- 2019 Fishing Reports
- Fishing Packages
- Book A Trip
- Area Attractions
- More Info
I have been having some days off and then doing a little hunting fishing hence not really keeping up with the reports like I usually do. Fishing has generally been good for both smallmouth and walleye on Oahe but tougher for the most part on Sharpe especially when they are running heavy current. I just finished guiding Scott Baily and his wife (friends of my fishing partner Larry Porter) from Lincoln Ne. for two days. The first day was in 20 to 40 mph winds so we just hung out below the dam with very little results. More a survival effort but day two the winds died and we got one of those beautiful fall days and got really nice fish on the big lake. We could have probably caught all the smallmouth we wanted but they were more interested in walleye so we did a little running and found some nice 15 inch to 20 inch walleye getting both their limits and mine. They were all real nice healthy fish coming from around 17 fow on nightcrawler/spinner/bouncer rigs but we did catch a few on minnows. A picture perfect day with as nice a couple as I could want and a really nice bunch of fish. Over all the bite has been good on Oahe with a lot of bigger fish being caught on a lot of different presentations but one that I will mention other than live bait is jigging spoons. For many of the guides jigging raps/spoons have been putting a lot of nice limits in the boat in depths deeper but recently down to 35 fow. The fishing season is starting to wind down now and hunting is beginning to take over center stage. There are plenty of birds on ranches that want them but some areas of public ground in the state are a little down. GF&PS put out info on the counts around the state so if hunting on public land it is good to see what areas are best. Lots of crops in the field due to lots of rain so that will be a big factor on season opener. I will still do a few more fishing reports but just about ready to hang things up for the year. If I don't put out the info you need and you are coming later to fish feel free to give me a call and I will try and be helpful. Snow coming in this week so watch that as fishing could be real uncomfortable.
I have not been posting reports on a 3 day basis because until recently the fishing report remained about the same with fishing good one day and hard the next. Some of the reason has been lots of rain and wind muddying up Sharpe and wind days making access and fishing harder on Oahe. This last week has improved weather wise along with the fishing. I did a small group for the OUTPOST LODGE and they had limited success with the weather coming into play. I then moved on to one of my repeat customer favorite groups the Nutrient group from Iowa and Ne Ramrodded by Marty and Emma. They brought 18 people this year and for the most part got limits of walleye catfish and smallmouth bass. I fished Oahe along with guide Mike Kulm and we got limits of walleye both days fishing in around 20 fow with mostly spinner/bouncer/nightcrawler or slow death rigs with crawlers. We had 6 fish over the 20 inch mark along with numbers of 18 to 19 inch walleye making for around an easy 17 inch average of really nice healthy walleye. One of the guides also stayed on the big lake catching limits of big smallmouth along with walleye and 3 guides went on Sharpe. They also limited or were close with real nice fish in the 17 inch range. Most of the walleye on Sharpe were caught in 4 fow to 10 fow and most were caught on crawler rigs but some fish came on minnow rigs. This group had great weather and although we worked for the fish they were as nice as I have seen around this year. I have been very lucky to have their business over the year and know most of them. A great bunch. The guides were Mike Richards Pauly Steffen Jody Cutler Bobby Propsts Jr. Mike Kulm and Myself and these guys all did a great job of showing a nice time to all so everybody went home happy. There are days the bite can be a little tough but overall I will say the fall bite is starting and it looks like if it holds we are going to see a lot of nice fish coming in. There are still plenty of fly's around so preparing to deal with them is a good idea. As we get colder freeze nights killing of weed growth on Sharpe and lowering temps on the big lake things should get even better.
