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Though Black Hills area plains lakes have cleared of ice, the last four or five days have resulted in some iffy ice conditions in the area’s higher elevation lakes, a situation often exacerbated by four or five inches of slush atop deteriorating ice. And shorelines that are becoming increasingly unsafe.

Though a few intrepid ice fishermen have been venturing out, the majority of anglers appear to be awaiting the arrival of warmer spring weather. And more active fishing activity as water temps (currently at 40 degrees most places) begin to rise.

Angostura Reservoir: The lake has cleared of ice and with docks installed, a number of boats were afloat over the weekend. With that, a few walleye were being caught though the bite has supposedly picked up earlier this week.

Belle Fourche Reservoir (Orman): The lake is open and docks are in though fishing activity has been slow. The few anglers out were working the canal and Muddy Flats to very limited success.

Black Hills Fly Fishing: Fishing has been excellent throughout the Black Hills. Nymph fishing remains outstanding, and dry fly opportunities should improve as warmer temps and longer days return.

Canyon Lake: Open water conditions have resulted in catches of trout on nightcrawlers.

Deerfield Lake: Good ice reported for the most part though a fisherman went through ice last week near shore in the Gold Run area though, fortunately, no injuries resulted. Safe ice on lake though shoreline can be unsafe. Perch bite continues as well as some trout activity.

Pactola Reservoir: Lake still has solid ice in places, and a few anglers have been out in middle portions of lake whether or not advisable. Anglers working in 60-80 foot of water have been catching some lake trout on chubs and shiners. And some bluegill activity reported near north marina on waxworms and small minnows.

Sheridan Lake: Nice trout activity reported near Dakota Point area with limits of 18–20-inch rainbows taken. Also, a few northerns were being picked up on chubs and shiners.

Stockade Lake: Safe ice reported though ice near shorelines are definitely iffy. Some bluegill and crappie activity reported.

Lake Oahe: Boats are out and anglers have been seeking northern pike in the Spring and Cow Creek areas though the pike bite hasn’t really taken off as yet. Walleye activity has been slow as well though as waters warm that should change soon.

Lake Sharpe: Lots of boats out over the weekend and limits of walleye taken from bridges and points south by anglers working current in 10-15 foot of water.

Lake Francis Case: Excellent walleye bite reported both north below Ft Thompson and in Chamberlain area.

Fishing Tournaments

• Saturday, April 24: 23rd Annual Lake Francis Case Fishing Tournament. Contact Scott Lewis (605-730-0283) for more information. Entry deadline is April 21st.

• April 24-25: Walleyes Unlimited Angostura Spring Walleye Classic: $120 per boat with 60 boat limit. Call (605) 381-5300 or (605) 390-0567 for more info or send application to P.O Box 9574, Rapid City, SD 57709.

• April 29-30: National Walleye Tour, Chamberlain. Visit for additional information.

• June 5: 5th Annual Jared Roe Memorial Walleye Tournament at Angostura. Info available at or on Facebook.

• June 19: Father’s Day Tournament at Angostura sponsored by Fall River Swim team, 3-person teams ($120). Contact Jeff Reetz ( or call 605-890-1595.

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; West Prairie Resort, 28354 182nd, Pierre (605-264-5303), Horsecreek Inn and Campground, 23570, and Angostura State Rert have contributed to this report.

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