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Black Hills, SD (July 26th, 2023)

Well the heat is certainly on in the Black Hills region……literally!  Temperatures in the mid to high 90s over the past week have put the kibosh on most fishing opportunities except for those getting up before sunrise and closer to dark to escape the high temps.  Coinciding with the heat, the dog days of summer fishing has also been hitting the area.  There’s loads of forage for the fish to eat right now in most of the lakes, but slightly cooler temps will be returning next week, possibly encouraging more to get out and wet a line.  With that in mind, here’s the current fishing report for the area:

The walleye bite has gotten pretty tough as is usual this time of the summer at Angostura and Belle Fourche Reservoirs.  The rising heat and increasing amounts of shad and other forage has driven them deeper and scattered them.  Covering water quickly with bottom bouncers or crankbaits to find the more aggressive feeders may be the best bet currently and both appear to be catching some walleyes more so than other techniques.  Depths are varying from 15′ to 25′.

On the Hills’ bigger lakes, the trout bite is continuing to progress well.  Pactola Reservoir is seeing some shore action from nice rainbow specimens as well as bluegill action in the bays on the north and south marina areas.  Still bigger ‘bows and lakers are showing up in deeper waters around the main body of the lake, where large swimbaits seem to be catching them at present.  Pike action is limited, most likely due to the warming waters brought on by the current heat wave.  Sheridan likewise is seeing productive rainbow and bluegill bites deeper off the bays along with some crappie action near Dakota Point.  Bass and pike bite looks to have dropped off with the heat currently.  Deerfield, a refuge from the numbers of tourists and the heat, is still good for numbers of perch and rainbows from shore or boat using jigs, bobber, or small crankbaits, but size is always an issue.  Stockade has a good bluegill bite going on now, mostly small specimens, but is a good place to put kids to catch some fish.

The trout lakes (Sylvan, Center, Lakota, Horsethief, Bismarck) are seeing good trout bites during quieter times on each as they were stocked a month or so ago.  Early mornings or evenings have been the best times before recreational swimmers, kayakers, or watercraft hit them and drive the bites away.  Bobbers and hooks with chunks of worm and corn have been getting the best results.  For more information on the current bites in the Black Hills region, be sure to contact Scott Olson at dr.auger81@hotmail.com or through his website, drauger81.wixsite.com/drauger81