The bite has improved somewhat on both Sharpe and Oahe but it is still spotty with getting the fish to bite harder some days. I spent the last three days with the SIMMINS/SEDERLIN group of repeat customers fishing both Sharpe and Oahe. Some of my favorite repeats from down Kansas way and all real good fishermen. We caught limits of fish with a 17 inch average on Sharpe. The biggest was a 22 incher with many fish in the 18 inch range so very nice fish. The walleye on Sharpe now have to be over 15 inches so we also had to throw another 20 fish or so back because of size. We caught these fish on bottom bouncer/spinner/nightcrawlers in 6 fow to 10 fow The last day these guys wanted to try the big lake(OAHE) for smallmouth bass and although we didn't get numbers they got size with one smallmouth a 6 lb. lunker along with at least 7 fish over the 4 lb mark and other smaller bass. These fish were caught in around 30 fow to 35 fow on bouncer/minnow rigs. All three days we had to work hard for the fish and that is why this report still calls the bite spotty. It is very easy to miss feeding fish making for some reduced bags so although there are plenty of fish around there is also plenty of bait. It can be tough and many days still are. The water temps have started to drop so many of the Oahe fish are coming up from the real deep depths to more catchable water. As fall progresses I look for the bite to gradually improve with more fish in the shallow water. It is a real nice time of the year with fall arriving and cooler days more common. Still plenty of fly’s etc. around so bug spray and sun screen are necessary.
A lot of us guides hit a dead spot recently and so did the bite. Both Oahe and Sharpe got a tougher bite with fish on Oahe going deep (down to 50fow) making catching them harder. I am usually busy this part of August but this year had some time off so haven't been putting out reports. The river (Sharpe) has been spotty with west bend still putting some fish out on off shore humps but even there fishing has gotten harder. After the first of September the slot limit goes back on so 15 inch fish are necessary for limits and that will be challenging on Sharpe. The water temps on Oahe had jumped up 10 degrees but I noticed yesterday they had dropped back down. Look for the fish to maybe come back up. This will hopefully get a fall bite started and fishing should improve. Minnows are starting to come into play more especially for smallmouth bass and jigging spoons are producing some big fish in the deeper depths on Oahe. Working out numbers is challenging for walleye. Smallmouth can be good. . With dropping water temps as fall progresses things should get back to normal. We still have a lot of nice fish in the lake so I am optimistic about this fall. I will get back to more regular reports in September.
I helped guide the second half of the CVA GROUP for the OUTPOST LODGE along with probably around 20 other guides to limits on the first day but running into an early off the water day two due to a summer storm moving thru the area dumping 3 1/2 inches of rain and big wind. I then went on to guide the Bower family repeat customer to a after the storm tougher bit bite getting around 17 fish altogether.. A real nice family that got fish but had to work for them. I am still going to describe the bite as great but spotty depending on were on the lake you fish. The fish we caught on Oahe were deeper getting down to around 25 fow to even 40 fow. I still am fishing with nightcrawler bounce spinner or plain hook rigs. Many of the guides were using anything from pulling plugs/jigging raps, minnows or leeches so a variety of presentations are working. Getting on active fish that will bite is the key. There is a lot of bait in Oahe so many of the fish are inactive due to access to plenty of bait. Moving a lot to find fish that are feeding or wanting to is the key and some days finding that situation can be harder. That is why I will keep the spotty bite in the report. The big lake is full of water, full of fish and full of bait. I look for a nice fall bite and a really great year on Oahe next year. I haven't been fishing on Sharpe but have heard that the bite around Pierre is still not as good with a lot of moss/weeds around but that is second hand information. The salmon bite is maybe doing a little better with many boats getting a few fish on outings but I would be real hesitant to describe it as good .We are almost eight inches above normal for rain fall this year in the Pierre area so seeing green is nice at this time of the year. If you are going out on the lake remember fly spray sun screen and if wearing shorts bring a pair of long pants with you in the boat. Some days the fly's bite and having them with you to slip on can be nice. Thank you once again to all of the corporations that reward customers or employees like CVA to company fishing outings. It is just great for the economy around our area and a great reward for both customers and employee's.
