The Best South Dakota Family Fishing Trips

The Best South Dakota Family Fishing Trips
A fishing vacation is an ideal way to enjoy the great outdoors with your family and South Dakota has a lot to offer. Tourist attractions like the Black Hills are full of fishing hot spots and the eastern lakes region on the opposite side of the state is also a top draw. There's even a fishing hole that caters to families with disabilities. If your family loves fishing, there's plenty to do in South Dakota.

Lake Thompson

The American Indians called Lake Thompson "Dry Woods Lake" before it took the name of President James Buchanan's secretary of the interior. Once a dry lake, hence the Indian name, snow melt during the 1880s filled it to over 20 feet deep and it became a National Natural Landmark.

Laura Ingalls Wilder of "Little House on the Prairie" fame lived nearby and she mentioned Thompson Lake in her books "The Long Winter" and "By the Shores of Silver Lake." Not only is Thompson Lake a premier fishing lake, according to, but it's also a beautiful state recreation area with a lodge, rental cabins and camping spaces for RVs and tents. Great walleye and perch fishing attract local fishermen.

Lake Thompson Recreation Area

21176 Flood Club Road

Lake Preston, SD 57249


Black Hills National Forest Watershed

The Black Hills near the western border of the state is where Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse monument and Custer State Park with its roaming buffalo herds are located. You'll also find the Black Hills National Forest here with its abundant network of rivers and watersheds that lunker trout call home.

According to, brown trout in these waters range from 8 to 20 inches and even small brook trout can grow to 10 inches. Deerfield, Sheridan and Pactola lakes are good places to start your fishing adventure.

U.S. Forest Service

Black Hills National Forest

1019 N. 5th St.

Custer, SD 57730


My Fishing Pond

Near the town of Bridgewater, there's a fishing hole that accommodates the handicapped. It's called "My Fishing Pond" and it was built by the victim of a brain injury. John Alvarez enjoyed the calming affect fishing had on him and he decided to share his pond with the community.

"My Fishing Pond" sits three miles west of Bridgewater and is designed for wheelchair access. The largemouth bass fishing and outdoor picnics are a big draw for people with disabilities throughout the state.

My Fishing Pond

26331 432nd Ave.

Bridgewater, SD 57319


Article Written By Dan Eash

Dan Eash began writing professionally in 1989, with articles in LaHabra's "Daily Star Progress" and the "Fullerton College Magazine." Since then, he's created scripts for doctor and dentist offices and published manuals, help files and a training video. His freelance efforts also include a book. Eash has a Fullerton College Associate of Arts in music/recording production and a Nova Institute multimedia production certificate.