While inconsistent weather patterns continue — a passing squall on Wednesday, 60 degrees on Thursday and a chance of now on Friday — generally warmer weather over the past week has contributed to some iffy ice in spots on lakes and ponds, particularly on prairie lakes.
Fortunately, Black Hills higher elevation lakes continue to have thick ice, and are alive as well with nice catches of trout, pike and panfish reported.
And on the other side of the coin, those anglers who prefer their fishing in fully liquid form, Rapid and Spearfish Creeks are fishing well during warmer days and midday hours.
From the glass half-full perspective, high winds do remain an irritant to even the most even-tempered angler.
With that, here’s a brief update on what’s been happening, and, hopefully, will continue.
Angostura Reservoir: The winter long pattern of limited fishing, and even less success, continues as warm weather has contributed to softening ice in spots.
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Bear Butte: Little change. Crappie and perch (small in both instances) activity reported.
Belle Fourche Reservoir (Orman): No fishing activity at present. Open water along shorelines makes access well-nigh impossible.
Black Hills Fly Fishing: Excellent trout bite on Rapid and Spearfish Creeks. Nymphing remains the way to do though dry fly-fishing opportunities should become more prevalent as well. Fish are typically stacked up in deeper, slower spots. As always during winter months, midday hours have the best of it.
Center Lake: A nice trout bite in progress.
Deerfield Lake: Excellent ice though watch for pressure ridges. Catches of perch, trout and northern pike continue. And the occasional laker.
Lakota Lake: Some nice sized pike have been showing up.
Pactola Reservoir: Remains an area hotspot with catches of trout (rainbows), perch and bluegill (minnows and wax worms) reported. Northern pike (Jenney and Bear Gulches) and lake trout in deeper water activity as well.
Sheridan Lake: Plenty of perch activity, crappie and trout activity on red maggots and small minnows. And a pike bite as well (chubs and large minnows) near Spring Creek inlet.
Stockade Lake: Perch and crappie bites reported daily. Also, pike are showing up at times.
Tisdale Lake: Northern pike bite activity reported.
Lake Oahe: High winds have discouraged anglers on the big lake. And just when walleye activity has been edging south from what have been busier northern locations, particularly in the Cheyenne and Miniconjou areas.
Lake Sharpe: Boaters have been out when wind conditions allow. And have been catching walleye on minnows and jigs. Also, a nice walleye bite reported via ice fishing in the Joe Creek and West Bend areas.
Lake Francis Case: Some walleye activity below the dam at Fort Thompson. Otherwise, high winds curtailed interest. Very little activity seen in Chamberlain area.
Dakota Angler & Outfitter, 513 Seventh St., Rapid City; The Rooster, 1441 W. Main St., Rapid City; Wheel in Bait Shop, 18696 Fisherman’s Road, Fruitdale, and West Prairie Resort, 28354 182nd, Pierre (605-264-5303) have contributed to this report.