With reports of good ice on Sheridan Lake, it was time to see if the perch were biting. December always seems to be a good time to find perch on the lake before they head off and scatter in the middle of winter. I arranged to go out with a few friends and we found not only a good perch bite, but also a pretty decent rainbow bite, especially on dead sticks with Arctic Warriors. We split up into two groups and if one of us found the perch, the other two would move over to keep on the bite.
Wilbur and I tried an area near the north marina while Matt and his brother Ben tried another spot further east of us closer to shore. Wilbur hooked up with a good rainbow, but it was slow in our area. Matt and Ben, however, found the perch.
The perch were schooled up near the bottom in anywhere from 18' to 24' of water. We moved over and spread out over the area, with all of us together catching dozens of perch. The Warriors provided some good fights with rainbow trout that were cruising about 10' below the ice. It was a good way to keep on fish, as the Warriors found the roaming trout and we stayed on top of the perch as they moved around the area. Clam Pro Tackle tungsten jigs tipped with small plastics or red maggots caught most of the perch.
Sheridan Lake can be a great place to go to in the early winter and the gathering crowds on the north and southwest areas of the lakes attested to that fact. It is probably the most popular lake in the Black Hills in the winter time due to the perch bite and the size of the crowds that gather on it most weekends.
If you're in the area, now is the time to go on it, but beware. There are several pressure ridges on the lake, which should be avoided as the ice near them is thinner or even open in some places. But the bite is going strong and should continue until mid-January. Usually around that time, the perch go deeper and scatter and are much more difficult to find or get to bite. Take advantage of the hot bite while it lasts!