Cooler weather is starting to heat up the action in many locations across the Hills and should continue to help bite conditions improve as the night temps dip down into the low 40s and high 30s. Fall is definitely here across the region and hunting seasons are beginning to start or have started as well, contributing to one of the best times of the year for outdoorsmen and women.
Good weather over the next week should contribute to lots of activity on the water as the fish will be moving closer to the shallows and beginning to feed heavily in preparation for winter. Here's some reports from area lakes.
The walleye bite at Angostura continues to improve as the fish are moving shallower as the water temps continue to cool. Lots of numbers are starting to be reported, though many are in the 13"-14" range.
Lindy rigs paired with minnows are finding fish in 15'-22' of water with some catches shallower as well. Crappie action continues around the tire barrier as well as in the Sheps Canyon area.
Belle Fourche Reservoir is still seeing a tough bite as the lake is filled with bait fish for the walleyes and has been compounded by the low water, which is seeing the lake at just over 40% of its capacity.
Some of the best action at present is happening on the trout lakes of Sylvan, Center, Roubaix, Horsethief, and Bismarck. Morning bites have been very good on the lakes, as shore fishermen have been catching them on worms, salmon eggs, Powerbait, and small spinners.
Water temps on these higher lakes have gone down dramatically, spurring the trout in them to feed at an expedited rate. Dry flies and streamers are also working well for those using bubble bobbers to get the light flies out further. The evening bite is also quite good on the lakes at present.
Deerfield Reservoir has a good trout bite happening as well for both boaters and shore fishermen. Worms and powerbait were reported to be working best, though spinners and spoons should see equal success.
The perch bite continues to be good by the dam, though most are on the small side. Pactola continues to draw boats to fish for some lake trout action with most fish being caught on large white tube jigs in 50'-80' of water.
Some perch and pike are also being caught closer to shore. Sheridan is seeing a decent trout and crappie bite around Dakota Point as well as perch hitting on jigs and worms near the north marina buoy line.
Stockade still has a good bluegill bite going on around the east boat dock, though no reports of pike or bass at present. Being on the water is best as the weeds are still thick, but panfish were responding to vertical jigging with ice rods and ice jigs tipped with plastics or Eurotackle Mummy Worms.
If temperatures continue as they are, the next few weeks should produce a lot of action for area fishermen. It's a great time to get out and enjoy fall colors and get on some fish from boats and from shore so enjoy the season while it lasts.