The bite has been really day by day good or bad depending on the area that you fish. This summer has been one of the best we had had here on Oahe but just recently even some of the better guides on the lake ( including me) are having days they struggle and then days they limit by early. I guided another of my favorite repeats the Lenard's along with some of their friends for two days of just tough fishing. Then the next day took the Krebs family from Rapid out and we had their limit by 3 in the afternoon. That is just the way it seems to go with a tough bite one day and then the next day they bite. I think lots of bait is one of the reasons but really not sure why the bite got so spotty. Today I worked for the OUTPOST LODGE on the first day of 4 days for the annual visit of the Central Valley Ag group. Another corporation that rewards their employee's with a great fishing getaway every year making a lot of employee's happy and also a lot of us guides. As nice a bunch of guys as we get and over the years I have been lucky enough to guide many of them. Most of the boats out got limits of fish and once again we filled the big board at the Outpost Lodge. .Most of the fish are being caught around 17fow out to even 40 fow with bouncer/nightcrawler rigs the most common. The group tournament leader again this year was Paully Steffens guiding with another big catch. My guys caught a lot of fish getting 16 keepers but we just didn't get any real big fish so lots of eating but middle of the pack in the cooperation tournament. I would certainly like to say thank you to CVA for another employment chance this year and for showing their appreciation for all of their employee's and guides that they spend money on each year.
A quick update on the Buckley family trip. On day two we fished Oahe again and although a thunder storm rolled through with a lot of wind they got their limits of fish in the boat by 1:00 and headed in. We caught the walleye in around 10 fow to 20 fow on nightcrawler plain hook bouncer rigs. The fish were all nice averaging 17 inches so the Buckley’s returned home with full possession limits of walleye plus a northern some catfish and some bass. A great trip for some of my favorite repeat customers. Over all the lake has settled down after a couple of big storms in the area and fishing is good. Really all the way up and down the river. I am hearing of more big fish ( 28 inches or over) coming in this year so your chances of catching a trophy fish are improving. There are still not a lot of them but the future for more of the old days fishery returning are improving. I have heard of some Salmon being caught but the salmon fishery is still spotty. If you want to catch some be prepared to put in some time on the water.
I got behind on these reports since the 14th so I will catch up with this up dated run down. The fishing both on Sharpe and Oahe got tougher after a real big storm moved thru the area. High winds made a lot of muddy waters on both Oahe and Sharpe making for a tougher bite. The fish on Oahe have moved out of the shallow water for the most part and we are catching them in around 17 fow out to 30 fow most days. Limits are still coming in for experienced angler but most are having to work hard many days to fill bags. I guided John Chuck and Wayne long time repeat customers to full possession limits of walleye along with several other groups including helping Dave Spaid with the Thunder Basin ford group and just did the first day with the Allan Ellan Buckley and grandson family also long time repeat customers. We caught limits of nice walleye northern and smallmouth along with a couple of catfish so they had a nice start to their trip. Caught these fish on bouncer plain hook crawler rigs in around 23 fow out to 30 fow . Great family and we are all having fun. I haven't been down on Sharpe but I have heard the bite is a little tougher at west bend with crawler spinner rigs the preferred method. Fish there are a little deeper also. This has been a very good year over all for average size fish on Oahe. The fish are fat and healthy with tons of bait fish all over. Hot summer days so lots of gator aide /water a must. The flies are around so bug spray along with long pants are preferable. If you want to go out in shorts bring a pair of slip on long pants in the boat. There are times that you will be glad you have them along. You can catch the walleye many different ways with minnows leeches and plug fishing all working. Boat ramps are still busy but on the water it isn't as noticeable due to the high water. There is plenty of water to fish so boats can get spread out if they want to.
