While weekend weather pattern will bring cooler weather mixed with showers, the lull in what has been a pleasant start to the month of May shouldn’t adversely impact fishing prospects. Certainly not for anglers who gladly accept the eccentricities of South Dakota spring weather if there exists a reasonable opportunity to see the tip of a fishing rod take a sudden and dramatic dip. Judging by recent reports the odds favoring such an occurrence do exist, and are improving.
Health Warning: A high level of mercury has been detected at New Wall Dam and fish caught at the lake should not be eaten.
Angostura Reservoir: Walleye bite has taken off with limits being caught on bouncers and spinners.
Belle Fourche Reservoir (Orman): A weekend tournament last weekend produced lots of fish caught though majority were slot fish. Catfish bite in channel remains excellent as well.
Black Hills Fly Fishing: Fishing remains excellent in area streams, a situation that shouldn't be hampered by upcoming cooler weather and rainy conditions as cool, cloudy, weather will likely result in a ice blue-winged olive mayfly hatch. Overall, best fishing will be with nymphs and streamers.
Canyon Lake: Trout activity reported with black wooly buggers working and trout spinners working best.
Cheyenne River: Catfish are loading up on stink bait, worms, and powerbait at present.
Deerfield Reservoir: The lake is now open though fishing activity last week was very slow.
Pactola Reservoir: Panfish activity is prevalent in bays on small jigs and waxworms or a piece of nightcrawler. Also, a few lake trout are being caught as fish move into bays. Jenney Gulch with smelt or golden shiners is always a good bet. Some trout activity as well as spawning is in progress.
Prairie ponds: Largemouth bass are becoming quite active in prairie ponds, and a check of a favorite spot might well payoff.
Shadehill Reservoir: Large walleye in the 20-inch plus category were being caught last week.
Sheridan Lake: As in most Black Hills lakes, trout are being stocked and will be quite active on night crawlers. Crappie are hitting on minnows with white jig and a bobber.
Stockade Lake: Some ice and no reports of fishing activity last week.
Lake Oahe: Lake water temps continue to increase albeit on the slow side. Main lake was at 42 degrees earlier in the week with back bays registering 45 degree readings. Nonetheless, northern pike bite has picked up somewhat (pitching spoons) for both shore fishermen and boaters though remains slow for other species. Also catfish are showing up in shallow water of back bays.
Lake Sharpe: Water temp is near 50 degrees and walleye bite continues to improve along Pierre area bluffs and farther south in West Bend area. Jig/minnow rigs or pulling shallow plugs are working best. Working stained water of main lake or creeks is recommended.
Lake Francis Case: Anglers are finding a nice walleye bite from the dam south to Chamberlain area. Fish are being located from shoreline out to 30 feet of water and responding to a variety of presentations.
Fishing Tournaments Notice
Third Annual Jared Roe Memorial Walleye Fishing Tournament: June 2 at Angostura. $50 per 3 person team. Briefing at Shelter No. 3 at 7 a.m. Prizes include money and fishing gear with a portion of the proceeds donated to the South Dakota National Guard Supplemental Mission Fund. Visit jaredroememorial.com for additional info.
Fall River Swim Team Father’s Day fishing tournament: June 16 at Angostura. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for additional info.
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), and Angostura State Resort have contributed to this report.