RAPID CITY, SD – Ice fishing has fallen behind this winter after a hot fall. Lakes at higher elevations in the Black Hills have frozen over just enough in recent weeks for the ice fishing season to begin.
“The trend is later in the season, and we don’t have ice, people are willing to take risks that they wouldn’t normally take, so it’s important to keep security in mind and make sure that when you leave you know you have at least four inches of ice, ”says Jim Bussell of Cold Snap Outdoors and the Rapid City Fire Department.
As with all activities involving both humans and wildlife, unpredictability is at least half the fun, especially when time is also involved. Both high and low pressure systems can have an impact on the behavior of fish, even when they are hiding under ice.
“This morning we had a little bit higher pressure, which usually doesn’t lend itself to good fishing, but now all of a sudden we have cloud cover that’s getting colder, the pressure is going down, so affects the fish, ”adds Bussell.
Over the years the practice and tools have been refined by the trouble with nature, and the help of technology has developed industry and experience.
“By locating the fish, you saw the turn signals that we are using,” says Craig Oyler, an experienced professional in ice fishing. “I mean it’s awesome on its own, but also by drilling holes in the ice, it used to be all gas augers, and now with battery technology and drilling technology we are able to. drill holes with cordless augers. “
For anyone considering tying in spikes and putting their luck on the line, it’s actually pretty easy to get started.
“When I was young, we used an ax to cut ice when it was thin enough,” Oyler explains. “But then some type of rod and reel, and I mean really at the end of the day with jigs that’s all you need.”
With these items the fishing crew caught a few Crappies which made for a good first day.