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I guided a great bunch of repeat customers the Hansen group (John Wayne and Chuck) for a 3 day outing of some really great walleye fishing. These guys got all of their over 20 inch fish two days in a row ( 23 22 21 20 21 20) along with the rest of the fish we kept for their possession limit all in the 18 to 19 inch range. We caught all of the big fish on Oahe fishing mostly in 15 fow or less. The main presentation was nightcrawler/bouncer rigs fished with little propeller spinners at about 1 mph. The big lake is putting out real quality fish this year but some days getting them requires going thru a lot of little guys bringing to mind cutting hooks off to get the best possible release on these fish. I use a number 2 eagle claw light wire hook that I buy wholesale for around $30 for a thousand so I never have to think twice about cutting and losing a hook. Sometimes maybe tournament fishing might merit buying high dollar hooks but most of the bulk cheaper hooks are more than adequate. The kind of presentation used also has a lot to do with deep hooked little fish and that is one reason why I am pulling spinner rigs now as you get more lip hooked fish. Pulling plugs or fishing with gulp or minnow fishing also has this advantage. None of us want to see floating fish (the future of the fishery) so any way to cut the odds down speak to good sportsmanship. Sharpe is going great guns also and catching 30 to 50 fish a day is not uncommon with releasing little fish a must to get limits of over 15 inch fish. Remember that after the 1st of July the 15 inch slot limit goes off on Sharpe until September so it will even be easier to bring in limits of nice eaters. Hot weather has arrived with the great bite so lots of water is a must. Also fly/bug spray ( I use Bronco horse stable spray) for the inside of the boat makes for a more enjoyable trip. I know that shorts and flopper shoes are cooler but not as practical when around these pests. Sometimes if you aren't into slapping fly's a pair of jeans white socks and tennis shoes help minimize this annoyance. This reports key to catching the bigger fish: Look for mud lines in 10 fow or less with no other boats around. Avoid community spots as they are picked over daily.
I guided repeat customers Don Reed, brother James and Dad Vernon to full possession limits of walleye, and smallmouth bass. We caught fish on Oahe and Sharpe fishing mostly in 10 fow or less with crawler/bouncer rigs using both nightcrawlers and some gulp. I then took repeat customers Dad Keith Lenard son Doug and grandson's Coop and Scott out for two days of fishing both on Oahe. Got into a real nice stringer day one with 3 over 20 fish numerous 17, 18 and 19 inchers for a real quality day. Second day was limits again but size was down somewhat due to storms in the area. This family and I go way back and it is just great to see these boys growing up over the years. I have many groups that come yearly with their family's and I must say these are always really rewarding trips for me. The fishing on both Oahe and Sharpe is in full swing. Most boats that are familiar with the reservoir's are going home with nice limits. Fishing depths of 10 fow or less is still my main choice however fish are coming out of depths out to 30 fow. Nightcrawlers/minnows and gulp are best choices with leeches and pulling plugs producing. Lot's of boat traffic this year so be in the mood to share the water. It is still a 235 mile long lake so you can find plenty of un-fished spots if that is your bag. Bug Spray and lots of water in the boat is a real good idea now. It is great to catch walleyes, it is great to eat them, but the real fun part of the sport is to find them. If you spend the time to improve this skill you will get yourself in the upper echelon of walleye fishermen and understand that the hunt is a great part of the sport. Finding walleyes is an art that all of the best walleye fishermen have and usually is the separating point between average and great.
