Looks like this weekend is shaping up nicely for ice fishermen with shacks and heaters as temperatures are predicted to drop into the single digits before warming up again next week. And while supportable evidence may be lacking, many fishermen are of the opinion that weather changes are a reliable predictor of when fish will put on the feedbag. If so, the onset of cold weather over the weekend followed by warmer later in the week should bode well. And if it doesn’t, well, what beats a day amid nature situated in a warm shack with a hearty lunch and a couple of beverages.
Angostura Reservoir: The walleye bite reportedly slowed a bit last week though a 29-inch plus specimen was caught on Sunday. The action seems to be on a rotating basis with alternating days on and off. When on, jigs and minnows at depths of 20-30 foot of water are generally the ticket.
Belle Fourche Reservoir (Orman): The fishing continues to be off and on with limits of walleye on one day (overs, unders, and slots) and nary a bite on another. Biggest obstacle continues to be inconsistent weather particularly windy conditions which understandably keep anglers off the ice. Shores are solid again with the possible exception of Fruitdale where on-early and off-late is a good idea. And, of course, be extremely careful around pressure ridges. Dam area and Gadens with either fat-heads or golden shiners are the best combinations.
Black Hills Fly Fishing: Colder weather over the weekend will halt activity until temperatures climb above freezing again next week. On warmer days, midges have been hatching thereby encouraging trout to come to the surface to feed. Nymph fishing has been fairly steady as well particularly with smaller midge larva patterns.
Deerfield Reservoir: Lake trout remain active in the dam area. And perch are being caught in the Gold Run area with fish typically located at depths of 30-40 feet and responding to wax worms and red maggots on tungsten ice jigs.
Durkee Lake: Reports indicate that northern pike and a good perch bite are in progress. Golden shiners and small minnows are the baits of choice.
Horsethief Lake: Limits of trout reportedly taken last week on powerbait and red spikes.
Pactola Reservoir: Lake trout action remains excellent. The fish are deep (50-70 feet of water) and are responding to golden shiners and smelt. And bluegill continue to feed in areas on the south side of the lake with small jigs and wax worms worked in 10-20 feet of water the recommended approach.
Roubaix Lake: A steady trout bite reported with lots of nice rainbow, including some larger specimens showing up. Powerbait and wax worms or jigs tipped with red maggots remain the ticket.
Sheridan Lake: Action slowed considerably last week as, apparently, did angler interest as few reports were received. On a more positive note, perch have been catchable lately and the occasional pike has been showing up as well.
Lake Oahe: Not a lot of action in progress though some northern pike are being caught in the Spring Creek and Cow Creek areas. As has been the pattern for quite some time--summer included--most of the walleye activity is located north in the Mobridge and Pollock areas.
Lake Sharpe: West Bend and Joe Creek areas are producing fish through the ice particularly in at depths of 30-40 feet of water in the old channel. Unfortunately, most of the fish are under 15 inches. Are a number of shacks situated near Farm Island with reports of some walleye, northern, and pan fish activity.
Lake Francis Case: No reports received. Recent activity has been centered near Cedar Shores and around the bridges.
Upcoming Fishing tournaments
The 5th Annual Hooked on Hardware fishing tournament is scheduled for Feb. 24. The annual event sponsored by Scull Construction matches experienced fishermen with youngsters in a day long fishing experience followed by a banquet in the evening. All proceeds go to The Club for Boys Outdoor Program. Donations or additional information is available at theclubforboys.org or by calling (605) 343-3500.
“Laker Olympics at Pactola”: With the Winter Olympics kicking off on Friday (Feb. 9-25), The Rooster is conducting a “Laker Olympics at Pactola” contest with a $1,000 dollars of Rooster gift certificates available to anyone who catches a 42 inch plus lake trout during the Winter Olympics. Fish must be weighed, measured, and released to qualify. Contact or visit The Rooster for additional details.
Dakota Angler & Outfitter, 513 Seventh St., Rapid City; The Rooster, 1441 W. Main St., Rapid City; Wheel and Bait, 18696 Fisherman’s Road, Fruitdale; West Prairie Resort, 28354 182nd, Pierre (605-264-5303), and Angostura State Resort have contributed to this report.