After digging out from the blizzard that rumbled through the Black Hills over the last couple of days, this weekend's sunny weather should bring a much needed respite from shoveling and plowing through the snow on top of the ice could now present challenges like covering up pressure ridges and acting as an insulating layer against the ice, so caution would be advised when venturing out onto an unfamiliar lake. With that in mind, here's the current fishing report from the area:
The walleye lakes at Angostura and Belle Fourche Reservoirs are a tale of two opposites. Ice conditions at Angostura are good with walleyes being caught anywhere from 30-40' deep at present. The Horsehead and Shep's Canyon areas have seen the most activity. Belle Fourche has workable ice, but weather and drifts have kept most fishermen away. Pactola has been a hot spot as the lake trout bite is still consistent, but lots of searching is involved since they are being caught in anywhere from 20' to 90' around the lake. Dead sticks tipped with chubs or shiners is working best.
Deerfield has the best ice around at almost 3', though the 16" of fresh snow from the blizzard could make driving or trudging on it a bit of a challenge. Good trout and perch bites are still going on, with rainbows and an occasional Laker being caught in under 10' while the perch schools are scattered at 30'-40' of water.
Tungsten jigs tipped with pink or chartreuse plastics or fresh maggots are working best. Stockade has seen an uptick in the smallmouth bite and bluegills are still being caught in the inlet area as well as around weeds on the east and west sides with jigs tipped with maggots or waxies. Sheridan Lake has an ongoing perch and trout bite though searching is required, and the fresh snowfall could hide the pressure ridges that were present not too long ago so caution is advised. The trout lakes (Sylvan, Center, Mitchell, Roubaix, Lakota) are still seeing numbers of rainbows caught, mostly on the small side with an occasional nicer specimen.
As the weather looks to be in the 30s and 40s for the foreseeable future, late ice may be arriving soon. As it does, the bite should see an uptick as well. But with the conditions created by the blizzard, be cautious when driving around the ice. Some great days are ahead as the days get longer and the temperature starts to creep up towards spring.