We took the last week off from fishing as I had a son getting married. Normally that would not deter me from fishing but his new wife, who by the way is a lovely young lady, is in the South Dakota National Air Guard and he is in the South Dakota National Army Guard and they were both deployed to flooded areas on the Missouri River to help build and watch the temporary levees. She did get back a just a couple weeks ago but he stayed deployed until the week before the wedding. I have a soft spot for our soldiers so we passed on the fishing and did our best to see if we might pull the wedding off without a hitch. Yet another reason NOT to be getting married in the summer. It really screws up the fishing and the sailing.
Dad and I took up a collection at the wedding and cashed in all our pop cans for gas money to go to Enemy Swim Lake that sits beside Waubay Lake. It is quite a drive and we found ourselves on the road by 5 am on Wednesday morning. I do not usually get up quite that early but I am usually awake so actually getting out of bed at that time is not a bad stretch for me. I would get up every day at that time if I actually had something to do. I have not got my wife talked into letting me fish every day yet. I will continue to work on that though.
We arrived at Enemy Swim just after 7 am and there was almost no wind and the air was warm. The water ranged in temperatures from 76 to 80 degrees and we aimed the boat straight for the east shoreline to get started. Enemy Swim is located on the Lake Traverse Indian Reservation in Day County. It sits at 45.4394°N 97.2662°W to be exact. It is 2150 square acres with a maximum depth of 24 feet but with the water being this high, who knows?
There are light reeds growing on that east shoreline and they are sparse enough that we could cast right into them with spinner baits and get them back fairly clean most of the time. I threw a chartreuse bait and Dad threw a chartreuse with some white in it. He also one that was completely white along with several other baits he had in his arsenal. I also threw a rattle trap in the open water for a short time, a buzz bait and a jig but most of the fish I caught today were on the spinner bait.
The first thing I hooked into, very early in the day, was a northern pike just slightly larger than a hammer handle. It was the first fish of the day but no more than one minute later, Dad caught the first bass of the day. It was one of only two large mouth bass he caught that day. The rest of the bass that day were all small mouth bass except for the two rock bass that Dad latched onto. I did catch a small mouth bass on a jig after trying for the better part of 3 months now to catch fish on jigs. My slow reaction caused from this neurological disorder I have going on has made this difficult to say the least. Jigging requires feeling the lure on the bottom and reacting the the changes in the feel. I really think I just got lucky but I am happy about it anyhow.
We lost count fairly early but I do know I caught 2 northern pikes and Dad had 2 fat little rock bass. Dad had 2 large mouth bass and then just guessing, we are figuring we had in the range of 15-20 small mouth bass each. We rarely keep anything so having an ability to count is not required. When there are no fish in the live well or on a stringer, we do not need to concern ourselves with measuring anything, counting fish heads, or slot limits. It is really quite liberating.
The water was considerably higher than normal and appears by the old water line that is showing that it was as much as a foot higher at some point earlier in the year. Enemy Swim is a fair sized lake with some rock points that are not covered under normal condition. If you are going up there, get a contour map. It may save the lower unit on your boat. Driving to Enemy Swim is our limit on distance for a one day trip. Dad always includes Enemy Swim in his week long trips to fish these northern lakes of South Dakota.
It made for a long day and a long drive but it was well worthwhile. Sure beat the heck out of anything else I could have been doing today. We did consider fishing Lake Poinsett and we figured on deciding when we hit the Estelline exit. We got to chatting on the way up and drove right by the exit without a thought. As it turned out, that was OK but we have heard some good things about Poinsett even with the high water there. Poinsett is shaped such that it really takes a favorable wind to make Dad want to fish there. We could not have ordered a better day. Perhaps next week.