Looking for a brief getaway from the hubbub surrounding Christmas preparations? Best cross fishing off the list of possible activities. Perhaps caroling would be a better alternative (and preferably indoors) as the big chill is coming with combinations of cold, snow, wind predicted for the next two weeks or so. On a positive note, at least for ice fishing aficionados, concerns for safe, fishable, ice should rapidly recede as daily high temps for the next couple of weeks are expected to be at or below freezing. Enjoy the upcoming Christmas weekend with family and friends. And it’s perhaps not too lake to drop a hint or two suggesting a gift to fill out or expand the current assortment of ice fishing gear.
Angostura Reservoir: A few boaters taking advantage of a last opportunity to get out on the lake on Tuesday were properly rewarded with limits of nice-sized walleye taken on jigs and minnows. Ice on tap.
Belle Fourche Reservoir (Orman): The few boats out on the water early in the week were finding walleye action which should portend well for upcoming ice fishing season. Ice is now forming and period of cold on tap for the next couple weeks should set up nicely in a week or so.
Black Hills Fly Fishing: Cold, snowy, weather ahead will make fly fishing a difficult endeavor at best though Anglers with Tenkara rods (no line guides to freeze up) should find trout active even with temps in the 20s.
Black Hills Lakes: Good ice reported on Roubaix, Stockade, Bismarck and Horsethief, though fishing activity has been limited with no reports received.
Canyon Lake: Recent trout activity reported on either spinners/jigs or powerbait.
Deerfield Reservoir: A five-inch buildup of ice reported in the Gold Run area and on the west side of the lake. A lake trout bite reported with a few catches in the eight to ten pound range taken. And some trout activity as well.
Pactola Reservoir: With ice in the 5-7 inch thickness reported, ice fishermen are now getting out in Jenney Gulch and are finding a decent crappie bite on jigs and minnows in progress.
Sheridan Lake: Workable ice reported along Highway 385 and ice fishermen in that area are catching a few small northern pike.
Lake Oahe: Virtually no activity on the big lake at present, and with colder weather moving in will likely remain that way until safe ice attracts interest.
Lake Sharpe: Tail race has produced walleye activity though that will likely cease for a while with the onset of extremely cold weather on tap. As elsewhere, fishing activity is likely in limbo until safe ice appears.
Lake Francis Case: Boaters continued to enjoy nice weather in recent days with catches of walleye reported as well. Christmas activities and a wait-and-see attitude will likely prevail now until ice thickens.
Upcoming Fishing Tournaments
● Sheridan Lake Fishing Derby, sponsored by Walleye Unlimited: Jan. 28, perch and northern pike, one-day tournament with a $30 entry fee per team. Call (605) 348-1470 or 381-9457 for additional information.
● Whitney Dock Club Ice Fishing Tournament: Jan. 13 on Whitney Lake (Between Chadron and Crawford, Nebraska), $25 per ticket with 100 spots available. Call Scott Gooder (308) 430-4896 for additional info.
● The Roosters Annual West River Ice Fishing Tournament: The year long contest features prizes awarded for largest catch in a variety of species. Contact The Rooster in Rapid City 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.