Monday, October 8, 2012

The Beauty of Pickerel Lake

Of all the Glacial Lakes in eastern South Dakota, Pickerell Lake is one of the most beautiful of the group.  It just doesn't look like it belongs on the plains in the farming country of this intriguing state.  Surrounded by trees on all sides, there are beautiful homes, cabins, two resorts, and a bible camp located along it's shores.  With the moderate temps and low humidity, this is a great place to have a summer getaway. 

Boat Ramp at the south end of the lake.  It is really sheltered and there was no problem putting in and out.
For me, the getaway is the Circle Pines Motel located in Waubay.  Plus, right next door is the Purple Cow Ice Cream Parlor.  If a person is so inclined to frequent this type of establishment, you cannot do any better than the Purple Cow.

Spending a day on this lake was outstanding.  Catching fish and throwing them back went on constantly.  The people at Sportsman Cove said there was a lot of walleye and they were all small.  They were not wrong.  It took all day to get my four of the legal limit.  Walleye must be over 15 inches and a couple in the 16 to 17 inch range were put in the live well. 

Average smalley
The 18 incher.  The camera went off before I could get straightened up. 
Walleye wasn't the only fish caught.  Rock bass, small crappie and blue gills were abundant.  What was really exciting was the small mouth bass.  South Dakota has a slot on this specie and you can keep a fish over 18 inches or under 14 inches.  I caught several right in between, but the best part of the trip was the one over 18 inches.  What a battle the fish performed!  It leaped out of the water more than once and dove down deep running up against the drag. 

This island is the place to fish on each side sloping down to 20+ feet in depth.  It is on the south end of the lake.
Crawlers were used, but the hot items were leeches.  There were so many small fish smacking away at the leaches that by noon, none were left.  However, there was a treat for them.  Some time ago I had purchased some Gulp Alive Spray and artificial leeches.  Now this is a rubber looking product to which I sprayed on Gulp Alive Spray.  Click on the link below to price and buy from Bass Pro.

Berkley Gulp Alive Berkley Gulp! Alive Leech or Jumbo Leech in Pint Bucket - 5'' Black - Soft Plastics Branded

Berkley Gulp! Alive Freshwater Spray Attractant - Egg Roe - Scents/rattles

Berkley Gulp! Alive Freshwater Spray Attractant - Egg Roe - Scents/rattles
You will need the spray to go along with the leeches.  Check out the other products offered by Berkley at Bass Pro. 

It did not make any difference.  The fish just smacked away at the the fake leeches like they were the real thing.  The beauty of this product was once the leech was on the hook it was not pulled off.  However, the fish did chomp off an end and ate whatever the artificial was made of.  The nice part about this product was I did not have to keep baiting my hook after each strike.  With walleye, however, not all were aggressive feeders.  There was the feeling of not knowing whether to set a hook or just pull it away and lose a potential big fish. 

All in all, this was a great day. Since this was a three day license, I had one more day to go.

Good hunting, good fishing, and good luck.

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