By targeting the Dakotas’ lakes right as the ice recedes, you can reasonably expect to score big pike – with some bonus walleyes to boot.
Once we have decent ice and are no longer limited t o fishing shorelines, mobility becomes a key component in our level of success as we are now able to fully explore every nook and cranny of the lake. As with most things, having a tried and true system in place not only keeps thing simple and organized, but also contributes heavily in keeping a good attitude and that definitely equates to more fish on the ice.
INDMENTS. RESERVOIRS. FLOWAGES.Call them what you want, they’re exciting to fish. “And productive,” according to Dennis Foster, a guide from Mellete, South Dakota, and an aficionado of the fishing on the Missouri river reservoirs.“ The Dakota reservoirs grow fish fast and to impressive proportions—not just walleyes, although they’re usually the main target.
If you want to up your game a bit and try to weed out the smaller eater sized fish and specifically focus your efforts on the largest mature fish on any given body of water…
Crawlers and walleyes go together like cookies and milk, but rigging a worm right isn’t as intuitive as you might guess. What you’ve been doing with crawlers may be timeless and proven, maybe a spinner harness on a bottom bouncer or as part of a trolling spread. Or maybe you prefer nose-hooking a fat crawler behind a slipsinker and letting it dance across complex structure. How about a Slow Death Hook and half a crawler.
As the weather begins to warm in earnest during the summer months, we see not only the air temperature rise, but more importantly, the water temperature. Just as we tend to become much more active, fish of all species respond in kind, particularly my favorite—the walleye. Because of this, we can now begin to leave behind some of the finesse tactics that are so common early in the open water period.
First ice brings months of anticipation — better yet, anxiety — even long before the first leaf slowly tumbles down in early fall. But as good as early ice-fishing always is here in the Dakotas, I can honestly say that the urgency of what awaits us as we drift from the common doldrums of midwinter into the late- to last-ice periods can easily override even the best days that we have enjoyed to date.
The ice fishing season began this year looking pretty darn good, with many smaller bodies of water having anglers walking out by Thanksgiving weekend. Unfortunately, all of this optimism was put on hold due to the record breaking high temps recorded throughout the region. There was a very limited amount of water that we could fish, with some smatterings of good reports, but it was very hard to get a good feel on the bite as there were very few out, with the vast amount of water remaining untouched and untested.