Just a great bite on both lakes with weather for the most part good so lots of fish limits coming in. I guided repeat customers Scott and Ann Rose from Omaha Ne to full possession limits of walleye and bass with two real big bass (19 incher) for master angler awards. I had a great time fishing these two again and looking forward to a Rose /Owen trip in September. I then guided the Jeff Hubka group from Ne to possession limits of walleye catching also Crappie, catfish northern white bass smallmouth bass and a couple of big carp for bonus fish. These repeat customers had great weather, lots of fish (over 80 walleyes released) for a great time. Both of these groups caught the fish both on Sharpe and Oahe in 10 fow for the most part and the bait of choice was nightcrawlers or gulp on btm. bouncers fished with little propeller spinners. The lake has a lot of traffic this year so expect to experience boat ramp crowds. Once you get on the water you can find plenty of spots to fish without crowds if you like. I have mentioned in the past reports that the key to bigger fish and more numbers is to stay away from crowded community spots and this piece of advice is still true. I try to avoid fishing around other boats as much as possible and find it pays off all the time. The only fish in the lake are not all under that group of 10 boats you see so hunt down the fish. They are all over the lake and to me and guys like me that is the real sport. The hunt and the finding. Sun Screen, Bug repellent and lots of water are in order now. The bite is still numbers at West Bend on Sharpe but bigger average size and more species caught on Oahe. My choice weather permitting Oahe.
The fishing is very good at both West Bend on Sharpe to Oahe all up and down the system. I finished guiding the Libel group for the outpost, then guided the Schleusner group and then on to the Darin Davis group of guys. All these groups were great and we caught possession limits for all of them. The fish we caught at the bend were for the most part shallow (under 10 fow) and that is true on Oahe also. The bite is now on both crawlers/bouncers Gulp/bouncers and still minnows if you want. Pulling plugs is also working. Lots of hot weather days around now so take plenty of water along with bug spray. On Oahe the bite is super really from Spring creek right up to Mobridge so take your pick. There is a lot of boat traffic everywhere with weekends being the most. If you are going to fish the popular spots be prepared for lots of other fishermen. Remember to drain your boat before you leave the cleaning areas to comply with the new regulations aimed at invasive species. My bait of choice: Nightcrawlers or Gulp. My area's to fish : West Bend for numbers Oahe for size with Oahe being my number one pick.
Memorial Day weekend has provided great weather and on both Sharpe and Oahe and record crowds of fishermen/boaters.. I fished two groups of repeat customers and am now guiding a group of 4 brothers, brothers in law along with Ne John. Scott Van Lyre helped me guide about a nice of bunch of guys from all over Iowa headed up by Pat Purlick a Harlan Iowa resident. Fished West Bend for full possession limits off walleye/Bass catching the fish in anywhere from 5 fow to 25 fow on mostly bouncer/minnow combos. The bite is in full swing there and catching Limits of 15 to 17 inch fish is the norm. I then took Lee Hammons friends and repeat customers Jim and Steve up on the Cheyenne river for limit's the first day then one short on day two. On Oahe the bite is in full spring/summer mode putting out limits of fish for most experienced anglers. Pulling plugs shallow along with bouncer minnow/crawlers and pitching jigs/gulp shallow are the best presentations. A lot of fish were caught this Memorial week end by a huge amount of boats. I have been guiding here for over 30 years and I have never seen the amount of boats in the main bite area's so if you are coming over expect to see a lot of boat trailers at boat ramps and expect some delays at when trailering your boat. Also remember to drain all live wells and your boat at ramp/cleaning area's due to the new last year law aimed at preventing the spread of invasive species. Bug spray is starting to be useful.
Just finished guiding the Reed Brothers Gary, Bill Lenny and Tim to full possession limits of walleye, smallmouth, and a bunch of catfish/Northern. Just a great family trip with a bunch of real nice guys. We caught most of the walleye and smallmouth at West Bend on Sharpe fishing depths from 5 fow all the way out to 25 fow on a bouncer minnow combination. Lots of limits coming in on Sharpe but also look for plenty of other boats/fishermen as this is a real popular spot. We caught probably 50 fish a day but many were under the 15 inch slot so releasing small fish is necessary to get to limits. Since the Reeds had their limits of walleye /bass to take home we spent day three on Oahe targeting both Northern and catfish and had constant action all day catching as many catfish as they wanted and a couple of Northern. We used slip bobbers/smelt in the back of creeks in less than 5 fow to put around 50 catfish in the boat. Lots of great eating and an under harvested fish that just isn't given the credit it should have. Oahe is a much harder bite right now around Pierre but every warm weather day should improve the overall harvest here.
