Lake Waubay Turns On

Gander Mountain

 The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of that which is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.

My favorite lake at Webster, SD is Lake Waubay and on my last two trips, I was advised that the fish had really turned off.  That is disappointing, but there are at least 15 to 20 lakes withing a 30 mile radius to fish.  My usual method of studying the weather and watching the forecasts usually pays off. It seemed that here was an opportunity to smack a lot of fish in a short period or time.

My wife and I left on a Saturday after lunch and planned to fish the later afternoon and early evening.  That was when the fish were hitting according to the people at Sportsman’s Cove in Webster, S.D.  We checked in at the motel on arrival and then down to the bait shop to check again if there was any change in their attitude.  It stayed the same.

When Pam is reading a book with one hand and fishing with the other, look out, she is about to catch one.

The bait shop had recommended fishing the south shore wherever any points stuck out into the lake.  I had a spot right away in mind that had always produced some action in the past.  Depth wise they recommended anything from fifteen feet to the bottom of the lake around twenty five to thirty feet.  That would depend on where you were, but the main thing was that the walleye were in the deeper water.

Looking at the point south of the boat ramp, this is the spot where we caught the majority of the fish. 

The lake had a clarity about it I had not seen for some time, and with the sun out and limited cloud cover a lighter lure would be the selection to use.  Our favorite, and especially my wife’s favorite lure, the Flicker Shad, would not be used on this time.  Spinners and jigs were the order of the day and they would be tipped with a crawler.  Of course, we always use extra scent in the form of Berkley’s Power Bait or Gulp Alive in a spray bottle.  I truly believe you get better action with the additive than without. When I have fished with other people, I generally catch 2 for their every one if I use it and they don’t.

Berkley Gulp Alive Freshwater Spray Attractant

Berkley Gulp Alive Freshwater Spray Attractant
Click on the link or the picture to buy from Bass Pro.

On the point, we had soft hits but little takers.  There was a total of seven boats in our general vicinity and this fact told me that this was where the people were catching fish.  Wind was east north east, and while it would have been better to have it from a southerly to westerly direction, there was just enough light wave action to drift the boat and keep the spinners in the deep water.

In the twenty foot range we started picking up fish.  Most did not make the 15 inch minimum and were promptly put back, but we would pick up a nice keeper periodically.  We stayed within a 50 yard radius from the first fish we caught and held some consistency this way.  Moving out side of this zone, we scored nothing and both graphs showed 50% less targets.

Straight to the east of us about 400 yards were 4 boats all closely working together.  They either were on top of a big school or were just good friends.  We fished our way over to their location and began staying about 50 yards outside of their ring.  All four boats were anchored and they were all jigging off the bottom.  Watching them through the field glasses, they were all periodically catching a fish or two, but they were being put back.

Pam caught a really nice walleye here and a smaller one, both keepers.  That filled us out for the day.

We back trolled and drifted.  Pam picked up a couple of nice walleye, but it was really slow for us.  They must have been right above a school, because as we watched them they were getting some action.  Our action was light and variable.  Still we finished out with daily limits of small but legal fish and we were satisfied.

It stayed lighter much longer 300 miles north of Council Bluffs and at 9 PM we headed for the barn with the sun still above the horizon.  It was a really good experience.

Tomorrow morning I leave for northern Manitoba for the hunt of a lifetime.  I will be hunting caribou at Webbers Lodge at a remote outpost.  Stay tuned for some real excitement. 

Good hunting, good fishing, and good luck.  Hank

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