Lewis and Clark Lake
2014 was an excellent year on Lewis and Clark with a great finish in late November to several 24-27" Walleye being caught in deep water on Jigs. The lake produced a steady stream of 20"+ Walleye in spring through July. July-August bite was tough due to a massive may fly hatch and the abundant amount of bait fish in the system. The Walleye were there just tough to get a good bite. September the bite was strong again and steady through the remainder of open water season. Most of the fishing was congretated on the upper end of the lake until late fall when the Walleye moved to the deeper water found on the lowerend of the lake. There was also a large amount of small walleye this year which is a good thing for coming years. Even though most fish caught were over 15" there was still several caught in the 8"-10" range. Freshwater Drum were no stranger to any trip this season as the numbers of drum seem to be on the rise and I am noticing them to be one of the primary food sources for the walleye. This year had some challenges with the lake as the water coming into the lake was creating some very muddy water but steady water temps. This caused the fish to move to cleaner water with less current. As always Lewis and Clark produced some trophy's for the year and the sauger bite in the river was consistent. This Lake has the potential to be one of Nebraska's best fisheries in the very near future and certainly is one of the most scenic lakes in this area.
August 26th, 2019. Fishing has really picked up since first of July. Fish are still shallow on the west end of the lake and a huge pod of fish can be found on the east end as well. Trolling crankbaits has been the best method. Berkley Flickershad #7 and Salmo Hornets have all been working well trolled on Leadcore line. Target depths of 4-6'fow of the west end and look for the suspended fish on the east end in 30-40'fow.
May 20th, 2019. Fishing has not been good. Water is just now getting up into the 50's. I recommend Francis Case for another week or so. The lake bite in the mud should take off end of the month or early June. A couple weeks later this year due to the cold temps and no bug hatch yet. Fish are showing up everywhere but have not been biting much.
April 11th, 2019
Took a look at the Chutes and the lake the other night from above. Water looked pretty clean. The Chutes will have changed a little bit however that is pretty common each year now. The water level was to low to see to much but it looked like the main channels are still in place. We will be venturing up there next week to make some runs and get a closer look. The good news is that Pickstown, below Fort Randal has been putting out some nice walleye all winter and spring long. The GF&P gill net surveyed showed record number of sauger in Lewis & Clark. Anticipating high flows for most of the year again the fishing may be challenging trying to find that slack water. However once you locate the fish you will have a blast as they will be loaded up and hungry.
July 15th, 2018
The bite at L&C has been like a roller coaster ride this summer. Early summer started off with some very nice walleye coming on butterfly blades and slow death in 3'-5'fow. The typical shallow water summer bite in the chutes was just getting underway as the fish were starting to show up in schools. Lots of small fish piling in first feeding on the mayflies. Unfortunately, with the extremely high flows as of this past week of around 60,000 CSF, the chutes are trashed with debris and changing drastically daily. I don't foresee much fishing going on in the chutes for the remainder of the summer if the these flow's continue as the Army Corps of Engineers has mentioned. We have caught a few bigger walleye 25",27" fish on the main lake and there are loads of fish showing up from the Dam to Boy Scout camp on the SD side. The Whitebass bite is starting to go as well as an occasional good size crappie. Look for walleye on the main lake in the deeper water 17'-24'fow as well as suspended amongst the white bass. Water temps are in the low 80's so an early morning bite is good as well as weekdays. The main lake gets very crowded with recreational boaters during the weekend and will shut these fish off midday.
May 25th, 2018
The bite is finally picking up in the Chutes. Quality size walleye over 24" are becoming common up here. Look for slack water away from the fast current. Due to high flows this spring, many of the fish have moved into new locations than typical spots. Fish are shallow and lots of other fish are around them. Don't be surprised to catch several drum, crappie and carp in the same area as some of these larger walleye. Pitching plastic's, as well as jigging minnows, are working well. Most of these fish are in less than 8fow.
July 10th, 2017
The bite is HOT! Lewis and Clark lake has been putting out some really nice fish since late June with several fish a day coming in at over 20" Live bait rigs such as slow death and jigs with crawlers have been good as well as trolling small crank baits. The chutes are yielding the best fish for me but the main lake fish are biting to. Trolling cranks shallow has been the most productive in the chutes while casting cranks is working well on a few spots on the main lake. The mayflies have just hatched so go small with your bait and the young of the year bait fish should be hatching any day (match the hatch). There are plenty of opening in July and August so book your trip today to get in on some of the hot action. July and August have proven to be the most productive bites over the past couple of seasons with the most consistent weather making for some good memories.
