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The weather just won't settle down. Pierre is almost 5 inches above normal for the year making for a lot of wet anglers.The bite is favorable on Sharpe for those fishermen going out but rain and wind seems to be the norm. Oahe is spotty for walleye but good for catfish and northern pike along with smallmouth bass however right around Pierre water temps on the big lake are making for a limited walleye bite.There also just hasn't been much angling action on Oahe so reports of catches are numbered.The walleye on Sharpe are being caught on bouncer minnow/crawler rigs, pulling plugs. and pitching jigs with either gulp or minnows. Fish are just done spawning and are being caught from 3 fow water out to 20 fow depending on the area. On Oahe the pike and catfish are shallow with most of the action on dead smelt rigs. I would think that the spring weather will straighten out and if so plenty of fish will be caught as the water temps are 50 degrees on Sharpe and some places on Oahe it is getting there. Just no reports on Salmon as not many anglers out.
The bite on Sharpe continues to be good when the weather allows fishing. Walleyes and bass are going fine. Oahe is very good for northern along with catfish now going but walleye continue to be spotty. I guided long repeat customer Jerry Fennel from Wisconsin and his party along with Dave Spaid helping to nice limits one day but one day bad weather really hurt the catch. The same was true for John Murphy of Rapid City and his wife as weather cut day one short with big wind and some walleye but not limits. Day two they decided to spend Motherís Day going on Oahe for Northern and catfish on a beautiful spring day and it worked for Mom as she caught a 20 lb. plus northern along with a total of 5 other smaller northern and lots of nice catfish so they both had a nice trip We caught the walleye and bass on Sharpe both pulling plugs and spinner/minnow rigs in 10 fow or less and we caught the northern and catfish on Oahe with smelt/slip bobber rigs in shallow water also. Water temps are around 50 degrees on both lakes so fishing is starting to improve daily. So far on the days the weather cooperates fishing is great but spring weather can be unpredictable so hope for those great spring days if you are coming over. Flies are starting to come out so bug spray and sunscreen are items to bring. It is just great to see spring rolling in as this has been a long hard winter. I think the bite has been at least a week maybe two behind normal but starting to straighten out now.
The bite is improving daily as water temps warm and run off water diminishes. The water clarity is getting better in many areas so fishing is also better. I guided repeat customers Dave Petrocco and son Dominic of Petrocco Farms from Denver for one day on Sharpe and day two in the Cheyenne river on Oahe. We got limits of eating size walleye and a lot of smallmouth bass on Sharpe on day one then went out on Oahe to target northern Pike as Dominic wanted to catch a big northen. We caught 4 northern in the 10 to 12 lb range and finally got one that was around 18 lbs so Dominic got a big one making the trip complete. We caught the walleye and bass on plug fishing using number 5 flicker shads in 6 fow or less but bouncer minnows /jigs minnows deeper are also working on Sharpe. The fish seem to be scattered so moving around a bit eventually produced limits for them. We also caught 20 or more bass as they are biting. Water temps are around 50 degrees on Sharpe as well as in the back of the Cheyenne however the walleye bite is much slower on Oahe. We caught the northern on smelt pike rigs in shallow water and also caught some smallmouth bass on plugs. I see these two every year and they are among my favorite repeat customers so we all had a great time. I will look forward to the next trip with them. It is raining today and looks like that is forecast for the next few days so spring weather is always a cross your fingers thing for these early trips. There were a lot of boats out over the weekend and that will increase so fishing in some areas can have crowded boat ramps. Lots of cabin fever around after this winter so it is great to be back on the water for many including me.
A typical spring with weather being the main factor in what's being caught. On the great weather days on both lakes boats are out along with bank fishermen so catches are happening. Sharpe is putting out limits of spawning walleye along with bass in 10 fow or less with mostly minnow or plug presentations Water temps on Sharpe are getting in the 50s in some areas.. Oahe water temps are still around 42 degrees and the northern bite dominates the catches with water temps needing to rise to get a favorable bite going for walleye and bass. Smelt rigs or casting spoons are the main methods for the pike. There is still some runoff dirty water in some areas making unfavorable conditions for catching so if you are coming over watch for water clarity conditions. I along with most guides are looking for the warmest stained (not dirty) water we can find as starting points to guide trips. That usually is shallow water. This time of the year the female walleye are intent on spawning and are very slow to bite so the majority of limit catches are the eating size spawning males. Spring is here so expect the fishing to get better every day we have nice weather warming the lakes and getting the metabolism rates moving in all species. It is great to be back on the water and I am looking forward to seeing many of you again this year. I think the outlook for this year is similar to the last few years with maybe some areas benefiting from both salmon and walleye stocking programs from the last few years but I am taking a that remains to be seen attitude and reserving judgement until more results are available. .I will start posting pictures of catches after this week end but if you are heading out to fish hope for the weather to help your trip out. You should be able to catch fish.
