Looking for some fishing the next week or so? Better consider navigating an area stream or toting an awfully long ladder if hoping to enjoy a last ice fishing outing on an area lake. Though ice on some Black Hills area lakes is still pretty solid, shorelines are quickly breaking up and open water widening beyond ladder, plank, or for the foolishly brave, leaping distance.
And this weekend’s weather, a mix of rain and snow and in-between temps favoring neither open or solid water, will likely sound taps on this year’s ice fishing season. A word to the wise: enjoy the Easter Weekend, a little Final Four basketball perhaps, maybe put the snowmobile into mothballs (season ends on March 31), or lock up a campsite for the 4th of July weekend at a South Dakota State Park (reservations are being taken as of Tuesday).
Still not discouraged? Well, here are some spots where fishing opportunities do exist and the fish have been cooperating as well.
Angostura Reservoir: Main lake still has some ice though shorelines are now open out to 25-30 feet in most places. And expanding. With that, anglers are awaiting the open water season.
Belle Fourche Reservoir (Orman): See above. Edges are broken up and coupled with buildup from recent snowfall atop the surface, ice is unfishable at present. Fishing will most likely be in limbo until the ice clears off the lake.
Black Hills Fly Fishing: Trout fishing remains excellent when weather conditions allow. Rapid Creek through town is fishing well as trout are coming up on midges late mornings. Crow Creek (Nymphs) and Sand Creek (dry flies) are producing plenty of action as well.
Deerfield Reservoir: Deerfield remains one of the ice fishing bright spots with good ice reported--and accessible--as of mid-week. Anglers were catching perch and crappie in decent numbers with fish deep--30-40 foot of water--and responding to tear-drop jigs and waxworms.
Pactola Reservoir: Laker bite dropped off though were reports of some crappie and bluegill action back in Jenney Gulch on small jigs and waxworms. Though ice is accessible, shorelines vary and are unpredictable so a plank or ladder may be required for access.
Roubaix Lake: Trout continued active last week on powerbait and salmon eggs.
Sheridan Lake: Not much activity reported last week largely due to the weather. Perch bite has been fair to middling though fish caught are typically small. Working red maggots and waxworms in 30-40 foot of water has been the ticket.
Lake Oahe: Still in a holding pattern on the big lake, a situation that will continue until open water expands and weather conditions settle to something approaching enjoyable.
Lake Sharpe: Walleye action reported near stilling basin and at points south as the fish begin to stage in spring spawning areas.
Lake Francis Case: Open water from Big Bend Dam all the way south to White River. Boats were getting out in numbers last week and were catching walleye.
Upcoming Spring Fishing Tournaments
● Walleyes Unlimited: April 28-29 at Lake Angostura, 60 two-man team limit, $120 entry fee per team. Entry forms available at area hunting and fishing merchandise outlets or by contacting Walleyes Unlimited.
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.