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Fish: Yellow Perch

Webster South Dakota

Post By: GoNe_FiShIn_11      Posted: 11/22/2022 7:05:53 AM     Points: 11452    
Well I am super stoked!!! Just got a trip lined up for mid January for ice fishing in the Webster South Dakota area. Weíll be staying in an ice castle for the weekend. That will be the first time sleeping out on the ice. Should be a different experience.

I was looking for any pointers in the right direction for any areas to try or just to start. This will be my first time in the area. From the looks of it there is lots to choose from up in those parts. Perch and walleyes are the target. I like catching most anything though.

 Reply by: Dakota Dude      Posted: Nov. 22, 9:43:52 AM     Points: 2516
Who did you rent the sleeper from? That will help me give you some pointers. Generally, I find the better bites in smaller sloughs. Fishing will get slow in the sleeper, so its important to move. I would focus on fishing your sleeping at sun up and sun down. During the day you need to be mobile and fishing other spots, whether on the same body of water, or exploring other bodys of water.
 Reply by: GoNe_FiShIn_11      Posted: Nov. 22, 9:49:37 AM     Points: 11452
Shaneís guiding service is the outfit.
 Reply by: xavierk31      Posted: Nov. 22, 1:18:26 PM     Points: 3405
I can get you in touch with a pretty great guide service up there. Thing about those lakes is that one year, theyíre great and the perch are easy to find and the next year the perch canít be found. Same thing with the crappie population.

But Roy, Clear Lake, and Enemy Swim among others are typically good spots. A lot of the smaller lakes I should say can be inconsistent, like Goose.
 Reply by: GoNe_FiShIn_11      Posted: Nov. 22, 7:13:45 PM     Points: 11452
We are on the fence about getting a guide. Between the three of us we should be able to find some fish. The guides would know what areas have been doing well at the time though.

I believe we will have a ranger unless the ice is good enough to just drive wherever we would like.

Man from the looks of it there are tons of sloughs and small ponds all around that area.

Any lure or bait recommendations?
 Reply by: xavierk31      Posted: Nov. 23, 9:57:57 AM     Points: 3405
Genuinely that's where a guide is gonna be really helpful at least for one day or half a day. The guide service we've used up there swears by NOT using tungsten jigs... we've caught perch on smaller spoons and even some northern on smaller spoons and ice rattle baits. As far as the action of the jigs goes, be sure to try dead sticking AND jigging, will depend on the day and the school of fish you find.

Fish Hunter guide service- Scott Gangle, tell him Rob and Nate Kolhoff sent you if you do indeed reach out.

As far as bodies of water, yes the sloughs can be inconsistent... they'll get hammered one year and then need time to recover so to speak. That's part of why I'd recommend some of the "bigger" bodies of water I suggested.
 Reply by: brookieflyfisher      Posted: Nov. 23, 9:59:44 AM     Points: 6172
Agreed with Xavier. If you don't want to get a guide service, you could also call up Sportsmans Cove (or whatever other local tackle shop you want) in Webster. Tell them what you're after, when you'll be out there, what lakes you might fish, and ask what might work. When they tell you, you could order the gear from them and pick it up when you get there. When you go to pick up the gear, they should be awfully willing to give up the goods on what's working and where--hell, they may even be willing to mark up a map for you. SoDak is much friendlier than most places in Colorado. That's nothing against CO--that's just the way it is in the midwest. You should have no problem getting the good word if you support a local business!

I say this because that part of SoDak especially would appreciate your support of local industry. The lakes (and the great fishing) around Webster are a consequence of an unusual wet cycle that turned dry farmland into lakes. Whole farms were inundated, and hundreds of people had to pick up and move. The ag industry was devastated--its up to fishing and waterfowl to make up the difference.

