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John Kelley

Couple of good ones from Lake Oahe, South Dakota

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Last Friday I traveled the 120 miles from where I am now working, near the North Dakota border, to Pierre, SD, to fish the Missouri river for some king salmon. In South Dakota, you are allowed 2 rods per person for open water fishing, so I was not able to put much of a spread out, since I was fishing by myself.  I stopped into my favorite local bait shop and actually found some whole frozen Herring, and whole herring trolling heads.    With these in hand, I was anxious to see if I could put what I learned on Lake Ontario to use in Lake Oahe.  I trolled upstream all Friday Evening, fishing a spoon on one rigger, and a meat rig with 11" paddle and whole herring on the other rigger.  Every time I would switch out a spoon, I would have a walleye glommed onto it, that I didn't know was there., and I was fishing 60' down over 150' fow.  The meat rig down at 90' never did fire, even though I saw some nice marks down there between 90-100'.  I did move the meat rig up and down from 90-105' but it never got touched.  So i ended Friday evening with a half dozen 18-22" walleyes, which was not what I was after at all!LOL  Saturday morning I was on the lake at 4:30 a.m. and decided to setup in the dark and troll right out from the dam, with divers and flashers and flies.  Diver rods never twitched, so I switched them out with riggers and spoons at sunrise.  I chose a Moonshine Carbon-14 for the starboard rigger, and a Moonshine Double Trouble on the port rigger, parked at 65' and 55' down.  The early morning was very uneventful, until about 7:30, when I was just completing a loop around the dam water intakes, and the starboard rigger fired off on an obvious fish.  After a short fight, I landed my first Oahe king in some 3-4 years.  It was just a 7 pounder, but not bad for here.  The North wind started to pick up, blowing waves right into the dam, and the bait wit it, so i decided to stay right where I was and troll in 125-145' and keep my riggers set right where they were, since I started to mark some nice fish right from 50-70'.  I think it was about 9:30 or so, and I was trolling west, about midway across the dam, sharpening my Cimeter, when I heard the drag clicking on my starboard rigger.  When I turned to grab the rod, it was throbbing pretty good, and some drag was still going out.  This was a nicer fish, and after a short fight, I netted a fat 12 pound king. That made the trip worth it!  Both fish ate the Carbon 14 spoon.  The wind soon picked up to a low gale, and the waves were getting pretty choppy by noon, so I called it a day.  Here are some cooler shots of the fish and one of the dam.  Really wish I was on Lake Ontario, instead!! :)  :)  

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Edited by John Kelley

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thats pretty awesome, nice work

Thanks man, they don't get as big as the great lakes salmon, but they are still pretty fun.  I think the meat is even darker orange than on lake Ontario, too.  Oh yeah, I left out a couple of little 5-6 pound pike off the spoons as well.  They always hang out around the intakes,  Sometimes they get pretty big.  Here is my wife with a short 13 pounder from this spring.

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Edited by John Kelley

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WTG John :yes:  You seem to have found a pretty good way to get your "salmon fix" till your return to Lake O someday :)  Great report and fish. It's also good to keep in practice  for the "big boys" too and hopefully looking on the bright side...NO FLEAS :lol: .

Edited by Sk8man

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WTG John :yes:  You seem to have found a pretty good way to get your "salmon fix" till your return to Lake O someday :)  Great report and fish. It's also good to keep in practice  for the "big boys" too and hopefully looking on the bright side...NO FLEAS :lol: .

Yeah Les, for sure no fleas, brother, but hose pesky walleyes might be worse, because I don't even know they are on, and troll around dragging them for who knows how long!!LOL   :)  :)

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John Kelly....... Boy. All of those fish there are FAT! Even the pike looks like a sunfish!  :lol:  Do you know what the predominant bait fish in the res. there is? The top predators look real fat and happy.   :yes:

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Yeah, smelt is the main forage base, but lake whitefish were introduced a few years back, as well as gizzard shad.  There are also the same cast of warm water characters as usual, white suckers, fatheads,and various shiners.

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dude ive heard of a good west troll but sounds like you forgot to turn around....us humans are a amazing bunch we learn to adapt to fishing places...hmm any spear fishing out there.............. :ninja:

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Haha, yeah Ray, they do some spear fishing right up by the dam sometimes, in scuba gear with the guns and all.  Here is a fat 10 pounder I caught last weekend, about 20 miles north of the dam, in an area called Spring Creek, over 154' of water, 100' down on the rigger, on a magnum Moonshine Double Trouble spoon.  I caught the annoying walleye on a standard Moonshine RV Happee Meal spoon 50' down over 164' of water.  Lots of smelt in this area.

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Edited by John Kelley

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Took a couple of guys I am working with out here in Onida, SD to the river, for salmon and caught both of them their very first King salmon ever. Enrique got two on Saturday @ 15 and 8.5 pounds. Pro Rodeo Hall of famer, Tom Reeves caught his 11.5 pounder on Sunday. Both guys are now big time salmon fans!!

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Edited by John Kelley

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I forgot this double header of an 11.5 pound salmon and a 28" walleye from a couple of weeks back. The walleye ate a whole herring rig of an 11" paddle down 100' on the rigger, over 187' deep. The salmon came on the same rig, down 90' over 155 fow. Had to keep the walleye, as its eyes were bulged out of its head! Second photo shows rig both fish were caught on. Thanks

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Edited by John Kelley

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