An Outdoorsman’s Journal – 9-24-2014
by Mark Walters
South Dakota/Too Much Fun
I just returned from an annual trip to South Dakota/Day County, near Webster, that is so much fun my comrades Paul Bucher, Tony Ficocello of the Cumberland area and Jason Viessman of Watertown, South Dakota and I are already planning next year’s adventure.
Thursday, September 11
High 50, low 34
Here is the scoop! The four of us are staying at Lynn Lake Lodge (605-345-4564), which is near Webster and is truly a sportsmen’s paradise when it comes to lodging. I t does not matter if you are fishing, chasing snow geese, or deer hunting, I did not see a weakness in this setup.
Jason Viessman and Paul Bucher are old buddies and Jason is a blast “last year I wrestled Viess and almost won” anyways Viess likes fishing with us and is completely tuned into where the fish are biting.
Side story! Yesterday, with no warning, the battery on Paul Bucher’s truck dies. Today the battery on Paul’s one-year-old Aluma Craft 175, which is pushed by a 75 hsp Yamaha, buys the farm and thus the four of us would spend all of this adventure in Jason’s 1875 Lund Pro V.
Here is a big part of this story and that is, a major cold spell dropped the temperature a full 30-degrees in 24 hours. Jason’s choice for today would be Pyas Lake which, like all the rest of the lakes in this part of the world, is full of lots of big fish.
Our targets of choice for today would be walleye and perch. Though we knew we were going to have a blast, due to the cold spell none of us were expecting to catch much.
So we are fishing in the middle of the lake, kind of drifting and vertical jigging light jigs that are tipped with crawlers or waxies, most of us are dressed as if we are ice fishing.
It is cold and windy and no fish are being caught to speak of. We make a group decision to go work a shoreline that is somewhat out of the wind and loaded with dead standing cottonwood trees. On maybe Paul’s 3rd cast, with a ¼ ounce jig that has a pearl colored swim bait attached to it, he hooks a good fish and lands a 25-inch walleye.
In less time then it takes to cook breakfast, we had figured out the fish and especially for Paul Bucher, it was a day to remember. Paul’s top fish was 28-inches, we loaded up the livewell with 17-21’s and let everything go that was larger.
Tonight, back at the Lynn Lake Lodge, we had a first rate fish fry and learned that based on last years experience, the body of water that you are fishing out of here in South Dakota can have much better tasting walleye or perch then the lake five miles over.
Friday, September 12
High 52, low 35
These guys are into variety and today we headed to Opitz Lake, which is another fish factory but as we would find out the cold spell put a chill on the catch, at least at the start of our day. We tried casting cranks and swimbaits and though we were landing some walleye it was tough.
Everything changed when we started vertical jigging in timber and it was literally nonstop walleye catching action.
A true South Dakota story cannot be told unless you mention the people and the lay of the land. Everyone that we meet out here seems to have their act together and is happy.
The lay of the land, water everywhere with new lakes being formed by the day as wetlands expand and become lakes. Everyone out here takes fish numbers and size for granted. It doesn’t matter if you are fishing for walleye, perch, or bluegill, they are big.
Today, just for the experience we headed over to Enemy swim which is known for its very large bluegill “some” are over 11-inches. Again the cold spell affected the bite but we drifted and caught smallies, northern pike, walleye and I landed a bluegill that was a true sumo.
Tonight, we had steaks on the grill, Fico the instigator got me to arm wrestle in the wee hours of the morning, he won with the right hand, and I won with the left.
I have to come back this winter, and all of us are going through withdrawals cuz we wanna fish and laugh together in South Dakota!
We shall return! Sunset
THIS WEEK’S COLUMN IS SPONSORED BY: Ormson’s SuperValu