The first place we went was Carl’s Bait Shop and talked with Deputy Dan. He had no knowledge of the lake we were going to fish. We did buy some live bait as a backup to the plan in case the Flicker Shad proved to be a bad idea. Next stop was a farm/hardware/clothing/ranch store by the name of Runnings. This store had everything and the biggest supply of fishing tackle I have ever seen. We were overwelhmed at first, but the clerks were most helpful and steered us right to a big supply of Flicker Shad lures.
Berkley Flicker Shad Crankbaits
|We fished the Blue Tiger. There is a really big selection of colors to pick from. We fished the two inch size.|
The lake is Farm Hill Lake and is just four miles south of Pierre. Formed by an arm off the river the lake has an outstanding boat ramp, campground, and best of all a fish cleaning station. The station has lights if you are cleaning fish at night, and now listen to this, you push the guts and cleanings into an electric grinder at the table and it is all ground up. Hose it down, take your filets and you are done. It can’t get any better than that.
The lake is divided into two sections. To the north is a no gas motors allowed section that we did not fish. The reason was the southern part of the lake has the most acreage and the southern most end is an opening to the river. The lake is only about 8 to 10 feet deep and there was a lot of vegetation on the bottom close to the banks. We started trolling with the Flicker Shad in about 6 to 7 feet of water along the west bank and headed south.
The weather changed from bright and sunny to overcast with a southerly breeze. Just enough wind to put waves on the lake and still allow for good boat management. A little wave on the water is good when you are after walleye. We worked the shoreline for about an hour and as we got closer to the south end of the lake we picked up some really nice size white bass. I will take white bass all day long. They put a good scrap and once you remove the red meat, the fish is excellent eating.
|Bruce with a really nice White Bass.|
Moving back north along the lake we took our first walleye. A fifteen inch minimum is required and he or she, did not make it and was pitched. We continued to move north, but took the boat out a little deeper to about the 7 to 8 feet of depth. We started picking them up and found an area where the walleye were stacked or so we said. We were able to troll and consistently pick up a fish each of us every ten minutes or so. We stayed in the area S turning the boat out to the deeper water and coming back in always moving slightly north or south. The area got smaller and was about 50 yards in length. We would catch 5 small fish to every legal fish above fifteen inches. In a couple of cases we caught some really nice size walleye up to 18 inches in length. Most of the fish were in the fourteen inch range and were thrown back.
|Excellent boat ramp.|
We never stopped picking up white bass. The weather changed again, and the walleye shut off as the wind moved more southeasterly, but the white bass were plentiful. A nice size crappie was ocassionally picked up along with a small northern. That lake has it all.
Finally by midafternoon, we picked up our last legal walleye to bring to total to 8 fish for the two of us. South Dakota has a limit of four per day. If you are fishing the big Oahe Reservoir the limit is 8 per day per person with four above 15 inches and four below 15 inches. A fourteen inch walleye is hardly worth the effort to filet it out and you do not get a lot of meat. I feel it is better to turn them loose.
This is a really successful day. I have no idea how many walleye we caught in total and when you add in the white bass, crappie and a couple of northern, the day was outstanding. The Flicker Shad did its job and we will be back the next day.
I would recommend you take a good pair of needle nose pliers with you or your favorite device to take out hooks because the little barbed hooks on the lures present a lot of frustration when getting the hook out of the net or the fish. They are snotty little devils.