Fishing the Glacial Lakes

The next morning, we stopped for fresh bait, and visited with the people in the bait shop.  The action was on Bitter, a really nice big lake south of the town of Waubay and close to our motel.  I have fished it before and when the wind comes up, Bitter really rocks and rolls.  Boat control can become difficult.  Lake Waubay had a mediocre report, but having fished the lake for fifteen years, confidence overcame me.  This was where we headed the second day.

Winds were southerly around 15 to 20 mph, and Waubay will kick up a little in the open areas.  Kanago access on the west side of the lake just north of the town is where we put in.  The access is operated by the state.  The parking lot is big with two concrete access ramps on each side of a padded dock.  It is a good place to put in and you are out of the wind. 

I have never seen the lake so high as I have on this trip.  Just a couple of hundred yards out from the boat ramp was a pile of rocks.  They were completely submerged.  Beyond the rock pile is a reef that runs north and south about 50 to 75 yards.  I could not see it either.  My route out of the area was to south east until I reached a standing tree on the bank to the west. Then we headed out across the lake.  I avoided that area straight out from the dock.  On the north side of the lake just outside the boat ramp were additional shallow areas.  I also avoided that area.  Trying to avoid smacking props and taking out the lower unit was one of life’s major goals.

The wind was up when we got on the lake around 8 AM, and we headed toward the south shore and then back southwest into a large bay.  When you see an island with pelicans on it and can see trailor houses at the end of the bay, you have arrived.  I have pictured the south shore below.

You can just make out the pelicans on the small island.  You are looking straight south.  Fish from this location southwest till you pass two trees on the bank.  Closer in 8 to 10 feet of water, there is some excellent small mouth bass fishing.  Out to the deeper water is the walleye.
South Dakota has a slot limit on the Smallmouth bass.  You can keep anything under 14 and over 18 inches.  We started smacking them early in the morning.  Moving out more to the center of the lake, the walleye were biting for us very slowly. We both began wondering if we should have
gone to Swan or Bitter.  It took a while but we picked up a couple.
Typica size of smallmouth bass for Waubay. What a fight on an ultralight.
By noon it was getting hot and we went in to take a break, clean the fish, grab something sweet, and take a nap.
Here it is.  The Purple Cow Ice Cream Parlor.  East of I- 29 in the town of Waubay. Here is where to take a small break and have some of the best ice cream I have ever eaten.  They also sell burgers and dogs there.
Here it is.  The Purple Cow.
Back on the lake by 6 PM, we headed up to school bus point.  The school bus is gone, but the point is still there.  We were told to fish the island opposite the point and follow it down to the next island.  There is a lot of timber if you get to close to shore, and my advice is to stay out in 14 to 18 feet of water. 
Here we picked up the rest of our walleyes for the trip and the highlight was a really nice small mouth bass.  What a warrior.  On an ultralight he or she, put up an outstanding fight.  Back and forth, under the boat, there was serious doubts as to whether this fish was going to be put in the boat.

22 inch smallmouth bass.

The next morning, we headed for home.  Walleyes, northern, and small mouth bass were all caught on one trip in two days of fishing. 

I leave for Wyoming on the 18th of September for an Elk hunt with Bob Barlow of Barlow Outfitting. The state of Wyoming has sent me information on Grizzley Bears and safety involved with being in the wilderness.  This should be an interesting trip.  Check out Bob’s website at

There are some great sales going on right now at the outdoor suppliers.  Click on a banner and check out the prices.  Big sales on hunting equipment, and close outs on fishing equipment.  This is the time of the year to buy all you supplies for next year.  You cannot own enough gear. 
Good hunting, good fishing and good luck.  Hank
Look for us on Facebook.  outdoorswith hank

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