With hunting season now fully upon us, many of you simply cannot-or will not pull yourself away from your land based quarry long enough to give the fin portion of fins and feathers any serious attention. Once the smoke poles come out, the fishing poles go completely unattended. Nowhere is that more true than in South Dakota where
everything relating to Pheasants becomes all encompassing. But…by keeping an open mind and with a minimum of effort, we can indeed have it all.
Done right, you won’t sacrifice a single day of hunting. I’d venture to say there’s a lot of overlooked opportunities right in your backyard. I’m as-or more guilty than most at dashing off to some wonder destination, when you can do as well or better within a few minutes of home. I’ll outline just one scenario that you may want to consider. With any imagination at all, I’m sure you can come up with some similar options of your own.
Once your birds are cleaned and packaged; resist the immediate headlong plunge into the nearest cooler of goodies meant for mature audiences only…there’ll be plenty of time for that later. Instead, veer away from the pack and take yourself on down to a local river or stream for an hour or two of the simplest (most fun) fishing available. You know, the kind you did as a kid. Although your allowance may have grown and you feel your tastes have become more sophisticated; I can guarantee you it holds the same appeal it always has.
Keep it simple and therefore enjoyable. Grab a couple of rods, a fistful of jigs, some livebait, and maybe a crank bait or two. Throw in a multi-purpose pail for sitting on- and hopefully fish transportation duties-and you’re all set. Doesn’t need to be a place with a reputation for a lot of fish. Any water that you know holds fish will often do just fine. Realize in the fall these fish are concentrated and feeding heavily. You’ll probably surprise yourself at what you’ve been overlooking for years, might even tag a good one. In any case, for the amount of time, energy, and expense invested-even a fish or two is a very good return. After all, we haven’t wasted any time spending hundreds of dollars to drag tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment half way across God’s creation, in hopes of catching a fish.
Just one thing you’ll want to focus your attention on here and that is current seams. Fish of all species (particularly walleyes) are accustomed to sitting in the less turbulent water and waiting for bait to come tumbling down to them. Place your offerings in this zone and you’re good to go. There are three very simple approaches to this, and they all work equally well.
The most aggressive being to toss a crank bait downstream and steadily bring it back against the current just fast enough to impart a continuous wiggle. When aggressive, they will quickly home in on it and can yield quick dividends. Time tested and effective; hopping a jig dressed with either plastics and or live bait through eddies and current seams is always a good bet and the most hands on approach.
The third, most laid back, and unorthodox option is to pin bait in the current seam with a bottom bouncer. By incorporating an easy turning attractor such as a Mack’s Lure Smile Blade, the fish can easily find and inhale the offering. Just sit back and wait. Maybe even locate the aforementioned cooler and have a truly relaxing conclusion to a days