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Ron Schmelzer

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Four Lakes in 2.5 Days

Studying the weather for the last week and my wife and I decided to head north to Webster, South Dakota



Northerly flow and stable conditions produced some excellent fishing.  Studying the weather for the last week and my wife and I decided to head north to Webster, South Dakota and fish a few of the many lakes in the region.  Checking in with Sportsman Cove we got the recomendations and what to use for bait.  We had a different idea in mind for bait and it wasn't live as I wanted to see if the success at Pierre could be duplicated.

We wanted to drive up Friday evening and hit it really hard Saturday morning, but Webster was having it's yearly all school reunion and the motels were all totally booked.  So, we stayed at Watertown about 50 miles south at the Hampton Inn just off I-29.  Watertown must have been having some form of re-union because we took the last room and we would have had more sleep in the truck next to the interstate.  I have never heard of so much ruckus in my life.  Either someone had just won a big lottery ticket or inherited a lot of money because they were really having a party in the whole hotel.  Next time we will ask what is going on if we have to stay there.

Sportsman cove said to use crawlers or leeches, and so we added some to the boat just in case the Flicker Shad was not successful.  I steered toward the south shore on Waubay to start and we pulled plugs in then 10 feet of water.  The lure will not go down much deeper than that unless you add an in line sinker to the line to take it down. All we picked up was some medium size white bass and we moved over to the island right straight to the north of us.

We fished this point initially but did not pull up any walleye.  Notice the calm water that is not good for walleye, but it is overcast.

 

We started fishing the northwest corner in fifteen feet of water and right away Pam picked up a really nice walleye.  Trying to stay within a tight circle around the area she picked it up in about 10 feet. We did not produce more action and expanded the area. There was constant white bass activity and as I have said before, take off the red meat and the white bass are really tasty.

She picked up three more just like this one plus several white bass.  Notice the nice chop on the water and the sky had cleared.

 

We continued staying in the general area as Pam kept picking up some smaller walleye.  I need to point out the Flicker Shad she was using.  I had immediately shared all the valuable experience gained at Pierre with her and recommended the Blue Tiger.  However, the lure she picked was the Racy Shad, and this was done based on the fact that it was better looking than the others.  How can a person argue with that logic when they are catching fish, and you are catching nothing.  We stayed in this location about two hours until we just plain failed to get any hits.  By that time Pam had a limit of keeper walleye.  I was able to contribute a couple of keeper white bass and they were marginal.

There it is, the Racy Shad Flicker Shad that brought in the majority of the fish.

 

 

We went to a location called school bus point on Waubay Lake.  The school bus is no longer there but the point still produces some excellent fishing.  We caught nothing, and the wind had moved more to the east southeast.  Across from the point is a tree line and out to the edge of the lake we both picked up some really nice White Bass.  It was 2 PM, time to clean fish, have some lunch, and take a nap.  It just can't get any better that this.

Pam caught some really nice fish. This was the biggest of the bunch.

 

 

After being refreshed with a little food, some sleep, and getting all the work done, we decided to head south to Antelope Lake.  This is one of my favorites in the area.  Full of nice size northern and 18 to 20 inch walleye, it is not fished much except by the locals.  We were the only boat on the water.  The lake has weed beds on the shoreline that go out to about four feet of water.  After that from six feet on out  there is bottom weed.  The lake has to be one of the clearest in the area and you can see your lure clearly down to about five feet.

We stayed till 9 PM and then decided to throw in the towel.  I caught one really small northern and that was all on this lake.  Another boat put in right before we pulled out and I could see he was a local fisherman.  It stays daylight right up until 10 PM being 300 miles north.  We had a great day.

 

Good hunting, good fishing, and good luck. Hank

 

 

 

 

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More Stories By Hank Huntington

Hank Huntington, Esq., is a native of southwest Iowa, healthcare professional, entrepreneur, accomplished pilot, hunting and fishing enthusiast, connoisseur, father and husband. He developed this web site for people to share their fun and excitement about the great outdoors. The best part of this hobby is, after a successful hunting or fishing trip, you are able to dine on fresh game or fish, after all, “ How do you eat a golf ball?” asks Hank. Hanks father and grandfather were both avid outdoorsmen so Hank learned his hunting and fishing skills from them and has passed the tradition down to the fourth generation. Plus the love of the outdoors, and a craving for exquisite dinning, would round out the package.

As a small boy, he fished a local oxbow lake formed by the Missouri River. The lake is primarily old river bottom mud, is not real clear, and has a lot of vegetation. The southeast corner holds a huge lily pad bed, and it was there Hank learned to drag through the water and across the tops of the pads, a Johnson Silver Minnow, with a pork rind attached. This was the place for big mouth bass, and there were lots of them, and young Hank loved to catch them.

At age of 12 Hank started going with his Dad hunting, and by age 14 he was an accomplished shooter with a 12-gauge pump. Shortly after that he was given his first shotgun a Winchester Model 12 pump; he still has it today. It looks like almost new, but the gun is never to be hunted again. Duck hunting in the late 50’s had little pressure after the first two weeks of the season, and when the north wind blew and it got really damp and cold, the big Canada Mallards came.

After graduation from high school, Hank attended Midland College in Fremont, Nebraska. There he met a fellow outdoorsman, and their friendship developed in the fields and streams of central Nebraska.

Hank had little time for hunting and fishing while attending professional school at Creighton University. After graduation he married his college sweetheart and they settled down to career, family, and as often as possible, hunting and fishing.

Hank and his family frequently flew their plane north to Canada to the legendary Canadian fly in lodges to fish for Northern and Walleye. Here he taught his son all the things his father had taught him about fishing. Most of the time the two went alone to the north woods, but when camping was not involved, his wife Pam went along. She always enjoys the fact that she has caught a bigger Northern Pike than Hank, and he has been fishing for 60 years. Today along the Missouri River valley, the deer population increased to the point that in many areas they are a nuisance. The duck, goose, and turkey has also population have also soared.

Area lakes have been well stocked. Many even have a walleye stocking program that makes outstanding fishing. Several are within easy driving distance of Hank’s lodge-like lakeside home. All packaged together is great dining. By the way, Hank harvests only what he will share at a table with family or friends.

Hank says, “Whenever I am on a lake, in the woods, or in the blind, I am always reminded of God’s great bounty and His constant presence. And whether in the great outdoors or at home with my wife, I strive to be a good steward of nature and all that God has given us.”

Good hunting! Good fishing! Good day!