This is one day last year, and this is the goal for the first day of this year.
How sweet it is.
Lord help me to catch a fish so large that even I in the tell of it never need to lie…
Lake Francis Case is the large, gently winding reservoir behind Fort Randall Dam on the Missouri River in south-central South Dakota. The Fort Randall Dam is the earth embankment dam forming Lake Francis Case in south-central South Dakota.
The dam was authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1944. The Corps of Engineers began construction of Fort Randall Dam in 1946. President Dwight D. Eisenhower threw the switch that started the first power generating unit in 1954. The entire project was completed in 1956 with a maximum depth of 140 feet. Lake Francis Case covers just over 100 miles and has a shoreline of 540 miles.
I have quit counting the number of times we have fished this reservoir. The goal is walleye and while not big, they are in abundance with sizes in the 16 to 17 inch range. That size of fish produces an excellent fillet, and meat is what it is ultimately all about.
Five years ago Pam and I were in Nepal and this Holy Man blessed me and said I would have good luck for the next 10 years. It cost me 5 bucks, but fishing and hunting have been great and I never caught the Covid, but I have never won a lottery.
The first week of June Pam and I headed up to Platte S.D. to stay at Platte Creek Lodge and meet up with our favorite guide. This is outstanding gentleman fishing, as the guide supplies all the equipment, a boat packed with electronics, and the knowledge of a lifetime of fishing the reservoir. Plus he fillets all the fish and the fillets are vacuum sealed.
We met up at 7:00 AM and headed to the lake. Rain was in the forecast with heavy showers in the afternoon. After putting in, we headed south a couple of miles and were in 50 feet of water. The graph was showing trees that stood up about 20 feet and right above the trees were fish, lots of fish. Now, the graph does not tell you what kind of fish, but maybe someday that will happen. In South Dakota you can fish two rods per person.
We put out six lines using a planer board on each side, another line along side of the boat and a line over the back on each side. The guide knew exactly how much line to let out and added a weight to the two inside lines.
I do not care for planer boards. When you get a fish on you have to bring in the side line to avoid tangles. The guide used lead core line and we let out a lot. Hauling it in was a chore. Once the planer board comes to the side of the boat, the guide removes it from the line. Then you have to make sure your line is tight or you lose the fish. Pam and I both lost a lot of fish with the planer boards. Fortunately, the majority were caught with the side rod and reel and the lines out the back. The bait of choice was the Berkley Flicker Shad. I have caught more fish with this lure than any thing I have ever fished with.
A Berkley Limited Edition Flicker Shad Jointed Crankbait turns on walleye with its chrome color
available for a short time only! The chrome edition delivers the same jointed Berkley Flicker Shad exaggerated side flash and roll. The jointed tail sends extra shiny sparkle to grab the attention of walleyes in your trolling area.
It started off quickly. Bang! We would hit a fish and sometime we had multiple lines in action. What is interesting to catch a keeper you go through a lot of shorts. A short is a fish under the minimum which is 15 inches. All the keepers we landed were in the 16 to 17 inch range with a couple close to 18 inches. Over the years of fishing this reservoir we have always caught a lot of shorts and this is a good sign of fertility in the lake as the shorts get big. Some of the shorts were so small it looked they still had milk on their lips. (A little humor. We all know fish do not nurse.)
We were two short of our total limit, and it just shut down. The wind came up and shifted from a northerly direction to the south. On that big reservoir when it gets really windy, it rocks and rolls and fishing was tough. In the meantime the overcast grew and spit a little rain. Pam put on a rain coat and got ready to bundle up for what was coming as the sprinkle increased.
Notice the color or the clouds behind Pam. Soon it will start.
And then it happened, we nailed two nice keeper walleye and finished out the morning. As we got to the dock, loaded up, the rain increased to a downpour and we were gone having spent a total of two hours on the lake.
Sitting in the lounge at the lodge, the fishermen started coming in soaked to the gills. Some were close to limit out and others still had to finish out the day after the rain let up a little. Tomorrow we hit it again.
In two hours we were done. Not real big fish, but the smaller walleyes make nice fillets.
Good hunting, good fishing, and good luck, Hank