Just a quick follow up on the St. Edwards Ne Denny Cruise family trip. Day two Their daughter and family arrived so Scott Van Lierre helped me and we were in with 36 fish limits by two o'clock Very nice fish with a lot of 18 and 19 inch fish in the bag. We caught the fish on nightcrawlers with either a plain hook or spinner bouncers. in around 5 fow. I am doing a one day follow up on the report I did yesterday because I have been saying how great the bite is and it is. That being said I had a call last night from a guy I had guided a few years back saying he had only caught one walleye in two days and wanted me to guide him today. I could not but it got me thinking maybe I am painting to good a picture as to what is going on with the walleye fishing. The anglers that are experienced are doing very well however if you are coming here thinking it is easy it is not. Many days I fish 10 to 20 spots in depths from 5 fow to 15 fow to find active fish. When we find them it is usually lots of them quick. I have not caught a walleye this year in over 14 fow. I know many fish are being caught in 20 fow or deeper and that is why sometimes finding them is harder. Right now there are fish in many depths spreading them out and making finding them harder. They are living in the deeper depths and can be caught there but usually are harder to catch. When they go to shore they go to feed hence are much easier to catch. That is appealing to most of us guides as we are not looking to finesse the fish just catch a lot of them and get out of the heat with our customers. The fish are feeding generally every 4 hours were ever they can find bait and in reality there are very few slow bite days. Every day can be a slow day however if you are fishing fish that are done feeding so the guide's look for the feeding fish to make catching easier. Finding fish in shallow water requires lots of moves. Looking for stained water ie mud lines is always a key to shallow water fishing. Also a mindset that they can be on the bank. I hope this report helps eliminate some bad days as none of us like to hear about anglers going home with bad catch days. The lake is full of fish but you have to be versatile many days to come in with limits. One of the old time guides on the lake years ago always had a favorite reply when you asked him how he caught all the fish he did and he always answered I was just running and gunning. I found out over the years he was right. Keep moving until you land on the easy ones.
Decided to do this report quick as I am off the water today by two o'clock with limits for four of real nice fish. Actually we had 15 nice walleye in the boat and had thrown back around ten by lunch time at noon. The Denny Cruz family from around St. Edward Nebraska were reeling them in. They are long time repeat customers of mine and I was glad to get that kind of action for them. It was also nice to beat the heat. We caught the walleye in around 14 fow the deepest I have fished so far this year on Oahe. Most of the days I have been in 5 fow to 12 fow pulling spinner/crawler rigs. Many boats are catching the fish deeper so they are kind of scattered but I have found the only reason they are in the shallow water is to feed and that makes them easier to catch. I learned a long time ago that my customers like to catch the easy ones. Before the Cruzes I guided the Hansen group to possession limits then took another of my favorite groups the Robinson bunch from mostly around south west Iowa to full possession limits for 8 people along with walleyes for supper every night. They also got some catfish smallmouth as bonus fish. Jim Lawhon helped me guide this group and we all had a great time. I also took Rick Shumaker from Des Moines out for limits of walleye. Spent one day down on Sharpe in 35 mph wind and we put two boat 20 fish limits (40) in by noon. These fish were eater size around 14 to 15 inchers but on Sharpe because of the 15 inch minimum being off until Sept 1 it is very easy to catch a lot of the smaller fish. I spent all of the rest of the trips on Oahe with limits every day of fish that avg. around 17 inches with plenty of 18 and 19 inchers in the bag every day. I really think the combination of high water and tons of bait has brought Oahe back to a level of fishing that is getting close to the late 90's. Not as good yet but an amazing fishery for sure. I also am seeing as much boat traffic as we have had for maybe ever but with the high water you can find lots of places to fish without fishing around other boats if you want to. Boat ramps are crowed though so be prepared for possible waits at the ramps and the cleaning stations. For the most part I think everyone is catching fish. Oahe fish are biting on crawlers, leeches, minnow and plugs so pick your favorite presentation. Depths range from 5 fow out to 30 fow so depending on where you are at finding them can be tougher some days. I will repeat my tip about Bermuda shorts. Just great for cool comfort and a little sun but bring a pair of sweat pants or long pants along. If you end up in an area of biting fly's you will be glad you can quit slapping even if you are a little uncomfortable. Lots of Gatorade water also as 100 degree days can bring on real problems (heat stroke) IF YOU GET DEHYDRATED. A real no no. I always mention every other report or so that catching the walleye and eating them is great but to experienced angler's finding the fish is an equal if not the most important part of the sport. Walleye can be hard to find but what separates the average angler from the great ones is the ability to hunt and find the fish. If you learn to hunt fish and find them you are on the road to enjoying the whole sport. You will also catch a lot more and bigger fish if you find your own spots away from other boats and community spots. It is not hard to find another boat with a net out but it is hard sometimes to find and catch your own fish. If you do find them the rewards of knowing that you did for many is worth it. We have a great fishery this year and in closing a big thank you to our Game Fish and Parks department for their part in helping make it so.
