Open Water is here in Sodak

Water Body

With ice season coming to an end for me on the 6th and the tail end of the snow goose migration I was just a bit tardy on getting on my open water haunts. The snow geese did not disappoint leaving me with a sore casting arm for a few days after a few hunts chasing the white devils. Early in the year I like to fish evenings for shore eyes as the subtle temperature change a warm sunny April day can bring usually turns the fish on. We have been fishing roadbeds which are spawning hotbeds as well as isolate rip rap shorelines. Some deeper breaks we fished at the end of ice season are accessible by casting with waders and we found the walleyes right where we left them later ice.

As far as baits go we have not yet bought a scoop of minnows. We have been running small swimbaits in that 3 to 3 1/2 inch range including storm wildeye swimshads as well as rapala X-raps and size #10 husky jerks slowly tugged along have been working in twilight hours. I have been running a TUCR 6’8 medium with a XF tip. I love this rod paired with 8lb Suffix 832, simply put in the wind and of South Dakota this rod does not take long to send the message to the fish. Equating to more hookups and more fish in the hand.

Mentioning location earlier we are fishing spawning areas such as gravel road beds and rip rap shorelines. When fishing shorelines the common theme is to cast straight out or cast at a slight angle covering a small area of water. When fishing rip rap most of the fish will come run the base of the rip rap in that 4-5 fow of water range. I like to cast almost parallel to shore if there are not others in my area. This makes for some close range strikes and fast action. We have been putting in the miles walking and the fishing on some isolated bays has been a lot of fun.

Slightly off topic but also ends with some fish had a chance to hunt Turkeys in the Black Hills this past weekend. Needless to say a 7 hour drive 3 plus hours of scouting and roosting birds led to a 30 minute hunt and two longbeards in hand for brother Spencer and I. Of course with time to burn in the hills we took in some Rainbow trout fishing. A worm on a tiny #12 hook led to some fun action on lightweight gear. Our biggest Bow was 16 and I cant wait to get them on the grill. Weather looks less than desirable for the days to come but I will be exploring some new waters and some old haunts from last spring. Wishing you all luck this spring. – QB


  1. Cool report on the shore eyes !!!
    It has been a long time since I fished from shore.. I do know some places I could try that may have some of the same results.. brings back great memories !!!

    Hey QB ?
    How do you like that TUCR ? What grip did you have it made with and what eyes ?

    Take Care

  2. Wow! Snows, Walleyes, Turkeys, & Trout. What, no spring time bear permit? That sounds like “Living The Dream” to me.
    Pretty impressive report. Nice job.

  3. You are simply an amazing outdoorsman and man in general. How hasn’t a woman snatched you up by now. They must be beating down your door!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Dave I ordered a 6’8 medium in there new model rod. I went with ceramic guides basically just because this was a bulk order for me. I got split grip cork handles. Right now I am very pleased with the rod. It is very multi-purpose – QB

  5. Daaaaaaang, I have been looking into maybe making a trip over to the glacial lakes region of SD for some walleye fishing, but this report may have fully convinced me! All those Eyes from shore? Congrats, thats quite the feat!

  6. Nice Catch!! Can’t complain about getting a good smorgasbord for spring season! Hoping to get out that way again sometime soon for some open water eyes after we hit up our Minnesota opener.

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