With another blast of wintry weekend weather in the rear view mirror (and playoff football as well), ice fishermen will likely be taking advantage of what looks to be another stretch of warm weather to take to the ice this weekend. And while the warm weather is generally welcomed by all, the frequent cycles of cold and warm weather experienced this winter do necessitate extra caution when taking to the ice. This past week, two individuals went through the ice at Canyon Lake. Thankfully, they were able to work their way to safety. Remember that “no ice is safe ice” and take ice picks, a throw bag, and a spud bar on to the ice as well as fishing equipment. Jigging for walleye on a beautiful Black Hills area lake shouldn’t include a near death experience.
Angostura Reservoir: The walleye bite has been excellent so far this winter. Jigs and minnows worked in 20-30 feet of water have been the ticket. And while ice is eight-inch plus in many places, there is open water in spots and caution is required.
Belle Fourche Reservoir (Orman): A good news/precautionary news scenario on the lake for the weekend. On the good news front, the walleye bite has been good with good numbers caught on jigs and and minnows near dam and in Gaden’s Point area. More problematical are the ice conditions. With the lake at 50 percent capacity, water is being released at dam, a situation that coupled with another spell of warm weather (60 degrees predicted for weekend) can lead to weakened ice and a buildup of dangerous pressure ridges.
Black Hills Fly Fishing: The upcoming weather forecast sets up nicely for fly fishing enthusiasts. Midge hatches are drawing fish to the surface by late morning, and nymph fishing continues on the excellent side as well.
Deerfield Reservoir: Lake trout are still busy and a nice perch bite is reported as well. Fish are concentrated in 30-40 feet of water with Gold Run and Dutchman the most productive areas.
Horsethief Lake: Limits of trout reportedly taken last week on powerbait and red spikes.
Pactola Reservoir: The lake trout bite continues to be excellent with anglers working at depths of 50-70 feet of water catching a number of large lakers on shiners. Included among the catch: a 38-inch specimen weighed in on Saturday morning. A nice bluegill bite continues near south marina on small jigs and wax worms, and a few brown trout have been showing up as well.
Roubaix Lake: Trout activity continues unabated including a nice range of fish including some larger specimens. Powerbait and wax worms or jigs tipped with red maggots have been working best.
Sheridan Lake: This winter’s prevailing pattern continues as the bite for northern pike, perch, and crappie remains a hit-and-miss proposition. Success often requires movement in search of a hot spot. On the good days, limits of perch are being caught in 50 feet of water on red spikes and wax worms. Unfortunately, many of the perch are on the small side. And a 18 plus pound northern was taken at the same depth on a shiner. Lake will be busy this weekend with the Walleyes Unlimited fishing tournament on tap.
Lake Oahe: Lots of walleye and northern pike activity reported in the Mobridge and Pollock area last week including a a 30 pound, 47 inch specimen. Hasn’t been much action reported in the Pierre area for either specie.
Lake Sharpe: Reports remain scarce largely due to inclement weather particularly high winds which don’t treat ice shacks kindly. In the immediate Pierre area, most of the action has been in the stilling basin below the dam including a catch of a 44 inch, 20 pound northern pike.
Lake Francis Case: The annual Chamberlain-Oacoma fishing tournament was held last weekend with the winning team weighing in a total catch of 14.91 pounds including a 2.91 pound specimen. Cedar Shores area was producing most of the action.
Upcoming Ice Fishing Tournaments
Sheridan Lake Fishing Derby sponsored by Walleye Unlimited: Sunday, perch and northern pike, one-day tournament with a $30 entry fee per team. Call (605) 348-1470 or 381-9457 for additional information.
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.