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THINGS ARE Good ON THE BIG LAKE By Gary Howey

  Lake Oahe, with its 370,000 acres is the fourth largest reservoir in the U.S., is located on the Missouri River north of Pierre, S.D.

  Oahe has long been considered a great walleye fishing lake and that’s why Team Member Larry Myhre, Sioux City, and I were headed that way.

  We’d be teamed up with a good friend, Missouri River guide and Watertown native Chuck Krause who knows these waters as he has been guiding out of the Gettysburg area since 1980.

  When we arrived, Chuck was just coming in from guiding and his boat had done well, bringing in with some nice walleyes.

  We’d stash our gear in Chuck’s modular home and then meet up with him at his South Whitlock Supper Club to make a plan for the next day’s excursion

  It was early as we worked our down the road that meandered through the Missouri River bluffs leading to the Sutton Bay boat ramp. It looked as if the word was out about that the bite was on as several boats were making their way out of the bay with several other rigs in line to launch.

  As the boat dock cleared, Chuck quickly backed his Stratos boat into the water, parked his truck and we were headed out into the main river.

  We’d be heading for the same area Chuck had fished the previous day, Willow Creek Bay. We weren’t the first to arrive there as another boat was already working the point.  It wouldn’t be long before a half dozen or more boats would be fishing the bay that day.

  It didn’t take Chuck long to locate the fish as his locator lit up with the big arches that anglers love to see, indicating  several fish up off the bottom.

  On this trip, we’d be fishing deep, twenty to thirty feet along a point heading out into the bay, the active fish were holding along the edge where the point dropped into the deeper water.

  Armed with six-foot snells, dressed with a red bead, a red hook and half a crawler tethered to two-ounce ounce bottom bouncers, we probed the point looking for active fish.

  My bait hit the bottom, I bounced it twice and feeling added weight, set the hook on the first walleye of the day, a healthy sixteen inch fish, it looked as if it was going to be a good day.

  On the Missouri River system, whenever you locate walleyes, it’s a good bet you’ll also find smallmouth bass as all four Missouri River reservoirs in South Dakota hold excellent populations of these hard fighting and excellent tasting fish.

Pic-Gary & Smallmouth (2)

Author with one of the numerous smallmouth bass taken while fishing Lake Oahe with Chuck Krause, Chuck Krause Guide Service.

  As Chuck moved the boat up and down the break line, we continued to catch several walleye and bass, some of which we would bring into Chuck’s South Whitlock Supper Club where they were prepared as the main course for that evening’s supper.

  We headed in mid afternoon to take a break and get ready for another excellent evening meal at the Supper Club.

  The following morning after another excellent meal at the Supper Club, with Chuck indicating he wanted to check out several other areas and fish primarily for the smallmouth.

   We launched the boat at the Hwy 212 Bridge and worked upstream, hitting several points and submerged island and on each of them we found smallmouth so thick that they would follow a hooked fish up to the surface.  We boated some excellent smallmouth with several, which could have been entered as South Dakota Proud Angler awards.

  We moved several times, finishing the day on Stove Creek, a popular spot for smallmouth fishing boating both walleyes and smallmouth, ending the morning trip with eight eater walleyes.

  Each year, the fish on Oahe, walleyes and smallmouth continue to grow and with the influx of new forage base, will continue to be one of the top producing lakes on the Missouri River system in South Dakota.

  More information on the South Dakota Missouri River Tourism area and the four Missouri River reservoirs in the state check out http://sdmissouririver.com/

  To book a guided trip with Chuck Krause on Lake Oahe, give him a call at (605) 222-9765 or on his web site http://chuckkrauseguideservice.com/