While most of us were dreaming of being on the hardwater in the near future, Mother Nature had a different idea in mind this week, which we saw temperatures soar in the 50s and 60s for a few days with a 72 degree day in there as well.
That has pretty much put off any of the larger lakes in the area being walk-able for at least the next few weeks or so, unless the region sees a sharp temperature decrease. Many smaller ponds still have ice on them, though, it may not be more than a few inches thick. Extreme caution and extra safety measures should be taken if checking these ponds out is desired. It may even be a better idea to wait a bit before testing them out. With that in mind, there is still open water to check out though fishing conditions vary.
For those who haven't winterized their boats yet, Angostura and Orman have reported somewhat decent walleye bites with Angostura being the more popular place. Larger walleyes are being caught on minnows and jigs, but the bite is hit or miss. Gaden's Point and the dam at Orman are seeing most of the action with small chubs and minnows working best, though the water level is still really low (40%).
Deerfield Reservoir has a decent trout bite happening along the shorelines, thought the west side of the lake is iced up closer to the inlet. Gold spoons were working best. Stockade Lake has some bluegill activity happening, though fishing is relegated to the shorelines as the boat dock has been pulled. Pactola Reservoir is seeing trout caught near the north marina and some pike activity has been reported in the same areas.
The trout lakes (Sylvan, Center, Mitchell, Lakota, Horsethief) have had no reports other than that they are iced over with anywhere from 2.5"-4" of ice as of Friday. Ice fishermen have been seen on some of them, though extreme caution is again advised due to the current warm weather and its continuation through at least Thanksgiving.
Do not go out on the ice alone, be sure you have ice picks, a safety rope, and a spud bar, and wear a life jacket if you do not have a floating ice fishing suit. Hopefully cold weather will return soon and we'll get on thicker ice by the end of the month or beginning of December.