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 


August 31, 2015


As we head into September it looks like the first week will be rather warm.  Get out on the Missouri River in Central South Dakota. It’s a great getaway. Come on out, relax, and try your hand at catching some delicious walleye, smallmouth bass or catfish.


And, you have probably heard about the record Chinook Salmon that was caught at the face of the Oahe Dam!


REMINDER: Check out the Game, Fish & Parks web site for detailed info on the new regulations designed to prevent movement of invasive species. You can trailer to fish cleaning stations nearest the boat ramp, but after that new regulations call for draining live wells and boats.


We suggest you call one of our members listed at the end of the report – they can be very helpful with what is happening along the river. That way you’ll be assured of a great trip!

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Lake Oahe

In the Pollock area fishing is good, but you have to spend time. Anglers are using bottom bouncers with spinners and some using crawlers. Depth is anywhere from 20-35 feet and fishing has slowed a bit now, but the fall bite looks to be excellent.  

 Mobridge fishing is still consistent, but has slowed and you’ll have to spend some time looking for the fish. Best areas seem to be right around town.  Anglers are fishing in the 35-50 foot depths in the main river and 10-12 feet in the Grand River and other tributaries. Main bait is bottom bouncers, spinners, and crawlers.  

At Akaska they are still catching fish, but the bite has slowed some. Fish that are being caught are in the shallows or around 18-35 feet using jigs and minnows – actually minnows are being used more right now, bottom bouncers with crawlers and leeches. You need to keep moving until you find the fish – but they are there!

At Gettysburg  fishing has slowed some. A few limits are still coming in but you need to look for the fish. Anglers are catching walleye in around 30-40 feet using bottom bouncers and spinners, crawlers and leeches. Smallmouth are being caught on jigs and minnows and catfish are being caught using crawlers.

Around Spring CreekCow Creek  - The bite on Oahe has slowed, with some days better than others. The area from Spring to Cow Creek is the best at this time. Oahe has a deeper bite going on for walleye and it’s in the 40-50 range. Ledges are working well. Anglers are using mainly bouncer and live bait rigs. Smallmouth bass are biting and they are a good size! Spinners, green or chartreuse are working here.  

Some salmon are being caught around the intakes at the face of the dam around 80 to 100 feet using flashers, dodgers and spoons. The bite is slow bit who knows – you might hook into another record!! A record salmon was brought in a couple weeks ago! Good size smallmouth are also being caught on the face of Oahe in 20 feet or less.

Lake Sharpe

Fishing on Lake Sharpe east of Pierre and Fort Pierre has toughened up some. Best fishing is around the bluffs and by the bridges. There is action, but you have to look for the fish. You have to be patient and if you are, you’ll get results. You’ll also find some really good smallmouth being caught. Joe Creek to Big Bend Dam is seeing the best fishing right now. Fishing along the channel edges in around 10 to 20 feet of water is working well using bouncers, crawlers and spinners. Catfish, northern, crappie, and smallmouth continue to be bonus fish for many anglers. Just about any presentation/bait is working right now. The depth is anywhere from 5-20 for smallmouth bass. Fishing in the Tailrace at the Oahe Dam is good when water is being released. When the Corps starts to let water out the bite around Pierre will be awesome!

Lake Francis Case

 Around Chamberlain , fishing is good! Windy weather can make the bite slow. More anglers are using spinners, others are using bottom bouncers with minnows and some are pulling plugs – seems to be whatever you find that works. Pitching to the bluffs has been good. The depth most anglers are fishing at is 20-40 feet. There are a large number of fish being caught. You just need to take the time to look and find them.

In the Platte area the points seem to be the best chance for fish.  Bait is spinners and crawlers  in 25-30 feet. Some anglers are pulling plugs, others using spinners – again chartreuse seems to be a good color. The conditions can vary, so you need to find what works for you and your presentation.  You’ll have to sort to get limits, but some bonus fish such as Smallmouth bass and catfish are going fairly well also.

At the PickstownWagnerLake Andes  fishing below the dam has picked up with walleye, catfish and bass being caught. Fishing on Francis Case is pretty good. The depth working the best is 20 -30 feet, but it can vary every day. Most anglers are using spinners, with varied live bait. Working the points seems to do well and the good areas seem to be from Pease Creek to North Wheeler using plugs over the trees. Fish are being caught in the bays, on the points and on the flats – but it’s the time of year you have to start looking for the fish. They are also catching all kinds of bass along with the walleye and anglers are pulling in some big catfish.   

On the Missouri River around Yankton fishing is going well with anglers catching walleye, catfish, and northern below the dam. Boat fishermen are catching walleye, catfish and northern using jigs and minnows, crawlers or leeches in the fast water.

*Please remember that the fishing conditions on the Missouri River change constantly and this report is simply a guideline – a snapshot in time.*

For more information and up-to-the-minute reports on fishing Lake Oahe, please call West Pollock Resort, 605-889-2448; Kemnitz MoRest Motel in Mobridge at 605-845-3668. At Akaska call 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 605-22404755. On Lake Francis Case, contact Dakota Prairie Guide Service at 605-680-1910 or Platte Chamber of Commerce at 888-297-8175 and Circle H Motel in Lake Andes at 605-487-7652.


News from SD Game, Fish, & Parks:

Anglers are Reminded Not to Move Lake Water When Fishing

PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks’ (GFP) would like to remind anglers of the new rules regarding fish and bait transportation.

Bait can only be transported away from a water body in domestic water (tap water, well water, bottled water, ice). Boat anglers can wait until they reach an immediately adjacentfish cleaning station to put their bait in domestic water. They can dump out the lake water and fill their bait bucket up with water from the fish cleaning station or water they brought with them.

A shore angler can do the same if they are able to access the domestic water source at a fish cleaning station that is immediately adjacent or if they bring domestic water with them.

Unused minnows should be poured into the fish grinder at a cleaning station or drained and disposed of in the trash containers at the boat launch or cleaning areas. It is a violation of state statute to dump unused minnows into a water body in South Dakota.

The new regulations are featured online at; here anglers can also learn more about transporting their bait through a three minute video tutorial. GFP staff and volunteers are also available to help answer any questions.

“As much information as we provided up front on the implementation of these new regulations, we know there are still going to be questions,” said Kelly Hepler, GFP Secretary. “I would encourage people to call our offices or ask a GFP employee if they are in any way uncertain of how to comply with these new regulations. We are trying to ensure everyone who wants to enjoy South Dakota’s waters can do so with the confidence that they know these new rules. These are big changes and our staff are a great resource and willing to help field customer concerns.”