It is that time of the year to start putting out some fishing information. I think spring has finally started to get here. It has been a long hard winter and although it is a little early to tell I think generally speaking the bite might be just a week or so later this year. There has been a lot of runoff making dirty colder water in many areas. The water levels on Oahe are close to as high as they were in the flood of 2011 so lots of water to fish this year on Oahe. Sharpe is up a little but as usual maintaining a fairly consistent level. A lot of dirty water below Pierre all the way down to West Bend on Sharpe making for a tougher bite but I would describe Sharpe below Pierre as just getting started with fish being caught but not in big numbers yet. Above the bad river downtown can be good when they run the right amount of current. Maybe a week will make a big difference as 70 degree days are more frequent warming water temps up. Oahe still has some ice floating around by the dam but this week should clear that all off making open waters all up and down the lake. The bite on Oahe has been good for Northern but walleye fishing is spotty with not a lot of boats out chasing them. The presentations for both lakes right now favors jigs and minnows with fish being caught both shallow were the fish are spawning and deep were they are waiting to spawn. Smelt rigs are the favorite for the northern. I heard that someone caught a 2 lb plus steelhead salmon setting a record for the atlantic salmon that were just stocked so maybe with these fish getting around it will make salmon fishing more interesting. There haven't been many boats out chasing salmon so I am not sure how that bite is. I will start posting these reports on around every three days starting May 1st as I will be back on the water guiding then and will be more in touch with information.
Not much has changed on the fishing around Pierre with almost no boat traffic to speak of. The bite continues to be slow for open water fishing but where the ice is safe some nice fish are being caught. The Council Bluffs, IA show I just did had great traffic and I thank all of you that stopped by my seminars and my booth. Nice to see you and will see many of you again this summer. I wanted to let every one know I will be at the Black Hills Sport Show the 8th 9th and 10th of February doing a seminar on Saturday at 10 in the morning on fishing around the Pierre area. I will also have my booth there so if you are in Rapid City stop by and visit. I will then go down to Omaha and have my booth at the annual Omaha Boat and Travel show Feb 21st 22nd 23rd and the 24th so for my Omaha area customers/friends stop by. Then I guess I will be like a lot of us and just wait for the nice days to return and get the boat back out and go fishing. I hope everyone is having a good and safe time getting through the cold months and recognize for many this is a favorite time of the year for both hunting and getting out on the ice. My preference has always been the warm water spring/summer fishing but good luck to those enjoying and braving the colder weather. Hope to see some of you at the above shows.
Just a brief update along with sports show information. The bite around Pierre for those brave enough to get out died off a bit with much colder water temps. Some activity on the ice and the big Mobridge tournament is going on. Not a lot of geese being shot. I WILL BE AT THE MID AMERICA CENTER SPORTS SHOW IN COUNCIL BLUFFS IA WITH MY BOOTH AND ALSO DOING DAILY SEMINARS ON FISHING SOUTH DAKOTA'S MISSOURI RIVER WATERS NEXT FRIDAY, SATURDAY, and SUNDAY THE 18TH 19TH AND 20TH. I WILL ALSO HAVE MY BOOTH AT THE OMAHA BOAT AND TRAVEL SHOW FEB 21ST, 22ND, 23RD AND 24TH. IF YOU ARE ATTENDING EITHER OF THESE SHOWS STOP BY MY BOOTH AND VISIT. I hope everyone is having a good New Year.
Both of these month's produce excellent walleye fishing along with great smallmouth/ Northern/ Catfish. Weather is a factor so many times we have to stay off big water because of high winds etc. but this is a great time to go after the big northern and catfish in the back of creeks/bays to beat the weather. Also fishing on Sharpe below Dam keeps you out of wind and produce's nice limits of walleye. Jig fishing when water temps cold along with btm. bouncer presentations as water warms most common .Boat traffic can be much more around the Pierre area.
By far the busiest month on both lakes.( School out and just traditionally start of summer season] so book early if possible to get best guides/lodging. The fishing is excellent for all species. Weather can still be a factor. We are usually fishing with Lindy or btm. bouncer's.
Best all around month for both fishing and weather especially family trips Walleye fishing at seasonal peak especially in high water periods on Oahe. and Sharpe good two. Btm. Bouncer presentations most common.
Same as July but there can be hotter weather. If there is a breeze it is not to bad as big lake water temps keep heat down. Fish can be a little deeper but still great fishing.
Very good on the walleye fishing with fall weather great toward end of month. As water cools jig fishing starts to come into play again.
Fishing is still good but weather coming into play again Jigs work best especially in colder water. Combination Hunting /fishing trips most common. Just a note: You can catch fish in all the months above tolling or casting plugs and we do that often. But I have found that guiding people over the years most prefer live bait hover fishing better so I spend more time with btm/bouncer/crawler/minnow/leeches than the plugs but pulling plugs is always a good alternative and sometimes can be the best.
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