Walleye Fishing in South Dakota

Walleye Fishing in South Dakota
South Dakota has become one of the premier locations for walleye fishing. Walleye, a toothy type of fish for which you can easily select bait for because they'll eat just about anything, dead or alive, thrive in the cold waters found in South Dakota and enjoy the gravel water bottoms of many of its lakes. South Dakota makes a great fishing destination for anglers on a budget; although the state has many of the same fish species and water types as Minnesota, its neighbor to the east, its lesser reputation for fishing translates into lower costs.

Lake Oahe

Lake Oahe, fed by Missouri River water and located near the North Dakota border north of Pierre---South Dakota's capital city---has grown into the most popular walleye fishing location in South Dakota alongside Lake Sharpe. Due to its location so far upstream, the lake has incredibly clean and clear water. The branched structure of the lake allows for widely varying areas of strong current mixed with calm coves, both of which appeal to walleye. Lake Oahe also has numerous fishing guide services catering to the lake for those interested.

Lake Sharpe

Lake Sharpe, another of South Dakota's most prominent walleye fishing locales, yielded the state record record walleye. Just south of Pierre and Lake Oahe along the Missouri River waters, and this lake provides very similar conditions to those of Lake Oahe. However, due to its smaller size and relative lack of shoreline towns, so Lake Sharpe is a slightly less frequented fishing locale than Lake Oahe. Like that imposed at Lake Oahe, Lake Sharpe's catch limit allows four fish per person per day and a maximum eight fish per person on board a boat at any point.

Belle Fourche Reservoir

Head to Belle Fourche if you plan to make a vacation trip out to the Black Hills or Badlands. Located near Sturgis, famous for the annual Sturgis Bike Rally, and Belle Fourch has a robust walley population. The downside to Belle Fourche lies in the water traffic---one of the largest lakes near the Black Hills, it's a popular tourist destination, and finding calm waters stocked with walleye can become a hit-or-miss prospect.

Lake Madison

North of Sioux Falls, South Dakota's largest city, Lake Madison has a shoreline lined with lavish lake houses that can clog the waters with recreational boaters during hot summer days. During the start and end of walleye season, though, the waters become often relatively open, making the lake a great walleye fishing destination. A drawback to Lake Madison lies in the lack of fishing guides, but if you plan on going out on your own, that won't present a problem.

Article Written By Jonathan Croswell

Jonathan Croswell has spent more than five years writing and editing for a number of newspapers and online publications, including the "Omaha World-Herald" and "New York Newsday." Croswell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is currently pursuing a Master's of Health and Exercise Science at Portland State University.

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