The fishing on both Lake Sharpe and Lake Oahe is going in a full summer mode with both lakes producing limits of walleye along with smallmouth bass, northern pike and catfish. I did fish down on Lake Sharpe for a day to see what is happening and it is very easy to put limits of walleye with some bass in the boat. The 15 inch minimum limit is now off until September 1st on Sharpe and the lake is just full of 14 3/4 inch fish so lots of numbers with easy limits of eating size fish. Most of the fish are being caught on the flats in 12 fow out to 20 fow on nightcrawler/spinner rigs but trolling plugs, minnow rigs leeches etc. all work. Oahe is still my preference as you can get limits of a bigger size fish along with more Northern Pike. I fished a real nice family, the Putneys from Nebraska and they went home with possession limits of walleye, some smallmouth and catfish and northern. They also ate a lot of walleye suppers while here. I then started a trip on the 4th with a nice couple from eastern Iowa, the Wrights. We caught limits of walleye to 20 inches on Oahe. I am still fishing shallow running nightcrawler/spinner/bouncer rigs in 12 fow or less but fish are being caught out to 25 fow with leeches/ minnows and also pulling plugs. It was the busiest 4th of July that I can remember but with the high water most boats are spread out so other than busy boat ramps and busy fish cleaning stations you can find lots of room to fish. Keeping your eye to the sky this time of the year can keep you out of bad situations as storms move through sometimes real fast. Fishing is great and lots of boats are out catching lots of fish meals. Lots of water and gator aide are mandatory and the bugs are out. If you go out in shorts bring a pair of long pants ie sweat pants etc. along. Some days you will be glad you did. Hope you all had a great 4th.
Just real good fishing going on all up and down both Oahe and Sharpe. I haven't been fishing Sharpe but limits will get a lot easier after July 1st as the 15 inch minimum goes off until September 1st. Catching eating size fish should be good. Most of the reports I hear about Sharpe are spinners and crawlers in around 10 fow to 20 fow along the ledges at West Bend. Still plenty of boats out there especially on weekends. The same is true for Oahe. Be prepared to experience busy boat ramps but with all the high water on Oahe you can find plenty of places to fish that aren't full of boats. I still am spending more time in 12 fow or less but fishing is going on successfully all the way out to 30 fow. My bait of choice is still nightcrawler rigs but leeches minnows and pulling plugs are all working. The big lake is really putting out nice fish this year with 18 and 19 inch fish in most bags. More northern are around and as usual smallmouth too. I took a very nice brothers and wives group, the Wilsons fishing and they went home with full possession limits of walleye some catfish and northern . Great folks from around the Omaha Ne area. It looks like some hot days ahead with 90 degree days so water and Gatorade etc. are just essential to any outing. Bug spray and sunscreen are a plus in every boat. Every year I mention that you do not have to group fish as almost always you will have bigger and more fish finding spots that are not community spots plus the art of hunting down the fish instead of hunting for other boats is really a big part of the fishing sport. Most guys like me that have been on the water for years love the hunt as much as or more than the catching and eating.
There is a good bite going on both lakes. I haven't been fishing Sharpe so just relaying on what I have been hearing. I have been on Oahe and both the size of the walleye and the numbers are there, I helped guide the BPI group for the Outpost Lodge to limits of fish then went on to guide along with Ne John another of my favorites over 10 year repeat customers the Rezac family. Just a great bunch and we caught them full possession limits of walleye averaging 17 to 19 inches along with catfish and smallmouth bass. They also enjoyed walleye appetizers in the evening at the lodge. The weather was good for them and so was the fishing. I then spent a day with the Hubbard group again helping the Outpost Lodge. Again we got limits of nice walleye with real nice healthy fish averaging around 17 inch's with several 3 and 4 lb fish in the group. I am still fishing in water 10 feet or less with crawler rigs but fish are being caught out to 25 fow with leeches and minnows all working. The weather is summer so lots of liquids along with sun screen and bug repellent should be standard items. We have a great fishing year going on especially on Oahe so if you are on the edge of where to go for a fishing trip the big lake is an excellent choice. Pierre is also a great fisherman loving city welcoming anglers in a grand way.
