The early spring got us out on the water by March 28th this year. The usual South Dakota spring involves a snowstorm to chase us all back off the water at least once but it seems to not be the case this year. We are all teared up about this as you can see in the photos. Our first outing of the year took us to Lake Henry near Scotland, South Dakota one week after the onset of spring.
For starting so early, we had a good day. It was cool as we got started and warmed only a little as the day progressed. Dad caught well over a dozen bass and I caught just a couple. The sizes were reasonable and the fish looked healthy like any we seem to catch out of Henry. This year, I switched to a chemically sharpened set of hooks and jigs to compensate for my slow reflexes and it did seem to help some although I was still given a lesson on the art of bass fishing.
Our second week out led up to Lake Mitchell on April 11th. At one time, Mitchell was one of the better bass lakes in the state but that has changed for the worse over the last 25 years. It is now, at best, just below average for the quality of bass fishing that we see. Again, I was taken to school on the art of bass fishing but I did get just a few to visit me in the boat. I will not complain unless I do not get to go. Catching fish is just a bonus for me. Dad did most of the work this day though.
We then decided to invest in a couple Iowa fishing licenses so we might try Lake Pahoja (pronounced Pa-hoya) because we keep hearing about all this big fish getting caught there. In fishing Pahoja two times in as many weeks, we found some impressive fishing in this little lake just over the border. The first week over there (April 18th) Dad caught a 6lb. 1oz. bass so that is standing over a month later as the big fish of the year for us. The second week out (April 24th) I had a bass just over 4lbs. Both trips out produced good numbers and while we do not work real hard at counting, (because we do not keep anything anyway), I am certain we had 25-35 fish each day. We will be spending a little more time there. The second time we went out, we found out only the day before that several others had fished it the day before. They do not keep anything either but with the few fish having sore mouths, we did not plan on doing quite as well but we were well satisfied with our day.