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Black Hills, SD (February 10th, 2023)

Black Hills Region Fishing Report

The weather has been mostly cooperating the last couple of weeks so getting out has not been much of a problem for most hardwater anglers.  Finding a bite on some lakes, though, can be an issue as many fish have settled into their mid-winter patterns and are scattered over deeper water. This is making it harder to find them without doing a lot of searching and drilling.  This holds particularly true for many of the panfish around the Hills, though the trout lakes are still running a good bite overall. 

Angostura and Belle Fourche Reserviors are still seeing almost no activity on the walleye side of things as the lakes are loaded with baitfish right now and the walleyes are gorging on those and not responding to much on the lure side of things.  This pattern may not change until closer to spring once the spawn season approaches.  Other plains lakes have also reported very slow activity including Bear Butte and Curlew.  Low water on New Underwood Dam coupled with thick ice has many fearing a winter kill on it.

The smaller trout lakes in the Hills, including Sylvan, Center, Lakota, Bismarck, Legion, and Mitchell, have good trout bites in progress though most activity is concentrated on Center Lake right now as a hot bite is on going in 12′-20′ of water at areas around the lake.  White or gold panfish jigs tipped with waxworms or white plastics has been the winning ticket for bigger cutthroat trout action.  Another winning lure is the Clam Pinhead Pro gold spoon in 1/32 oz. tipped with waxies.  The other lakes are also seeing action on these colors as well as red and wonderbread colored jigs suspended a couple of feet off of the bottom.

Pactola Reservoir is still seeing some good pike action back in Jenny Gulch. Tip-ups with frozen smelt or shiners have been seeing the most action.  Lake trout are being caught in shallower water on the main lake, around 50′, mostly on tip-ups with shiners and many of those being caught are over 30+”.  Elsewhere, the rainbow trout and bluegill bites continue off the south marina and boat launch areas suspended a few feet off the bottom and responding to red, gold, and white jigs tipped with panfish plastics or red maggots.

Sheridan Lake is seeing a decent perch, bluegill, and trout bite in bays or on muddy flats around the lake though the perch bite has slowed down as the fish are into their midwinter haunts and are scattered around the lake.  A few pike are being caught in the bays on tip-ups with smelt on them.  Deerfield Reservoir is seeing its usual good perch bite, especially if schools are found, but they are typically small and require a lot of sorting through if a meal is what you are after.  Rainbow trout are being caught in the bays of Gold Run, Dutchman boat launch, and Custer campground areas.

The crappie bite on Stockade Lake has slowed a bit and fish are more scattered now in deeper water, but bluegill are still biting in 8′-12′ of water at present, mostly in the northern bays or on the west side of the lake.  Patience and cadence are the name of the game though if you’re going for them.  Gold or pink 1/32 oz Pinhead spoons tipped with maggots has been a hot combination all winter for them, but gold, red, or chartreuse panfish jigs tipped with red or pink plastics have been working as well.  A few pike are also showing up on tip-ups with shiners on them around the weedy areas of the west side and the north central bay area usually suspended over the weed patches in 4′ to 6′ of water.

For more information or current fishing tips in the Black Hills, please email Scott Olson at dr.auger81@hotmail.com or look him up on Facebook at Dr. Auger Ice Fishing Services, LLC or at his website, www.drauger81.wixsite.com/drauger81.