Thursday, June 5, 2014

Major Pactola Slam

Tyler French had told me on the drive to Lake Pactola that we could do a lot of different things, and I'd say he backed that on the water. By day's end we'd landed nine different kind of fish, including everything from lake trout to bluegills. We also caught fish a host of ways, vertical jigging for the lakers (and one brown), casting ultralights and fly gear for panfish in the backs of cover and working banks with bigger casting gear for northern pike.

The rainbow pictured above was actually our toughest customer. Rainbows abound in Pactola and are normally a sure thing if you have any interest in catching them. Some sort of tiny bugs were hatching yesterday, though, and the 'bows were locked onto them. We spent an hour after lunch casting everything in our boxes in a cove by the dam where rainbows were rising all around us before I finally managed to catch one. We had just enough follows to keep us after them, but they were very difficult.

Pactola, which is a beautiful lake in the Black Hills, just south of Deadwood, is great for the multi-species approach because it holds such a variety and it is small enough that you can easily hop from one spot to another to catch different fish.

Of the portion I landed, one species, a northern pike, was new to my 2014 list.

The actual list form yesterday, in rough order of when we got them, was: lake trout, brown trout, bluegill, crappie, northern pike, rock bass, yellow perch, rainbow trout, largemouth bass. As for the total number of fish caught, I have no idea. The 'gills, rock bass and crappie were pretty stupidly easy in a few places so they would have kicked the count mighty high.

I'm glad I got to spend the day in Tyler's boat. Big, big fun.

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