I have not been down on Sharpe but from talking to guides they have the bite as good there for both bass and walleye with spinner /nightcrawlers the bait of choice. My choice for guiding is now Oahe and it is very good fishing all up and down the lake. I have been fishing shallow most days staying under 10 fow and using bottom bouncer/nightcrawler rigs with either a plain hook crawler or spinner crawler combination. Had a church group out then guided Wendell Thompson and his two sons from Hasting Ne to full possession limits of walleye along with some bass and catfish. They also enjoyed walleye meals nightly while they were here. Just a real nice family trip. Sat in the rain the last day but caught over 50 walleye as the front had them really going. It is a little easier to sit in an almost all day rain when you are constantly catching fish. This year Oahe really has nice walleye with a 17 inch average. Plenty of 18 to 19 inchers along with bags that have 0ver 20 inch fish are now the norm for fishermen that have some experience. Lots of water with near record elevations making for more acres to fish. In other words the lake is over all healthy with excellent fishing. Summer is here so sunscreen lots of water/Gator aide type drinks along with plenty of bug spray are all good ideas. I will repeat a tip about Bermuda shorts. They are great for a lot of my customers but if you are going out with them on take a pair of sweat pants or similar clothing in case you get the boat in an area that has biting flies. Slipping them on can save a lot of swatting and make for a more enjoyable fishing experience. Sometimes fly spray just isn't enough.
Except for a few wind days the weather has cooperated and so has the bite. I guided another of my repeat customer groups the Jay Wright, Sam, and Scott guys from around Genoa Ne to full possession limits of walleye some bass and catfish to take home along with big fish meals every night. The bite is very good all up and down the river. The overall avg size of walleye on Oahe is great with most bags coming in with some over 20 inch fish along with some 18 to 19 inchers. I am still fishing less than 6 fow but many boats are deeper catching walleye on Bouncer/Nightcrawler or leeches minnow rigs all the way out to 25 fow. Pulling plugs is also good. Sharpe is also good with limits for most boats. I favor Oahe however because the overall fish size is better along with bigger water that holds increased boat traffic. There are more and more anglers/boats out there every year enjoying the lakes so be prepared for busy boat ramps but with near record water high elevations there is plenty of room to fish. A full summer bite is going on from Chamberlain to Mobridge so take your pick and come on up and catch lots of fish.
Just a great bite up and down the river with limits of walleye, bass, some northern pike and lots of catfish coming in for most anglers that have experience. Weather is still a factor and muddy water in some areas continue to make for tougher fishing but for the most part things are going very well. I fished the Davis group one of my repeat groups along with Mike Kulm helping guide and they just had great fishing taking home possession limits of Oahe walleye and smallmouth bass some northern pike and a lot of catfish. They also ate a lot of fish while they were here. We spent every day but one fishing Oahe and there is no doubt the quality of walleye and bass was there for this group with lots of 18 to 19 inch fish going home with them. We caught the walleye in around 6 fow or less using mostly crawler/bouncer rigs or pulling shallow plugs. Many boats are fishing deeper using minnow/bouncer rigs and leeches and that works also but most days we were throwing back nice walleye just looking for that big one fishing shallow. I do think that with some of this warmer weather there will be more days fishing in 10 fow to 25 fow will be the ticket for limit catches. The fish on Oahe are really nice healthy fat fish with over 20 inch fish more common than in recent years. I think the high water is helping the fishery in many ways and is very good for everything from bait fish to all species spawning and growing. It also makes a lot more water to fish and that is good because there is plenty of angler/boat traffic around and with so much water it gives everybody plenty of room. If you want to group fish you can but for those that like to find fish a way from boats that is great with the high water. . Taking lots of water/ gator aide type drinks is essential now with 80 degree days and bug repellant along with sun screen makes for better trips. A tip of the day for those that like to go out in shorts. Bring a long slip over long pants/sweat pants etc. just in case you end up in area with flies/bugs. You can be glad you did. Summer is here and so is the bite.
