Inconsistency continues to plague anglers this winter as a good day of fishing is often followed by two days of futility. Changeability has been the norm in terms of ice conditions as well. Particularly on the larger lakes with solid ice frequently giving way to a weaker sort or open water — white caps reported off Gadens Point (Orman) last week.

As to why, theories abound though inconsistent — yep, that word again — weather patterns punctuated by a frequency of small fronts passing through the area is certainly a contributor.

With the lull in fishing activity in the area’s two large walleye lakes, Orman and Angostura, upper elevation Black Hills lakes are home to much of the angling activity at present.

Though with somewhat middling success as well.

Need to get out nonetheless? Here is a look at what’s been happening lately.

Angostura Reservoir: Fishing activity on the lake remains virtually nonexistent as ice condtions are treacherous lake wide.

Belle Fourche Reservoir (Orman): With a lot of open water reported and questionable ice conditions elsewhere, fishing activity was at a standstill last week. Recent activity has been largely confined to an occasional walleye activity below the dam during early morning or early evening hours.

Black Hills Fly Fishing: Trout fishing remains excellent in area streams with nymph fishing the usual ticket to success. Also, midges are hatching most days thereby presenting a viable option during midday hours.

Curlew Lake: Some crappie activity reported on small minnows and jigs.

Custer Park Lakes: Trout bite remains strong in most waters with Center Lake perhaps the busiest.

Deerfield Reservoir: The perch (lots of smalls) remains active with waxworms and red spikes the baits of choice. The perch are suspended at varying depths, a situation that varies week by week, and electronics are likely needed to find the schools. Will likely avoid wasted effort cutting holes where the fish aren’t.

New Wall Dam: Crappie activity reported on waxworms and small jigs.

Pactola Reservoir: The ice on the main lake is reportedly six to nine inches deep, a situation that is allowing anglers to move out into deeper water in pursuit of lake trout. A few smaller specimens were showing up last week. Also, a 22 lbs. northern pike was caught back in Jenney Gulch last week as well. And a decent bluegill bite continues near marinas on north and south sides of lake.

Roubaix Lake: Trout action was picking up last week on powerbait and red spikes were working well on small jigs.

Sheridan Lake: Perch ctivity remains inconsistent largely due to difficulties in locating schools. Electronics to aid in the seeking process recommended. Some northern (on shiners) and rainbow trout (small jigs) activity at times as well.

Stockade Lake: Northern pike showing up occasionally on shiners. Also some largemouth bass and crappie activity reported though the action is a day-to-day proposition.

Lake Oahe: Northern pike activity in bays reported with 37 plus pounds weighed in last weeks ice fishing tournament. There is a walleye activity farther north — beyond the mouth of the Cheyenne River and points north.

Lake Sharpe: Strong winds mixed with snow curtailed open water fishing in the tailrace area midweek though farther south ice fishermen are experiencing a moderately successful walleye bite in the West Bend and Joe Creek areas.

Lake Francis Case: Below the dam at Ft. Thompson Dam continues to produce some walleye activity on minnow rigs. In the Chamberlain area, ice conditions remain problematic with thin ice and open water the norm.

Upcoming Ice Fishing Events: Annual Hooked on Hardwater Ice fishing event at Sheridan Lake conducted by the Club for Boys: Saturday, Feb. 22. For information about the fishing event and the fundraising social on Friday night, call the Club for Boys at (605) 343-3500.

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), Horsecreek Inn and Campground, 23570, and Angostura State Resort have contributed to this report.

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