I'm very jealous, good luck fishing!
 Reply by: xavierk31      Posted: Nov. 23, 10:08:57 AM     Points: 3405
Well said, brookieflyfisher.... my home state doesn't have much going for it OTHER than the hunting and fishing to keep a lot of those small towns afloat. They're always happy to have the business coming in.
 Reply by: Dakota Dude      Posted: Nov. 23, 10:50:56 AM     Points: 2516
My experience with Sportsmans Cove and Doug is that they just give you general knowledge. You can always call Sportsmans and get their weekly fishing report, but usually by the time its on the report its too late and you will be chasing after the bite. "Should have been here yesterday" stuff.

I personally don't like Enemy Swim. There is much better fishing if you're chasing perch and walleyes. Some of my favorite spots are on Lynn Lake, and sloughs nearby. Wuabay is solid too. Bitter is too hit or miss for me, though I have caught very large fish there.

You're going to have a blast, but I wouldn't chase shanty towns or stick in one place. Do some research looking at maps and you'll probably be better off.
 Reply by: xavierk31      Posted: Nov. 23, 11:09:12 AM     Points: 3405
Waubay would be another one I'd recommend, too... just much bigger water than some of the other lakes. But that's much less of a problem through the ice.
 Reply by: Icebuster      Posted: Nov. 23, 11:27:11 AM     Points: 314
Fishing up there has dramatically declined due to "over" fishing and Guides Services like the Gangles (Fish Hunter).

I have witnessed these over-fishing by guides day after day. This is why( by an early post) one year will be good and the next totally dead.

There was a great fishery in the area for the past 15 years and word got out last winter to where there were 15+ guides taking clients out day after day. We counted over 250 anglers for 3 weeks. We fished the lake mid-March and this Fall and "dead". Also guides were trespassing to get access which will cause locals to restrict access for everyone.

Enemy Swim is a fishery that seems to be able to withstand the pressure year after year. Great panfish and early AM/PM Walleye point in 15 FOW has treated us with good results.

If there is good snow and wind, tracks on the side by side is truly a benefit.
 Reply by: xavierk31      Posted: Nov. 23, 11:53:56 AM     Points: 3405
icebuster- is it considered overfishing if you're just limiting out?
 Reply by: brookieflyfisher      Posted: Nov. 23, 1:11:09 PM     Points: 6172
Gotta blame somebody for a bad day of fishing.

DIY guys blame guides, guides blame out-of-staters, locals blame the internet, and everyone blames the DNR lmao.

Fact is the midwest has some great fishing and Webster SD is right in the middle of some of the best. I hope Gone_Fishin knocks em dead!
 Reply by: Walleye Guy      Posted: Nov. 23, 2:56:53 PM     Points: 157
If have fished that area for years. It seems that each year has a hot lake or two, then those lakes get hit hard and a couple more will pay the price the next year. I think the smallies are starting to take over more and more each year. We fish mainly for walleye and although we still get plenty we also seem to get more bass each year. Perch, to me are very Lake specific, find a new slough and it can be terrific but soon the locals all know about it and the bite dies.

We had a hot lake about 7 years ago, went back the next year and zilch. We tried it again last year and did well again. It take time and less pressure to build back up.

If you want walleye, mostly small it seems that seems to keep producing try Opitz.
 Reply by: GoNe_FiShIn_11      Posted: Nov. 23, 10:04:00 PM     Points: 11452
Man you guys are awesome. Greats tips. Definitely soaking it all in. I am super stoked for this trip. We have been talking about making it for a couple of years and finally got it set.

I think we all understand the what the pressure does to a fishery. From my experience Iíve seen a few favorite areas get beat to hell. Only hoping they bounce Back one of these days.

Planning on stopping by some of the local bait shops. I think thatís part of the experience visiting the local shops and chatting with a few people. Never know what you will learn.

Question are we better off running and gunning or just finding high chance areas? My thoughts are you canít catch where there are no fish so Im Usually on the move.

I usually donít prefer sitting in tent city unless itís called for. I like the quiet. Lol

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