April 18th, 2017
Lewis and Clark lake has been a different story. The Chutes have been slow all spring and the sand bars have moved making it a little dicey for me to get my boat way up stream to the Santee Bluffs to fish the spawning walleye's. The water temp is near 50 and the spawn is on here as well. The best bite I've been able to find so far has been below the dam (Gavins Point) there have been some nice walleye caught a week ago and now the males are going. Dragging a jig and minnow around has worked best but you will have to sort through the small ones. Pitching jigs and plastics from shore especially late in the day or early morning can produce some good fish as well.
April 6th, 2016
The water has been open for over a month now and water temps are near 50 up in the chutes. Lots of fished are being marked on the main lake in the channel but those ussually dont get going till they move up shallow to feed in a few weeks. Focus on the Chutes this time of year as the fish are up there and they are spawning. Look for some swift current for the spawners and you will find some big fish in the deeper holes durring the day. Jig and minnow and staying vertical is your best bet this time of year.
May 10th, 2016
The water has been muddy making the bite tough. The spawn is over and the fish are moving into Millers humps as well as the beaches (Hobbie cat) start looking shallow. Rigging a minnow or jig and minnow drifted or pulled along slowly works well. Trolling Berkley Flicker shads has been working well in the 10-18fow. Water temps are near 60 so the bite will just continue to get better as long as we dont have any more 6" rain day's and the lake is able to clear up a bit more.
June 6th, 2016
It's been a very difficult year to say the least at L&C with muddy water most of the spring and very inconsistent weather it's been tough to put together a stable bite and pattern. Things are starting to come together now that summer like conditions are amongst us and the fish are responding to some cleaner water on the South Dakota side of the lake as the west end and river are still a bit dirty. Lots of fish are staged on the river channel but most active fish are being caught in 4-10fow. Dont over look the fish on the break as the boat traffic increases from recreational boaters those shallow fish will move out deeper and may be caught pulling cranks baits or bottom bouncers with crawlers. The Boyscout camp and most anywhere along the South Dakota bluffs are holding a lot of fish right now. Pitching jigs and cranks up shallow has produced some nice fish but bottom bouncers on Rip N Rolls seems to be working best pulled at 1mph.
August 27, 2016
The bite has been picking up a bit but still not like it was a year or two ago. Overall the fish have been very healthy but the numbers haves been down. Currently the most active walleye bite is up in the chutes. Pulling cranks and drifting jigs with 1/2 crawler has been the most effective. 3-8fow has been the best depth's. The walleye are feeding heavily on the young of the year shad. Water temps are still in the upper 70's. This bite should continue through september until the water temps start to drop and the fish begin to transition down to the east end of the lake. Minnows and Creek chubs will soon come into play any day as well.
March 11, 2015
Gavins Point Dam, Water is open and fish are starting to bite. It's been a bit slow to date but that should change this week with the warm temps. Jig and minnow are best method at this time and slow is the key. Expect the area to get a little crowded over the next few weeks with many anglers wanting to get a line wet. Water temp 36.
March 16, 2015
Missouri River up from Lewis & Clark was on fire this past weekend. Santee boat ramp is open but river flows are low and the 2014 Lake Master chip is not near as accurate as it was last year. The river anglers that frequent this area know well that things change and since mid October last year the river changed again. Proceed with caution when traveling the river near the Santee area. Water temps were in the mid to upper 40's around this area with the best bait being a jig and grub tipped with a minnow fished vertically and slow, very slow!
April 15th, 2015
The chutes are still producing the decent fish once you can find them. Havent spent much time on the lake it's self but the water is near 50 degrees so the lake bite should be picking up anyday. I would expect some lake fish to start going next week as the spawners move out of the river in search for food. Water levels are low and if they drop much more access to the shutes from the lake may not be possible so proceed with caution. Jig and Minnow still a solid combination as well as pulling cranks (Flicker Minnows,Kinchou Shad) on leadcore.
April 7th, 2015
The chutes up from Lewis and Clark have been getting a lot of pressure mainly around the Santee area. Still producing fish but it has slowed down a bit from previous weeks. Look for 2-3 day's of steady weather and a spot away from the crowd and you may have a banner day. Jig and minnow still the prodominent bait, Chubs if you can find them work well this time of year. Water temp as of April 7th, was 43 in the river and 46-48 on the lake. All boat ramps are in on the lake.
IApril 28th, 2015
Fished L&C for most of last week and it was it off and on. Typical for this time of year as some walleye are still spawning and others are in transition and looking for food. Lots of fish on the lake but the bite hasn't taken off yet. Midway, Weigand and Boy Scout areas are all holding good number of fish and can be caught trolling cranks, rigging live bait or staying vertical with jigs. The Chutes are by far the best producing spots as the top finishers of the Nebraska Walleye Association tourney held over the weekend were all fishing up the river vertical jigging or pulling cranks. Some day's it hole hopping trying to find a few active fish but for the most part the Santee bluffs and the Nebraska Chute have been consistently holding fish. Many of the male walleye caught over the past week were all milking. With water temps from 48-52 I'm guessing these males are hanging out for any late arriving females, majority of these fish are in the 17-19" range with a few over 20" hanging around. With the lake water temps in the mid 50's I would expect the lake bite to pick up very soon.
