Another stretch of cold, windy weather nipped into fishing activity last week, though ice shacks and bundled up clothing kept hearty ice fishermen on the prowl. Such diligence and commitment may have earned diehards a reward however brief as temps are expected to hover near 50s for the next day or two before more seasonable weather arrives for the weekend. On the plus side, ice conditions should be safely set for the foreseeable future and opportunities are lighting up. Here follows a brief look at area spots where chances of success appear brightest.
Angostura Reservoir: Anglers were getting out last week and finding plenty of walleye activity. Jigging in 20-30 feet of water was producing some nice numbers including a fish in the 20-inch plus category.
Belle Fourche Reservoir (Orman): Ice fishermen have been out in decent numbers the past week with reports indicating that walleye bite is on upswing particularly in the Gaden’s Point area and below the dam. Minnows are working best.
Black Hills Fly Fishing: The warmer weather predicted for the next few days should provide some excellent opportunities on lower elevation streams. Nymphs will likely work best with streamers possibly working as well. And on warmest day could be some midge activity to bring fish to surface. Best bite should occur on tail end of current warm stretch.
Deerfield Reservoir: Recent perch bite slowed a bit last week though a few limits are still being taken on occasion. Gold Run and Dutchman are the most productive areas. Also, a few lake trout were taken as well.
Horsethief Lake: Limits of trout reportedly taken last week on powerbait and red spikes.
Pactola Reservoir: Lake trout have been very active with one group picking up ten fish ranging in size from 24-28 inches. Also some good bluegill action reported near the south marina on small jigs and wax worms. Jenney Gulch area has also been producing some northern pike including a 15-½ pounder last week.
New Underwood Dam: Perch and crappie action reported recently on wax worms, red maggots and small minnows.
Roubaix Lake: Trout bite remains in progress with plenty of nice sized specimens showing up. A mix of powerbait and wax worms or jigs tipped with red maggots were working best.
Sheridan Lake: Though some rainbow trout activity reported, anglers weren’t having much success last week an occurrence attributable to nothing more specific other than the “that’s fishing” category.
Stockade Lake: Some perch activity on small jigs and wax worms on occasion though the lake has been quite slow recently.
Lake Oahe: Most of the activity was centered on the Mobridge area last week with the annual winter walleye tournament held over the weekend. Haven’t seen official results as yet though a 13-½ pound walleye was caught in days leading up to tournament and a 10-pounder was weighed in during the tournament.
Lake Sharpe: Fishing activity has been stymied by cold and wind recently however workable ice in West Bend and areas adjacent should contribute to increased activity when conditions allow.
Lake Francis Case: No reports received.
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.
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.