Hunting / Fishing Reports

Aim for the best

You'll find experienced guides all along the river to help you along the way, or feel free to venture out on your own. With four amazing lakes and thousands of acres of prime hunting land, there's a reason you should follow the river this year. Plan your trip by perusing numerous hunting and fishing lodges, guide services and more.

Fishing Report 


September 17, 2018


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We’ve been getting a lot of questions about high water and flooding. While there is some high water on the reservoirs, we are not flooding. If you have questions, give us a call at 605-224-4617 or send us an email at and we’ll be happy to help!
If you have questions about dock access on any part of the Missouri River in Central South Dakota, you can check out this map from Game, Fish & Parks at Click on the Public Fishing Access map. Zoom in on the area you’re interested in to see dock access information.

Cooler temperatures are the theme this week. It’s time to start thinking about pheasant hunting, but there’s still time to get out on the Missouri River in central South Dakota.  Sunscreen, fly spray, and plenty of water will continue to provide for a more comfortable experience. Good luck catching!

REMINDER: Help stop the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species! Check out the Game, Fish & Parks web site for detailed info on the regulations. They are very specific so you’ll want to be sure you’ve read the regulations. If you love to fish the Missouri River in South Dakota, please do your part to keep the reservoirs free of aquatic invasive species. 

Lake Oahe

In the Pollock and Mobridge  the fishing is about the same as last week. North of Mobridge on the main lake, anglers are using bottom bouncers with crawlers and spinners in 35-50 feet of water. The Grand River and Oak Creek area are popular areas currently, with anglers fishing 8-15 feet of water using bottom bouncers with crawlers and spinners or crankbaits.  

At Akaska the fishing is going well, especially around Swan Creek and the Moreau. Anglers are having success with minnows or crawler and spinners in around 10 feet of water.

At Gettysburg the bite is decent for salmon. Most anglers are fishing for salmon from shore using flicker shad. Anglers are fishing for walleye in the Stove Creek area, in 10-20 feet of water with live bait, and 20-40 feet pulling plugs. Catfish are biting as well.

Around Spring CreekCow Creek  the fishing has been decent. Leeches, crawlers, and plugs are all working in 10-25 feet of water. The bite seems to get a bit tougher after noon, so plan to head out in the morning.

Lake Sharpe

Around Pierre/Fort Pierre the 15-inch limit is back on. Anglers are having success with crawler/spinner rigs or minnow rigs in around 10-30 feet of water on the ridgelines. West Bend is a little tougher with the 15 inch limit back in place, but the river below Pierre is still doing pretty well.

Lake Francis Case

 Around Chamberlain the fishing has slowed down a little. There are plenty of fish, with some sorting necessary. Anglers are fishing anywhere from 10-20 feet, using spinners and crawlers. Many anglers are fishing in the Big Bend Dam area, and catching catfish, white bass, and some walleye in the fast water.

On Francis Case in the Platte area, the fishing has slowed down some. Anglers are fishing in 15-20 feet of water, and using bouncers with minnows or crawlers. Smallmouth and crappie are also being caught.

In the Lake Andes, Wagner, Pickstown areas, the fishing has slowed a bit due to high wind and rain, but water temperatures are cooling down, so look for more action soon. Anglers are having success fishing above the dam in around 20 feet. Anglers are using crawlers and minnows the most. Catfish are going great, with many hanging out right above the trees. A variety of fish are being caught below the dam.

 At Yankton fishing is pretty good. Anglers are catching lots of white bass and walleye out on the lake, and bluegill and crappie around the marina. Many are using crawlers and leeches with bouncers and spinners in 15-25 feet of water. Catfish are also biting well.  

For more information and up-to-the-minute reports on fishing Lake Oahe, please call Kemnitz MoRest Motel in Mobridge at 605-845-3668 or Akaska Bait Shop at 605-649-7847. Call Bob’s Resort at 605-765-2500 or South Whitlock Resort at 605-765-9762 in Gettysburg. On Oahe and Sharpe call Hutch’s Guide Service at 605-220-2844. On Lake Sharpe and Lake Francis Case, contact Dakota Prairie Guide Service at 605-680-1910 or SD Dakota Walleye Charters at 605-366-1875. On Lake Francis Case, call Platte Creek Lodge at 605-941-1679 or Circle H Motel at 605-487-7652.

Remember – this report is a snapshot in time and changes can occur quickly. We suggest you call one of our members listed above – they can be very helpful with what is happening along the river. That way you’ll be assured of a great trip!

Pheasant Survey Indicates 47% Increase for South Dakota's 100th Hunting Season

August 27, 2018

PIERRE, S.D. – According to the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP), this year’s pheasant brood survey shows a 47 percent increase over last year. The 2018 statewide pheasants-per-mile (PPM) index is 2.47, up from the 2017 index of 1.68.

“A substantial increase in the pheasants-per-mile index is an exciting prospect for South Dakota’s 100th pheasant hunting season this fall,” stated Kelly Hepler, GFP Secretary. “Weather conditions continue to play a significant role when it comes to bird numbers and better weather helped this year with the average pheasant brood size increasing 22 percent over last year.”

From late July through mid-August, GFP surveyed 110, thirty-mile routes across the state’s pheasant range to estimate pheasant production and calculate the PPM index. The survey is not a population estimate, but rather compares the number of pheasants observed on the routes and establishes trend information. Statewide, 85 of the 110 survey routes had a higher PPM than 2017.

“We are pleased to see pheasant numbers improve across the state; particularly in the far eastern part of the state where hunters will have more opportunities to harvest birds than in recent years,” stated Hepler. “The full report provides an overview of upland habitat; which remains a concern for all wildlife across the state. Just as changes in landscape-level habitat conditions have produced peaks and valleys in the pheasant population for 100 years, habitat will again be the key to preserving pheasant hunting for another century."

The Walk-in Area (WIA) program added 39,000 new acres in addition to 8,000 new acres last year. With 1.1 million acres of public hunting land within the heart of South Dakota’s pheasant range, great opportunities remain for public access to pheasant hunting. Hepler said hunters should notice far fewer disturbed CRP fields compared to last year when emergency haying and grazing was authorized in response to severe drought conditions.

The annual hunting atlas and a web-based interactive map of public lands and private lands leased for public hunting can be found at In addition to printed and interactive maps, hunters can utilize GPS downloads and smartphone applications to locate public hunting lands throughout the state. Hunters are again asked to hunt safely and ethically, respect private landowners and those public hunting areas scattered across the state.

“Challenges exist to maintain habitat, desirable pheasant population levels, and to recruit a new generation of hunters to preserve this truly special sport of pheasant hunting. Take time this fall to celebrate the hunt, the sense of community and comradery while appreciating how deeply rooted the tradition of pheasant hunting has been for the last 100 years,” concluded Hepler.  

South Dakota’s traditional statewide pheasant hunting season opens on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018, and runs through Jan. 6, 2019.

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