I got behind on these reports, however I will try to keep current from now on. Did a bunch of guiding with a lot of repeat customers from the Nat Luhrs group from Ne. to the Steve Anderson Group from Az and lastly Doug Hays and Doug Kellering from Kc Mo all repeat customers and just great customers and friends. The bite down at West Bend on Sharpe is great for both walleye and smallmouth in 10 fow or less with bouncer/minnow, jigs gulp, plug pulling and now even nightcrawler rigs. I sent all of the above customers home with limits of walleye bass and lots of catfish with some northern pike. Oahe is going when the weather allows access. Most of the fish on the big lake are being caught in shallow water with jigs/gulp minnows/bouncers in shallow stained water in the back of rivers/creeks. The main bite is on at Lake Sharpe and starting to go on Oahe with weather still being the key to great trips both lakes. Look for the warmer wind blown stained water for the best success.
The spawn on both Oahe and Sharpe is for the most part done with male walleye's hanging around spawning area's. These are the fish that are providing the best action/catch's on both lake's. I finished guiding Zach and friend Roger from down Kansas way catching catfish /northern to round out there trip as they had full possession limits of smallmouth and walleye. Roger got a real nice northern in the 16 lb. class along with 20 catfish. We caught these fish on dead smelt in the back of creeks/bays on Oahe in very shallow warmer water fishing slip bobbers/smelt. A real nice trip for a couple of great guys. Then fished the Jerry Fennel party of repeat customers from Ne KS Colorado and Wisconsin to great smallmouth and walleye fishing at West Bend on Sharpe and northern /catfish on Oahe. We caught all of the different species in warmer shallow stained water with the walleye/ bass hitting either jigs/gulp or bottom bouncer/minnow. Smelt for the cats and northern. Overall most nice days are producing limits however bad weather days can make for more work to come in with limits. The open water fishing is good and should get better every day as water temps move up. I have heard of a few salmon being caught around the dam.
Finally the weather has turned to spring /summer like days. I spent two days fishing repeat customers the Kaslen brother's and friends to day one 20 fish walleye limits down at west bend and day two went to the Cheyenne river for limited results. Both days were great weather days and we found the fish at the bend in 5 fow or less catching them mostly on gulp/bouncers/minnows. There is a good bite around Pierre some days but most of the fish are concentrated from the bad river north to the dam in the cleaner water. Expect to be fishing with a lot of other boats as the boat traffic is big time. The Lake is on the edge of a good bite and these warmer weather days should get things going. I spent the next two days with friends Larry Myrers (Sports Writer editor Sioux City Journal) and pal Gary Howe (Howe Outdoor/TV productions) getting day one and two some great Smallmouth film/article along with some nice walleye action. I have just started a three day trip with Zach Sheldon from down Kansas way and friend Roger. We put limits of nice walleye and bass in the boat making a great start for their trip. Caught all these fish in 10 fow or less on either Gulp/Jigs or Minnow/bouncer rigs. The Season is in full swing now.
Weather is the sum it up word. Lots of rain/wind made almost all week a real earn your fish bite. The water around Pierre from below the bad river down to the FT George area is muddy but that being said catches are coming out of this dirty water for those fishermen pitching jigs along the bluffs or fishing the clean water from the bad north to the dam. Jigs minnows/Gulp are the baits of choice but plug pulling can work. West Bend is going also but because of the weather boat traffic was down all week. Most of the walleye fishing is centered around know spawning areas. The northern bite on Oahe is still good with smelt pike rigs but water temps still cold so walleye continue to be harder to come by. It is looking much better weather wise this next week so I look for improving catches by most fishermen. The season is here.
