorial.com.
- 49th Annual South Dakota Governor’s Cup: July 15-16. Spring Creek Recreation Area. Contact Curt Underhill (605-350-3845) for additional information.
Dakota Angler & Outfitter, 513 Seventh St., Rapid City; The Rooster, 1441 W. Main St., Rapid City; Wheel in Bait Shop, 18696 Fisherman’s Road, Fruitdale, and West Prairie Resort, 28354 182nd, Pierre (605-264-5303) have contributed to this report.