May 5th, 2015
The Fishing at L&C continues to improve with the consistent and warm weather last week things are definitely picking up. There are still some walleye up river spawning but the lake walleye are starting to show up and bite as well. Crank baits have worked very well up river pulling up stream against the current while jig and minnow fished vertically on the main lake has been working great as well. Fish on top of river channel early in the morning and work your way off the break as the day progresses. The nightcrawler bite is taking off as well. Keep moving to find the active fish, start shallow and work your way out deeper. Water temps for the river 52 and the lake surface was just over 61 mid day.
May 11th, 2015
The lake bite is on for the most part but as we al know Lewis and Clark can be finiky. The fish have moved to the shallows and at Millers humps targeting that 7'-9' area. Crawlers on spinners/deathrolls or jigs are producing well. Cranks are also working but the key is speed (fast). Water temps are still hovering around high 50's and low 60's. The temps cooled down last week and will continue too this week with the cooler weather but if we can get 3 good day's of warm weather the bite should continue for a few more weeks on the flats.
May 18th, 2015
Was only able to make it out on Sunday this past week as I was out of town for a MWC tourney. The wind was brutal but the bite was good. 7'-10'fow pulling cranks and or spinners with leach were the working well. Millers humps seems to be the best spot with a few other areas where you can find the right depth producting a few nice fish as well. Dont be afraid to pull those crank baits near 3mph as that has always been a key on this lake SPEED! I have been catching a few 10" Perch lately so look for some Perch colored blades and cranks to possilby produce some nice walleye. Water temp is finaly over 60 so toss out the minnows and go all crawler and leaches until fall.
May 26th, 2015
Guided a few groups last week and with the weather changing so much from hot to cold it definately affected the bite. Was able to scrape up a few Walleye each day but the bite was not what it was a week ago. It will take a few day's of steady weather to get the water temp back up in to the 60's and get the bite going strong again. Most of the fish came from "Merkles Flats" west of the colony in 6' to 8' FOW pulling crank baits #5 Jointed Shad Raps around the structure and weeds. Some were caught on bouncers and spinners and Matzuo Rip-N Roll rigs as well. Water temps are around 57-59 on the west end and the weeds are starting to come up. Expecet this bite to take off with some warm weather. The pike are hanging out in this area as well and the only ones I have seen to date are pretty good size. Millers humps is still holding fish as is the North side flat these area should not be overlooked on your way to the west.
June 9th, 2015
Guided several groups last week and the bite was about as good as it gets someday's better than others with 2 man limits within 4hrs and 3-4 man limits taking most of the day. Most fish were good size averaging 18". Caught the fish in 3'-8'fow pulling bouncers and spinners (Yellow/green), Matzuo Rip-N Roll hooks at 1-1.5mph, Riggin at .5-.8mph and pulling cranks at 2.2-2.5mph. Areas such as Devils Nest, Millers Humps, Merkels Flats and the Boy Scout camp are all putting out some decent fish. The fish are on the move so keep moving to find the active fish throughout the day. Start shallow and stay there until the bite turns off then slide out a bit and switch to cranks. Water temp is 68-70 degrees and warming fast.
June 15th, 2015
The bite remains very strong with an average 17-18" size coming in daily. Rigging, Bouncers with spinners and RipNRolls all with night crawlers are getting the best results. Cranks are working as well. Look for the fish up shallow still but on day's with no wind slip out to the 10-14' fow. Not sure how much longer this bite will last as the water time is reaching the mid 70's and the minnows are spawning. Afternoons have proven to be best but that is mainly due to calm morning and the boat traffic in the afternoons has been enought to stir up the shore line for a decent bite. From Boy Scout Camp west the fishing is pretty good but stay mobile as the fish are on the move looking for an easy meal.
July 15th, 2015
Stay mobile and you will find the active fish. This time of year find a spot away from the recreational boat traffic and go out early. Dont be afraid to fish shallow as the Walleye are still feeding on insects and small bait fish. The chutes are very good option this time of year as they hold colder water and are clear of recreational traffic. Jigging and riggin crawlers has been very affective at slow speeds.
Typical begining of fall bite going on currently. Lots of bait in the system and the fish are eating well. Some day's are great and others are very tough. Trolling Cranks is a great option right now matching the hatch. Jointed Shad Raps and Flicker Shads seem to be working best and dont be affraid to go with larger baits. Water temps are still in the low 70's so crawlers are still going pretty good on jigs. The river bite is consistent but will get better when the water temps drop. Stay moving and mix it up to trigger some bites in mid day.