South Dakota Ice Fishing Report January 16-19

Action on Lake Poinsett and Lake Thompson!

“Here fishy, fishy, fishy,” I called the walleyes through the ice….just like I do on open water! We did a lot of calling on our recent trip to the northeastern corner of South Dakota! Tracy Hayward and I left Cedar Rapids on Sunday, January 15th and drove to Webster, SD, where we teamed up with our friend, Ralph Kitson, from Aurora, SD and Steve Schaefer and his son, Chris, from Sioux Falls, SD. The five of us stayed a few nights at the Four Seasons Lodge in Webster ( The lodge is a nicely remodeled older farm house on the southeast corner of town. On Monday, we hit the ice on Waubay Lake–the morning was slow so Steve and Chris followed a tip to a slough another 25 miles north of us. We followed in the afternoon and wish we would have left sooner–we found our pals fishing near a group of anglers being led by guide Joey Craft from Sioux Falls. Joey knew Steve through Steve’s work at Scheel’s in Sioux Falls. Joey was a big help in getting us on the fish both Monday and Tuesday. Be sure to give him a call at 605-553-7310 for knowledgeable guide service, both on the ice and on open water. We added a few perch to the perch and walleye Steve and Chris caught Monday. Tuesday found us back at the slough–Tracy and I had a run of five walleye in an hour, some perch, and a big pike. The afternoon slowed down for us but the group overall had a good day. Wednesday found Steve and Chris leaving to head home. Ralph led us to Brookings where we spent part of the morning touring the Terry Redlin building and admiring the collection of his original art work–if you’re in the area, please go and enjoy the free admission and quality displays of Redlin’s work and history. Our next stop was Lake Poinsett where we fished without putting our shacks up–the sun kept the afternoon comfortable on the ice. We caught numerous “short” walleyes and one nice pike for our efforts. Plus, we met a nice DNR man doing a creel survey. That night, Tracy and I stayed with Ralph and Char. We were up early the next morning heading to Lake Whitewood, a shallow lake with a maximum depth of eight feet. We fished in six feet hoping to coax some perch to bite. Tracy had a perch on which I managed to knock off the hook as he brought it up through the ice hole!! The sunny morning gave way to clouds and we left for an afternoon bite on Lake Thompson. The wind really picked up and we parked my Frabill tent next to a hard sided shack we used as a wind break. When the wind slowed down, the fog came in. Tracy caught two small walleyes during our afternoon of warmer weather turning the snow on the ice to a watery slush. Ralph and Char left with no bites and we followed them about an hour later driving back to Aurora in the misty fog. A good meal and some rest helped us wake up early Friday for the foggy drive back to Cedar Rapids. We watched the Presidential inauguration on my iPad set up on Tracy’s truck dash and listened to the coverage on FOX on his XM radio. What technology! Tracy helped me unload the wet gear at Walleye Wisdom headquarters in Cedar Rapids where we set up the tent and turned on fans to dry out our gear. I would strongly recommend you utilize ice guide services if you decide to go to any of the glacial lakes or even Devil’s Lake in North Dakota. Over the four days, I got pretty efficient at setting up Tip-Ups and my jawjackers. I also learned how to operate my new Jiffy ice auger to drill holes! Thank you to everyone for making the time on the ice enjoyable and to Ralph and Char for sharing their home. Now, do we do more ice fishing or wait for open water? Decisions….”here fishy, fishy.” Spike

South Dakota Ice Fishing – 2017

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