Though temperatures haven't been the warmest, the walleye bite at Belle Fourche and Angostura Reservoirs continue to go full steam ahead. I went to Angostura recently on a cold and blustery day with my friend Matt to try to see if the walleyes were still hanging out around structure on the south side.
Well, despite repeated snags, lost jigs and high winds, they were still there. We caught a couple dozen 'eyes, though the majority were in the 13"-14" size that have been getting caught according to recent reports with a few 16"-17"ers in the mix.
The crappie were also mixed in with them and there were good sized ones, most near 15". I even managed to catch a few nice bluegills that were hiding in the downed trees as we trolled past them.
We trolled with jigs and plastics or minnows and found fish anywhere from 8' to 13' hiding near weed breaks or in downed timber, which was a frequent source of lost jigs. I used only plastics all morning and was very impressed by the new Core Swimbait from Northland Tackle. The firecracker color caught nearly all my fish that morning, accept for the bluegills
The action on them was a killer for the 'eyes and crappie! Matt had a tough go keeping the boat from being blown around due to the wind, but he kept us on fish and made it a good morning.
At present, Orman Dam boaters are finding lots of 'eyes hanging around at depths of anywhere from 10' to 25' around the flats or breaks off of points. The lake has a slot limit of 15" to 18" and many boats were reporting catching fish in the slot. Overs are proving to be harder to find, though they seem to be responding best to crawler presentations over minnows.
Lindy rigs and bottom bouncers are producing the best action at present with the evening bite working best for both boaters and shore fishermen using crappie rigs. Current catches suggest more than 30 fish per boat is not uncommon. Hopefully I'll be able to get up there soon to try and get on this hot bite.
There were a few reports from both Pactola and Deerfield Reservoirs. Bluegills were still biting in the bays at Pactola as well as a few northerns in Jenny Gulch, while perch are still plentiful at Deerfield on slip bobbers, jigs, and worms.
Trout were being caught from boats trolling woolly buggers and trout spinners. A few lake trout are showing up as well. Water temperatures are still on the low side due to the inconsistent weather.
The fish are biting at the reservoirs in the area. It's just been a matter of putting up with the less-than-ideal weather recently that is determining whether or not some are going out. But right now, it is well worth the time to deal with the weather.