Shore fishing hasn't been the best yet, but the cooling temperatures are starting to push fish into shallower waters looking for food to gorge on before winter ice sets in. But on a nicer day recently, I got to enjoy some quality time with both my wife, Melissa, and our newborn daughter, Aurora.
I can't say that the fishing was very good (other than one small pike), but the nice day made spending time with my little family well worth it. I have to say that having a child has changed things in so many ways for me. We're both looking forward to raising her in the outdoors and encouraging her to explore new areas and try new experiences. Hopefully, she'll enjoy being outside as much as I do.
It's been so great to have gotten her off the oxygen and apnea monitors and let her just take in the fresh air. Maybe the fishing wasn't much but seeing her put her hands on a rod for the first time (with mom's help) was all I needed to enjoy the day. But soon, her time outside won't be very long.
With that in mind, the cool weather of the last week is starting to kick the fall bite into high gear. The walleye lakes at Angostura and Belle Fourche are seeing the bite pick up in spite of a continued abundance of bait fish, with early mornings and evenings seeing the best bites on bottom bouncers and Lindy rigs tipped with minnows.
Most fish are being caught in 15'-25' of water. Water temps at Pactola and Sheridan Lake are dropping fast, and the trout and pike bites are picking up steam, particularly in Jenny Gulch at Pac. A few lake trout, mostly 20"-22"ers, are showing up as well.
Stockade Lake is still seeing a decent bass and pike bite on spinnerbaits and buzzbaits with most bites happening in the thick weeded areas in less than 7' of water. A few perch and bluegills are being caught as well on ice jigs. The perch bite is picking up at Deerfield, but most activity is currently happening below the dam at the lake, as fly fishermen are finding a good trout bite.
The trout lakes (Sylvan, Center, Lakota, and Roubaix) are also seeing increased trout activity, mostly on Mepps spinners or worms dangled below a bobber. As the weather continues to head towards winter temps, the bite should only continue to pick up. Be sure to take advantage of the fall bite in the Black Hills!