Due to almost flood stage on the bad river for the last week or more along with other feeder creeks the muddy water is all the way down to west bend making fishing on Sharpe more challenging. Limits are still coming in but with more effort than normal due to the water clarity. Oahe has much the same conditions in many areas especially where major feeder river/creeks are running mud. All in all the bite is suffering in many areas due to an unusual spring. The bite for walleye is in around 10 to 20 fow mostly on Sharpe and Oahe is anywhere from 5 fow out to 20 fow depending on the areas. Pulling rattle plugs shallow works on Oahe and Sharpe along with bouncer/ crawler bouncer minnows. If you are willing to pitch jigs to the bank that is maybe even the best. Just finished repeat customers Doctor Scott Rose and wife Anne from Omaha Ne and they took home big bags of fish with catfish, northern, and smallmouth and limits of real nice Oahe walleye so even in unfavorable water conditions they had a nice trip. It helped to finally have some summer days for them. The water temps are in the 50's on both lakes and the Oahe walleye are really nice this year with 18 and 19 inch fish not uncommon.The lake is within 4 inches of the 2011 flood level and the corps is running big releases so it should clear the water faster if we do not get more rain. Pierre is 6 1/2 inches above normal for the year and the bite is at least a week or more behind normal.
WEATHER is still a big factor in the fishing reports as spring days have been filled with a lot of rain and wind. On the days that are nice lots of fish coming in but on rain wind days catches can be limited. Generally speaking limits of eating size walleye and bass and catfish are normal for the good anglers on Sharpe. Pierre down to West Bend is all good but the stretch between antelope creek and Joe creek on Sharpe is muddy waters due to 6 inches above normal rainfall. Water temps are now in the 50's on both lakes so fishing is getting better all up and down the system. I have been guiding mostly repeat customers and on the days weather cooperates mostly limits of walleye bass catfish and some northern.On Sharpe the spawn is generally over and the female walleye are active now so getting fish over 15 inches is much easier. Most of the fish are being caught in 10 fow or less on both minnows and crawler/ bouncer rigs along with jigs and pulling plugs working. On Oahe water surface temps in the 50's are happening making really good catfishing with northern pike going well also. So far not a lot of big catch's of walleye that I know of but with water warming and access to the boat ramps with roads drying up I expect that should change daily. I mentioned catfishing so I will make a couple of comments about probably one of the most underfished species on Oahe. Over the years I have used Northern/catfishing as a way to beat the weather as you can get back up most feeder creeks stay out of the wind and in the spring catch lots of these. They are good eating, fight better than many other fish and the limit on catfish is as many as you want to clean on Oahe. I use smelt/slip bobbers in 5 fow or less and over the years I now have many of my repeat customers that tell me that even if the weather is good they want to spend a day chasing the catfish.Just a great bonus to take home a long with walleye/bass limits. If you look at some of the pictures of my customers you will see the size and numbers of these fish we have been catching and if you look real close the smiles on my customers faces. Repeat business is what has kept me guiding for over 30 some years now and catches of northern pike and catfish surprisingly is one of the reasons many of my repeats come back. Walleye are the king for sure but if you have overlooked a catfish day you might get a real pleasant surprise both catching them and eating them. Another reason is I hardly ever see another boat in the back of most creeks. Those without access to a boat can bank fish for both the northern and catfish so these are just examples of the pluses of having a lake full of fish like these.There are some salmon being caught but I really haven't heard of big catches. We actually caught a few Atlantic salmon by accident (recently stocked) on Sharpe that have evidently went thru the intakes. The flys and bugs are starting to arrive a long with occasional sun shine so a good insect repellant along with sunscreen are boat items.
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 Mother’s 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.
Cell Phone: 605-220-2844