Ice Anglers Should be Aware of Spear Holes

In the past few years, “darkhouse” spearing has expanded across the state. This activity has anglers cutting a large hole in the ice and using decoys to lure fish below. This is a unique and fun opportunity for many anglers, but plenty of anglers don’t know what to look for when the spear shack has been moved.

When out for a day of ice fishing, be aware that “darkhouse” spearing is legal on most South Dakota water bodies. Spear holes in the ice should be avoided when possible. Large blocks of ice on top of the lake surface, irregularly colored patches of ice or branches placed on the ice surface all can signal the presence of an old ice spearing hole.

Spear anglers, remember you must mark your spear hole after you have finished fishing. Using branches to mark the corners of your hole is the most common practice.