One of the best things about ice fishing, at least for me, is that it gives anglers the opportunity to fish with more than just one or two other people. I enjoy those few days out of the season when there could be five or more in our group of hardwater walkers because not only does it allow us to cover more area and see where the fish are at, but it also allows for lots of chatter and camaraderie on the ice.
Recently, a few of my fishing friends came out for a morning on Roubaix and one of them brought his dad, son, and brother with him as well, making for a good size group of guys. It was great to see such a wide range of ages and experience levels and we all enjoyed chatting and fishing amongst ourselves and all the holes Matt and I were drilling with our K-Drills and, to make it even better, the fish were biting at a good rate as well and we were all catching trout, including some very nice specimens for that area.
Throughout the morning, we caught dozens of fish using jigs tipped with either red maggots or Clam Pro Tackle Maki plastics. It was a fun morning filled with laughs and fish which made for a great group trip on the ice. I'll be looking forward to more of them soon.
As far as with some ice updates on the Black Hills area, as we head into the Christmas weekend, the cold weather has finally descended onto the area and looks like it will stick around for the time being. Temperature highs staying at or below freezing will lock up any lakes that are still open and most should have good ice to walk on over the next week to ten days.
Smaller lakes and ponds, such as Roubaix, Lakota, Center, Bismarck, and Horsethief have had good ice conditions for a couple of weeks now, which is where most of the ice fishermen in the area have been going to.
Deerfield Reservoir is ice covered now, though the west side, Gold Run and boat launch areas have the safest ice at 5"-6" which should only get thicker after this cold moves in. A few trout and perch
have been showing up in those areas. Jenny Gulch in the Pactola area is good to walk on, with 4"-6" of ice reported with a crappie and pike bite going on. Fishermen have been hitting the bay area near Hwy. 385 on Sheridan Lake over the last week, though caution is still advised as it was only 3"-4" covering over most of it. That will change quickly with the coming cold weather.
The big walleye lakes of Angostura and Belle Fourche have had the last boat launches removed and now await the buildup of ice over the next ten days, which should make them good to walk on as long as the high winds remain at bay while the ice is forming. The weather has finally turned for the better and good ice fishing days are coming very soon.
Merry Christmas everyone and tight lines to all!