March 19, 2014
There's plenty of great spring fishing in South Dakota. Whether you're trout fishing on Castle Creek or walleye fishing on Reetz Lake, these are the tactics you want to use.
South Dakota's Reetz Lake is a place to go if you're looking for a trophy walleye for the wall. The lake has a special limit of one fish over 28 inches. There are plenty of walleyes under that size to keep you busy while looking for the ONE. The lake also has a good population of perch and crappie. A minnow head on a jigging spoon or a lively shiner on a dead stick is hard to beat for the biggest 'eyes, but the perch and crappies tend to key in on the freshwater shrimp that are flourishing in the lake. Use scent-enhance plastics on teardrops for the specs and jumbo yellow-bellies.
High water levels a few years ago produced a bumper crop of northern pike on South Dakota's Lake Oahe. Those pike are now reaching trophy proportions. Northerns in the 10- to 15 — pound range are average. Pike in excess of 20 pounds are common. In the spring, the fat spawn-laden females had for the backs of shallow bays to find warmer water and spawn. Savvy anglers spot dead smelt rigs in their path to tempt the hungry pike. You can lay the baitfish on the bottom or suspend them under a float. Hot bays change from year to year depending on water depth, so anglers need to be mobile and persistent to score. The rewards are giant pike.
Run-off is beginning to subside on streams like Castle Creek in South Dakota's Black Hills in May. The streams still have a brownish tinge, which makes the trout less spooky and easier to approach. The timing also coincides with South Dakota Game and Fish planting schedule. Combination of newly planted trout and holdovers from the previous season means are plenty of targets. Trout are hungry after a winter fast and will eagerly take flies, hardware and live bait.
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Suzuki's two new four-stroke, two-cylinder portable outboards have a compression reduction system for easier starting. The 20hp tiller model weighs 97 pounds the eletric-start model weighs 106 pounds. Single overhead cam, four-valve engine with Suzuki's Lean Burn Control and bat-tery-less electronic fuel injection. Built for running in skinny water, both motors come with five tilt pin positions and 15- or 20-inch shaft.
TACKLE TOTE VEST
If you wade when you fish, Fish-N-Hunt Pro Gear designed a Tackle Tote Vest that to keep gear accessible but dry when you're standing in deeper waters. It's adjustable, sturdy, has lots of pockets and a modest pricetag.
Honda Marine's BF250 outboard is a 24-valve 3.6-liter V6 that uses varia-ble valve timing and lift electronic control (VTEC). Programmed fuel injection delivers the precise amount of fuel and air to each cylinder for easy starts and instant throttle re-sponse. 20-, 25- and 30-inch shaft models.
FLEX 'N GO TACKLE SATCHEL
On-the-go anglers will find a lot to like in Plano's new Flex 'N Go Tack-le Satchel. It features adjustable built-in storage with a deep bin on one side and framework for the pair of swap-pable Plano 3600 StowAway boxes on the other, each Stowaway held with a flexible strap.
MSRP, Jacket $249.99-$269;
Cabela's Guidewear raingear now comes in four distinct series. Bass Angler (pictured) jackets and bibs are built with the tournament bass angler in mind. Xtreme parkas and bibs will help anglers fishing Northern lakes and rivers. Tidal jackets and pants offer lightweight, waterproof and breathable protection. River Runner jackets are perfect for wading anglers.
MSRP, $18.95 per pair.
The original Gear Grabbar is a unique way to hold lures and tools at the ready in boats. But the new Lure Hangar is a step beyond. This is a 12- by 16 1/2-inch plate,m ade to mount on your gunwhale, that holds 16 or more lures. There's enough room for a selection of jig, plugs, topwaters or whatever other baits you want to hang.
The new AV Micro is a complete underwater camera system that is the same size as a smart phone. On the boat or off the dock, use it to see where fish are hanging out. 3 1/2-inch diagonal display. Built-in rechargea-ble lithium ion batteries.
BERKLEY TRILENE XL
Berkley says they've improved a classic. New Trilene XL lines are now 10 percent stronger 20 percent more flexibility then they had been. Knot strength has also improved, said the company. Trilene XL has been around since 1972.
ABU GARCIA REVO SX
Abu Garcia's Revo SX baitcasting reel is now 25 percent lighter than before. The SX frame is crafted of a strong alloy while the handle sideplate are built with weight-reducing C6 carbon. Holds 145 yards of 12-pound mono.
SIMMS WEATHER GEAR
MSRP, jacket $349, bibs $299.
Simms designed its Contender Gore-Tex jacket and bibs for anglers who need reliability when they are motor-ing on the water at 70 mph in rain and wind. Waterproof and breathable. Cuffs are water tight and adjustable.
Anglers like their tools close by. And it's even better if it's connected to you so it doesn't go in the drink. T-Reign retractable gear tethers hold onto your pliers, hemostats or landing net. Several size options. Carabiner connects to D-ring, belt loop or strap, or use the stainless steel clip on belt or pack.