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 13, 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.

This upcoming week will be nice and warm with temps in the 80’s and 90’s – great sunny weather for being on the river. Remember sunscreen, fly spray, and plenty of water for a more comfortable time. 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 still decent. North of Mobridge around 10-12 miles, up in the Grand River and Oak Creek area seems to be the best right now.  Bottom bouncers with crawlers and spinners are working in 25-45 feet in the main channel, and 15-25 feet in the tributaries.

At Akaska the fishing is going really well. Many anglers are finding success in the Swan Creek area. Crawlers are the best bait, with some anglers also pulling plugs, in 30-40 feet of water.

At Gettysburg the bite is decent and the fish are healthy and fat. Anglers are fishing five to ten miles north of town in 20-40 feet of water. Crawlers are the current bait of choice. Some anglers are finding nice walleye in the weeds, in about 4 feet of water, so don’t be afraid to check those areas out as well.  

Around Spring CreekCow Creek  the summer bite has been pretty consistent. Minnows, leeches, crawlers, and plugs are all working in 30-50 feet of water. Some salmon in the 25-28 pound range are being caught in around 80 feet of water.

Lake Sharpe

Around Pierre/Fort Pierre the 15-inch limit is off from now until September 1. Anglers are having success with bouncers and crawlers, leeches, or minnows in around 25-40 feet of water. Some anglers are also pulling plugs. West Bend is still putting out a lot of eater limits.

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 20-35 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 20-35 feet of water, and using bouncers with minnows or crawlers. Some anglers are using crankbaits. Smallmouth and crappie are also being caught.

In the Lake Andes, Wagner, Pickstown areas, the fishing has been good. Anglers are having success fishing in around 30 feet. Crawlers and minnows are the current bait of choice. Whetstone down to White Swan has been great. North Shore and South Shore have also been good areas.  A lot of nice, healthy looking catfish are being caught above and 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 20-30 feet of water. Some anglers are also having success pulling plugs.  

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!



CONTACT: Emily Kiel at
  • Tagged Lake Oahe Salmon: From Silver to Gold

Tagged Lake Oahe Salmon: From Silver to Gold

PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) wants to know how stocking salmon in different locations improves their survival. Anglers can help GFP gather information and be entered to win $100.

GFP is encouraging anglers to turn in heads of tagged Chinook salmon caught on Lake Oahe and the Oahe tail waters.

“Research projects are underway evaluating salmon return to anglers,” said GFP fisheries biologist Robert Hanten. “Having anglers report tagged salmon is a crucial part of the research.”

According to Hanten, thousands of specially-tagged Chinook salmon have been stocked in Lake Oahe. A small, coded-wire tag, only a millimeter long and the diameter of human hair, was implanted in these fish. Although tags cannot be seen by anglers, tagged fish can be identified by the absence of a tiny fin on their back.

"Salmon have a small fleshy-lobed adipose fin directly in front of their tail, but this fin is removed as part of the tagging process," Hanten said.

If anglers catch a salmon missing the adipose fin, Hanten asks that they turn in the fresh or frozen head of that salmon at the GFP Fort Pierre District Office, Spring Creek Resort or West Whitlock Recreation Area.

Information on where and when a salmon was caught along with the angler’s address and phone number must be included when submitting salmon heads. In addition, a coded-wire tag must be found in the head of the fish to be entered in the cash drawing.

Ten, $100 rewards will be issued each calendar year with a maximum of three rewards per person, per year. The annual drawing for winners of the $100 prizes will occur by Jan. 1.

For more information, visit

Fort Pierre District Office, 20641 SD Hwy 1806, Fort Pierre, SD 57532 or call 605.223.7681.

FOR IMMEDUATE RELEASE: Tuesday, July 24, 2018
CONTACT: Will Sayler at 

Atlantic Salmon Trial Enters Final Phase

PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks plans to stock approximately 7,000 – 10,000 Atlantic salmon, 8-10 inches in length, at Whitlock Bay on Lake Oahe this fall. 

Resident and nonresident anglers will recall that the department first sought public input on this effort back in 2014 for a potential stocking to take place in 2016. That stocking did not happen due to difficulties in obtaining fish eggs. During the public comment period, approximately 86 percent of respondents were in favor or neutral regarding this stocking and 14 percent of anglers were opposed to Atlantic salmon stockings for various reasons.

The primary objective for this potential stocking is to provide additional salmon fishing opportunities in Lake Oahe. Chinook salmon are stocked yearly in Lake Oahe and have been since the mid-1980s.

Hatchery biologists at McNenny and Cleghorn State Fish hatcheries have spent the last two years researching the feasibility of raising Atlantic salmon in South Dakota. Research indicates that these slow-growing fish can be raised in South Dakota’s hatcheries, but a substantial number of eggs are necessary each year to develop a stocking program similar to what the department does for Chinook salmon.

“Going forward, biologists will study the success of this introductory stocking into Lake Oahe to determine if enough adult salmon return to the Whitlock Bay Spawning Station to then provide adequate eggs for the future and if the Atlantic salmon are being caught by anglers,” concluded Will Sayler, fish hatchery and stocking program administrator. “A second stocking of 7,000 – 10,000 Atlantic salmon will also likely be completed in the fall of 2019 to allow for further evaluation; which could take up to two to three years.”