Black Hills Fishing Report
Well the weather has finally taken a turn towards actual fall weather! Temperatures have been and will remain mostly in the 40s with some low 50s occasionally for the foreseeable future. Nighttime temperatures are dropping into the 20s, so water temps have been going down, spurring on the bite on many local waters. But the only issue has been the wind. The constant wind has kept many fishermen from getting onto the bigger lakes, save for the most hardcore ones. Despite this, many other lakes are seeing good fall bites now, which should continue until ice begins to form (hopefully sooner than later). If you are looking to wet a line and tie into some fish, here is what it is looking like across the Black Hills region:
Thanks to water releases that have dropped lake levels to 60%, Angostura and Belle Fourche Reservoirs are seeing an increase in the walleye bite. With less area to roam around, the walleye is beginning to show up in more familiar areas to fishermen. While the bite has not taken off yet, limits are still being taken by boat fishermen using minnow rigs in 18'-22' of water. The late fall bite should start going soon as the water temps continue to drop. Pactola has seen a decline in the trout bite in the bays, particularly on the north side, but working a white marabou jig with a chunk of worm beneath a bobber has been working. And there are still some very good-sized trout to be caught! The bluegill remains steady at the southside bays and pike are starting to show up in them as well. Lakers are being caught here and there in 60'-80' of water on frozen smelt. The Bear Gulch area has been the most productive.
Deerfield is seeing a good perch bite at present, with jigs and chunk of worm working best though sorting is required. No reports of laker activity, but the larger rainbows have showing up on the west side. Small crankbaits and spoons have been the ticket. The pike bite on Stockade has been picking up as the water temps continue to drop. Bass activity should also start picking up. Spinnerbaits and chatterbaits have been working.
Sheridan Lake is seeing an uptick in the perch bite as the water temps keep dropping. Most activity is concentrated in the north marina or the 385 bays. The trout bite is also very strong as numerous fish are being caught from the docks at the north marina as well as in the 385-bay area on spoons or bobber setups. Pike are also showing up in the bays using chubs. The trout lakes (Sylvan, Center, Lakota, Bismarck, Roubaix) are seeing good bites in the morning and late afternoons. Powerbait has been working, but also silver spoons, and spinners. A slow-moving marabou jig set up is best setup currently, much like at Pactola if rainbows are your intended quarry.
The fall bite is starting to heat up thanks to the colder temperatures. If the wind ever dies down, we could see a lot of fishermen and women having some luck on most of the lakes. With the pheasant season opener happening, many lakes may be quieter as well for a short while. It would be a great time to get out and try your luck. Just remember dress warm and keep a wind breaker jacket handy! Good luck out there!