The mild South Dakota winter that we've been experiencing up to this point is a dream for all the cold weather haters like myself, and a real pain in the you-know-what for all the winter weather enthusiasts who love to snow ski, snowmobile, and ice fish.

This year's El Niño weather pattern has introduced unseasonably warm winter weather here in the Sioux Empire, making it both frustrating and non-profitable for several area businesses that rely on the winter months and winter-related sports to make a living.

One of those businesses is ice fishing.

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The start of ice fishing season has been delayed about one month due to the unseasonably warm weather Mother Nature has been serving up in the Sioux Falls area recently. Josh Heitkamp, General Manager at Dakota Angler, told Dakota News Now, “There’s not a real true rule of thumb for temperature mainly due to the wind, right? So you could be zero degrees. But if you have a 30-mile-an-hour wind, you won’t be building any ice. You need a calm day to get that first layer of ice down and then it can be windy as long as it’s not breaking it up."

Ice fishing requires a series of days with sub-freezing temps to help prepare the ice for the start of a safe ice fishing season. And so far this winter, that is something we just haven't had yet.

Once the season finally gets underway, ice fishing experts recommend you take along the proper gear, one such item you should have is a spud bar.

Ben Peterson, one of the fishing managers at Scheels in Sioux Falls told Dakota News Now, “The biggest thing you should have would be the spud bar. It’s a heavy-weight bar. What you do is when you are walking on the ice you hit the ice out front of you, usually give it a real hard whack, pretty much just as hard as you can hit the ice. Any time that bar goes through the ice, it’s not safe to be walked on,”

Ice fishing experts also highly recommend that you always go fishing with a partner and tell people where you plan to be and how long you plan to be out.

South Dakota is blessed to have several great ice fishing lakes, some of the most highly regarded are, Waubay Lake in northern South Dakota, Lake Madison, Lake Francis Case on the Missouri River in central South Dakota, Lake Thompson in Kingsbury County, Sheridan Lake, in the Black Hills, just a short distance from Rapid City, and Opitz Lake in Day County South Dakota.

Source: Dakota News Now

A Survival Guide For Your First Winter in South Dakota

Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and the rest of the Sioux Empire (AKA southeastern South Dakota) are welcoming thousands of new residents every year.

Many of you new folks will be experiencing your first eastern South Dakota winter. While it doesn't usually get as bad as our Dakota friends up north, I speak from experience when I say it can get a little rough.

So, to help ease you into winter in Sioux Falls and South Dakota here are some winter survival tips:


10 Wild South Dakota Snowstorms

Even though snow is blanketing the Sioux Empire, some snowstorms still do not compare to these ten dreadful snowstorms that hit South Dakota.

Only In Your State highlighted ten snowstorms in South Dakota as a reminder for people to always be aware of the road during the winter. South Dakotans are well aware of the fact that the state’s winters can be harsh which is why it is always a good idea to plan ahead and prepare for the worst.

Do you remember any major snowstorms that hit South Dakota?

Gallery Credit: KXRB

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