South Dakota Ice – Great Perch Fishing!

When two professional angler friends head out to fish one of the coldest parts of the country, there are two things that are nearly certain.  The first, there is probably going to be good ice in mid-January, the second is, they will probably find the fish and catch a bunch.


That is just how it went for Ted Takaski, world famous walleye tournament angler, and his partner for the day, Scott Bauer, his long-time fishing friend.


Ted said, “We set up to fish on Lake Poinsett in South Dakota in 16 feet of water using a Rattlin’ Flyer spoon tipped with a minnow head.  The Rattlin Flyer Spoon is a hybrid jigging spoon made by Lindy that offers an erratic, gliding action.  It also offers the sound of an attention-grabbing brass rattle.  The spoon is made from non-lead alloy and anglers say it provides perfect weight balance.  It comes in variety of colors patterns and in sizes from 1/16 ounce to 1/4 ounce and while light, is heavy enough for the ‘feel’ and downward momentum skilled ice spooner’s like to have.

Later in the day, we switched to packing the treble hook on the lure with wax worms one on each tine.”  While many ice fishing trips will find the fish meek about hard and fast presentations, sometimes spooking them, that was not the case on this day. Takasaki added, “Pounding the bottom and lifting was the best action.  It seemed like the pounding action attracted the fish and as soon as I lifted the spoon, the fish would bite.  If they didn’t bite immediately, I would keep pound and bringing it off the bottom up to a foot.


Takasaki and Brauer used a new Humminbird Helix 5 ice sonar machine to extend their underwater view.  Takasaki says, “This sonar did a great job marking fish and giving me and Scott the confidence to stay where we were.  I like using a graph unit vs. flasher as it gives me history vs missing a fish if I am not looking at the unit 100% of the time.  I was using an Avid Glass ice rod from St. Croix and it has such a limber tip that I was able to see the subtle bites and just lift setting the hook.  It is a tremendous advantage.

If you’re feeling perky about braving the chill, the glacial lakes of South Dakota will provide some great ice for you to fish for the next several months.