Ice Fishing Going Strong In Western North Dakota
The first official weekend of 2023 is here, and the weather looks to be fairly decent for January. Saturday will start off cool and cloudy, but as the afternoon approaches, we will see some scattered sunshine with temps expected to be around 25-30 degrees. Sunday calls for similar weather, but it could be a few degrees warmer.
That said, it would be a perfect weekend to head to your favorite lake for some serious ice fishing! In our neck of the woods, ice fishing techniques range from simple buckets on the ice to elaborate icehouse setups equipped with TV's for football and appliances to make delectable delicacies, while some people might prefer darkhouse spearfishing. Ice fishing may keep you entertained for a long time regardless of your technique. I thought it would be fun to run down what you might catch at these area fishing holes...these are no particular order.
Lake Sakakawea – Anglers will find excellent numbers of 15- to 20-inch walleye and exceptional pike fishing that is only expected to get better because of a maturing population with good average size. Pike exceeding 15 pounds are likely to be more common now and in the coming years. Lake Sakakawea is a great place for darkhouse spearfishing because of its healthy pike.
Blacktail Dam – Anglers will find good numbers of walleye and northern pike, with some bigger fish of both species. Small yellow perch and bluegill are abundant, with some bigger bluegill in low numbers. Smallmouth bass are present too, but in low numbers.
White Earth Bay – Anglers will find decent numbers of northern pike, but also this popular spot contains fair numbers of walleye, bluegill, yellow perch and black crappie.
Trenton Lake – Anglers will find a good crappie population and decent numbers of walleye, northern pike and catfish.
Tioga Dam – Anglers will find a decent northern pike population along with yellow perch and bluegill too.
Mcgregor Dam – Anglers will find a decent northern pike population along with yellow perch and bluegill too.
Smishek Dam – Anglers will find good numbers of yellow perch and bluegill. Also fair numbers of walleye and northern pike, with a few big fish of both species.
Powers Lake - Anglers will find good numbers of northern pike and a few yellow perch.
Epping/Springbrook Dam - Anglers will find fair populations of northern pike, walleye and yellow perch and some black bullheads.
Kota-Ray Dam - Anglers will find a wide variety of fish species, including walleye, rainbow trout, largemouth and smallmouth bass, bluegill and yellow perch, with strongest populations of bluegill, yellow perch and largemouth bass and bluegill.
There are other spots around to check out. Click here for a great website with more information. These are ones listeners recommended. Remember, always check the ice conditions before going out as temperature variations and other factors will alter ice. With a nice weekend expected, remember that outdoor activities all year long and connecting with nature have positive effects on health, mind, and body. So, enjoy you weekend!