Though I normally try to tell about experiences for each excursion I take, this week presented itself as a rather tough week fishing wise. I was able to get out twice for my first open water excursions, however, catches of fish were nearly non-existent except for one rainbow, as the water temps at present are still pretty cold and the after ice bite hasn't quite started yet as a result of the cooler weather preventing the water temps from rising a few more degrees to jump start the bite.
The ice to open water transition has started out a bit slow so far for the start of spring, but here's the current report from the Black Hills region.
The walleye bite is hit and miss right now as the fish are still in over 20' of water in both Angostura and Belle Fourche Reservoirs. Fish that were being caught were responding to jig and minnow presentations.
Water temps are currently in the high 40’s so it is only a matter of time before the walleyes will go into pre-spawn mode. Bass are showing up for shore fishermen using crappies rigs at Angostura and some catfish activity was also reported from the channel area on the Belle.
Some rainbow trout activity is being reported from Pactola as the Game, Fish, and Parks Department has recently stocked the lake. Bluegills are starting to school up in the bays and pike will start patrolling the shorelines once the water warms up a few degrees.
The boat docks have not been put in yet. Trout bites on Powerbait and worms is happening at Sylvan, Center and Horsethief Lakes. A few pike were showing up at Lakota and Stockade Lakes on golden shiners, but they have been on the small side.
Sheridan Lake's docks are not in yet, limiting the boat activity right now, but some pike and crappies are being caught on the south side from shore. Deerfield still has some ice on it, but where there is some room between the shore and ice, perch have been showing up on worms or waxies.
And lastly, if you're a fly fisherman, the moisture the Hills received recently has picked up the bite on mayfly, stonefly and blue wing olive patterns. Brown trout have been caught recently on wholly buggers as well.
Here's hoping for some warmer weather (I don't say that very often this time of year) that will jump start the open water season and put the fish in a better mood as they wait to transition back to the shallows for the spawn. Until then, tight lines everyone!