With the passing of Memorial Day weekend and the unpredictable that came with it, the weather has steadied itself as June approaches. The onset of warmer temperatures has spurred on the bite at many locations across the area and promises to hold for at least the next week.
With visits to the parks up more than double from last year and the numbers of fishing licenses up as well, it could be a good week and weekend to wet a line at an area lake. With that mind, here is the current conditions for the Black Hills area:
At Angostura, there have been lots of boats out, but not much in walleye activity. Warming water temps could spur on a bite, however. At present, most activity has been concentrated on the flats area of the lake where staying in place and slow jigging in 8'-14' has had most of the success. If walleye isn’t your game, a good smallmouth bass bite is happening in the bays and shallow weed areas on spinnerbaits.
On the other side of the Hills, Orman Dam has seen plenty of boat activity as well and a good bite has been going, though exact techniques aren't known, though most boating activity has been concentrated in the Fruitdale area north of the canal. Catfish in the canal, smallmouth, and silver bass bites are also going strong for shore fishermen in the evenings.
Pactola is seeing a lot of activity from both shore and boat fishermen. At present, the rainbow bite is still going on, though it has gone down from previous weeks as fishing pressure as steadily increased in many areas. Spoons and spinners are the best course for targeting them and some bigger ones are still being taken. Bluegill and crappie bites are happening in the southern bays and marina on minnows or worms and boaters are catching lake trout on smelt or chubs, though most are small side. Some pike activity is also reported in the northern bays.
On Sheridan, boat activity has greatly increased, though not much fishing at present other than reported rainbow bites near the dam and increasing perch activity. Warmer temps should help spur the perch bite on soon.
Deerfield is seeing shore fishing activity with reports of perch biting on jigs and worms and rainbows hitting silver or gold spoons. Some larger specimens (18" or bigger) are also being caught with the smaller ones. No lake trout reports there at present.
Stockade is seeing an increase in pike and bass activity as the weather has warmed. Spinnerbaits, jigs with crawfish imitations, or wacky worm techniques are working at present. Panfish bite reports have been nil so far though activity on that front should pick up soon as well.
At the current time, New Underwood Dam has the best bluegill bite in 6'-8' of water on jigs and worms, though sorting is needed. Some catfish are also being taken on shrimp or stink baits. For the trout lakes in the area (Sylvan, Center, Horsethief, Lakota, Bismarck, Roubaix, Legion), activity is picking up as well with the weather and more tourists are beginning to show up at these places as well so weekday fishing on them is much easier with less traffic. Spinners, dough baits, or salmon eggs have been the ticket for them.
With steady, warm weather here for the time being, it is a good time to get out and take advantage of some social distance fishing or take in some sun. As the water temps continue to rise, fishing activity may very well increase as well. Be sure to take advantage of the weather and have some fun on the lakes!