Angostura Reservoir, South Dakota
Target Species: Walleyes and Crappie
Depth: 10'-25', gravel bottoms along shorelines and humps
Water Temp: 52 degrees
Air Temp: Low to mid 40s
Technique: Trolling ¼ oz Northland Fireball jigs tipped with minnows
A few days ago, I went out with a buddy down to Angostura again to try to put some walleyes in our freezers. Recent reports had suggested the fish were in 20 feet or deeper around the lake though catches were spotty, but we wanted to try for some before he would put away the boat in preparation for the winter (should it ever get here). I tied on a ¼ oz chartreuse Fireball jig on one rod and a white one on the other, tipped them with minnows, and we began trolling along the shorelines on the eastern side of the lake, keeping the speed around 1.3 to 1.6 mph.
The bottom was mostly featureless other than being slightly gravely, but we were seeing marks on the sonar here and there so we were confident. We explored varying depths to see where most of the fish were concentrated and managed to catch some decent crappies, smallmouth bass, and nice drums, but the walleyes were few and far between. As we were moving towards an underwater island, the bottom came up rapidly and just as we marked some fish, the biggest fish of the morning slammed my jig. It seemed an obvious place for walleyes to be hanging out as they tend to be on drops like that, but it was the only one that bit. Being a bit of novice at fishing Angostura yet, it was fun to reel in a very nice sized 'eye as we hadn't caught many other keeper-sized walleyes, we let it go.
We tried a couple of other spots, but didn't succeed in catching any more 'eyes or good sized crappie, so I called it a morning. Water temperatures around the Hills are still high thanks to the warm October we had and hopefully once the temperature gets down closer to normal, the bite will kick back on. I think the fish are as confused as most of us here with the warmer-than-normal weather we've had for a month. Soon though, the weather will turn for the better and it'll be on right up to first ice. And I, for one, am looking forward to it.