Got out on the water (Sharpe West Bend) with my friend and internet guy Jon Sailer for a great day of fishing down at the bend. We had some equipment fail's with a bow mount that wouldn't work but in spite of that we managed to get nine keepers for supper. The fishing around Pierre has been mostly centered on the river (Sharpe) with rain/weather causing a lot of dirty water below the bad river so most of the traffic has been from the bridges to the dam or down at the bend. Minnows Jigs Gulp are the baits of choice however pulling plugs has been producing some days.10 fow or less in all the key areas that hold spawning fish is where most of the action is. Oahe continues to be great for nice northern and some walleye with less boats out on the big lake however walleye fishing is spotty. Fish are being caught from right on the bank to 35 fow. The season is just getting started and should improve daily with longer warmer days but this time of year if you are coming over watch the weather as much as you can. I will start to do reports on a more frequently now as I will be on the water most days.
Hutch's Guide Service
I hope every one is having a great Easter. This will be the starting report of the 2016 season and thru March I will do around one a week going to every three days in April. For most fishermen it is still real early in the year and most boats that are out (more than normal) are in state anglers that are able to fish when they see the weather is good. The bite has been good on Sharpe with catching a lot of under 15 inch fish needed to fill out limits but most boats going out are producing limits. The ratio of male /female fish is still heavy on female's full of eggs so if that bothers you wait just a couple of weeks until the males start milking. The females go off bite during the spawn for the most part so most of the fish that you catch (Males) are not going to hurt the future fishery as much. Jig fishing with minnows/gulp is the most common method right now however some days pulling plugs is putting fish in the boat. Northern fishing has been very good on Oahe with either going after them with boats or bank fishing using Pike rigs and smelt. Haven't heard much about a walleye bite on Oahe but that is due to not many anglers after them. All in all the over all report is that for the average fisherman it is still to early. April is just around the corner so fishing and weather should start improving daily. Just remember that all of the trips in the next month or so are going to be weather orientated. It looks like another great season coming up with plenty of fish around and the water levels are good.
I will have my BOOTH and be at the OMAHA SPORTS AND TRAVEL SHOW starting this THURSDAY and going thru SUNDAY the 24th to the 28th February so if you are in the area attending the show stop by my booth and visit about the upcoming season.
Now until Sunday. Booth 8 right inside front door to show.
I am doing sports shows so I have not been around the water in Pierre but from what I hear not a lot going on in Pierre with the ice fishing (open water around dam) mostly north of Pierre and only die hard fishermen going out below the dam. Those who are out on the nice weather days are getting walleye to eat for supper jigging or pulling plugs. I also see they have put gravel on the city ramp in Ft. Pierre. I will have my BOOTH and be doing SEMINARS at the RAPID CITY SHOW on the 12th, 13th and 14th of February so if you are in the area or going to the show stop by my booth to visit or come to one of my seminar's to catch any new info I have on Oahe/Sharpe fishing around the Pierre area and any new tactics that seem to be working to catch the fish.
I will have my booth at the RIVER CITY HUNTING AND FISHING EXPO AT THE MID AMERICA CENTER this week end JANUARY 15th 16th and 17th 2016. I will also be doing daily seminars on the up coming season on OAHE/SHARPE WALLEYE FISHING in SOUTH DAKOTA. This is always a great show with free parking and easy access in COUNCIL BLUFFS IOWA. For more info go to their web site www.rivercityexpo.com
Hutch's Guide Service
HAPPY NEW YEAR AND SPORTS SHOW/SEMINAR SCHEDULE FOR 2016
I will be doing SEMINARS about walleye fishing on the Missouri river reservoirs (specifically on Lake's Oahe/Sharpe) and will have my BOOTH at the DES MOINES IOWA BOAT AND TRAVEL SHOW JAN 8TH 9TH AND 10TH. The following weekend I will be doing WALLEYE SEMINARS and have my BOOTH at the MID AMERICAN CENTER IN COUNCIL BLUFFS, IOWA JAN 15TH 16TH AND 17TH and in FEBRUARY I will be at and have my booth at the OMAHA BOAT SPORTS AND TRAVEL SHOW on the 25th, 26th, 27th and the 28th of February. I haven't finalized plans for the Rapid City Show yet but if I do it I will post that after the 1st. If you are in the area kicking tires (boat) stop in and see me. I hope all of you had a great Christmas and wish all of you a HAPPY NEW YEAR.
Hutch's Guide Service
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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