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Black Hills, SD (January 4th, 2024)

Black Hills Region Fishing Report

Get out those ice rods, auger, and suits, winter has finally arrived across most of the region!  While most of the small lakes and ponds have been accessible for a few weeks now, the larger lakes have remained open except for some of shallower bays due to a warmer than expected month of December.  But cold temperatures are coming and staying for at least the next 14 days according to forecasts, with daytime temperatures reaching the teens or single digits on some days.  All main bodies of the larger lakes should start locking up and adding inches on them soon.  Some good bites have been occurring on lakes though, so here’s the current report on the region:

Belle Fourche Reservoir has been locked up for a week or two now, but an ice tournament was cancelled due to unsafe ice conditions so no reports have been coming yet, but the cold temps should bring out a plethora of walleye hunters within the next week or so.  Angostura Reservoir still has open areas and no current fishing reports have happened for a couple of weeks now, but things could change with the coming cold weather wave.

Pactola Reservoir has been slowly locking up in its bays as of late, but plenty of ice fishermen and women have been getting on at the Jenny Gulch area.  7″-8″ of ice has been reported with more of the bays locking up every night.  A steady rainbow and small pike bite is ongoing, but as the gulch locks up further, those looking for the monster pike and lake trout in the lake will arrive in force soon.  Sheridan Lake is mostly iced over with anywhere from 5″ to 8″ being reported across the lake.  Caution is advised if looking to journey out on to the main body of the lake.  Daily reports seem to show a hit and miss bite right now, with some days seeing lots of bluegills and crappie being caught and the next day, nothing.  Variable barometric pressure swings combined with lots of fishing pressure may be the main culprit.  Deerfield Reservoir is seeing a ton of fishing pressure right now, especially near the Dutchman boat launch where people are trying to catch the big lake trout in the area.  Mixed bags of success are being reported with most bites happening on either white or pink jigs or spoons.  Some nice rainbows have been showing up in the mix as well.  Stockade Lake has been getting fished heavily as well with lots of people fishing in the east, west, and north bays for panfish and the occasional pike on a tip-up.  Most panfish are being caught in 9′-10′ of water on 3mm and 4mm sized jigs tipped with waxies or small pink plastics.  Ice was 8″ thick as of this past weekend.  The trout lakes (Sylvan, Center, Lakota, Horsethief, Roubaix, Dalton) all have reports of at least 8″ of ice and steady trout bites going on at all of them.  Fish are biting on white or pink jigs tipped with either small plastics or waxworms.  

For more information, tips, or current reports from the Black Hills area, please get a hold of Scott Olson at dr.auger81@hotmail.com or through his website, drauger81.wixsite.com/drauger81.