Fishing/Hunting Update for the Missouri River

This report is provided by the Great Lakes of South Dakota Tourism Association.

Fishing On The River Is The Best Ever!

If you haven’t made that trip to Central South Dakota to fish the Missouri River, you’re missing out on some great action!

A reminder to all hunters out there – Pheasant opener is coming up fast – October 15, in fact. Have you made your reservations?

Grouse/Prairie Chicken – Season dates are September 17, 2011 toJanuary 1, 2012 and the area is statewide. Daily limit is 3 with possession limit of 15.

Shap-tailed grouse and prairie chicken are closely related native birds, and are interspersed across the short grass prairie of central and western SD.

For more information on hunting in South Dakota go to

Check out our Virtual Travel Planner to book that trip now – we have some of the best outfitters, lodges, restaurants, hotels, resorts and guides in the business! Remember, you can book hunting and fishing combination trips – awesome!

Campgrounds along the river that were flooding are opening again and the boat ramps are also starting to become usable once more. Please go to parks and check out the latest report.

Like us on Facebook – for up-to-date reports from our businesses and the area.

Lake Oahe 

In the Pollock area fishing is has slowed down a bit, but they are still catching fish. Some walleye are being caught and other species are doing very well – lots of northern and a few crappie.  Anglers are pulling plugs in 15-35 feet of water around the trees and shallow. Shore fishing is also going strong.

 At Mobridge fishing is good – with some areas a bit slower at times. But, limits are still coming in. Main bait being used is crawlers and spinners or bottom bouncers in 18-25 feet. That being said, just about any method is working, including the kids’ way of putting a piece of hotdog on the hook!

At Akaska  fishing is still good – limits are coming in daily and the fish are biting everywhere. Anglers are using crawlers and spinners with some pulling plugs in around 10-40 feet. Fish are healthy and looking good.

At Gettysburg  there is plenty of access and they’re still catching plenty of fish. Anglers are using crawlers in about 25 – 30 feet, using long lines & plugs, or casting spoons from shore. You can get your boat on the river anywhere here. Also, a few salmon are being picked up.

Around Spring CreekCow Creek the walleye bite is relatively steady using crawlers and bottom bouncers in 10-15 feet, with a few anglers pulling plugs. There is a good smallmouth bite right now as well. Salmon fishing is still very slow.

Lake Sharpe

There is a temporary “no-wake zone” onLake Sharpe on the waters located between the island immediately upstream from the railroad bridge between Pierreand FortPierre and the western shore of the Missouri River. It’s bounded on the north by Echo Point and extends downstream to the southern tip of the island. GF&P has positioned buoys to mark the “no-wake zone.” This has been put in place to protect flooded private property along the west shore.

Fishing on Sharpe is nothing short of fantastic with all sorts of limits coming in. The area going well is from the Oahe Dam to DeGrey on live bait, with some anglers using crankbaits. The main boat ramp being used is by the Oahe Marina below the Dam.  

Fishing at the Oahe Dam Tailrace has been good for all species, so you shore fisherman should head to that area.

OnLakeSharpethe docks are back in at FarmIsland. Fishing in Hipple Lake is very good using live bait in 10-20 feet. GF&P has started to open a few campsites at Farm Island – again, go to the link we have listed above to find out what areas are open on the entire river system. The water is starting to go down slowly.

At West Bend there have been anglers doing very well and the current is going down as the water recedes.  Anglers are using spinners with crawlers, Lindy rigs and crankbaits. Now’s the time to come to the Pierre/Fort Pierre area – especially in the middle of the week when there is less traffic.

This should be a fantastic fall in the Pierre/Fort Pierre area – bring your boat and shotgun – fish half a day and hunt half a day – perfect!

Francis Case

Around Chamberlain  the bite is not going down onLake Sharpe and Francis Case. This is one of the best years for fishing that Francis Case has seen. The water level is dropping, with fishing going very well. Anglers are fishing along the banks and high points in the river – the area from Big Bend Dam to Crow Creek is good. It’s going well both north and south of Chamberlain. Fishing on Case is going well in 15-20 feet using crawlers, with some pulling crankbaits. Anglers are also catching smallmouth, catfish and white bass. Late summer fishing should be very good in this area!

 In the Platte  area fishing has slowed a bit. Anglers are pulling plugs over the mud flats in around 15-20 feet. Access is good now as all ramps are open! The water is starting to go down here too.

At the Pickstown – WagnerLake Andes area walleye fishing on Lake Francis Case is slowing a bit. Ramps are open in this area also. The area from Pease Creek to the dam seems to be one of the best areas. Most are fishing in about 30-35 feet pulling plugs or using a crawler and spinner. Shore fishing is still good below the dam for walleye and perch. The boat dock below the dam is open and anglers there are finding a great walleye bite.

Around Lewis & Clark Lake they are catching walleye on bottom bouncers with spinners tipped with a crawler.

On the Missouri River there is limited shore fishing in this area. Limits of white bass, smallmouth, walleye and catfish are coming in. A no boating restriction is still in place here.

Springfield Area – a few walleye are being caught.

On Lake Yankton anglers are catching largemouth bass, bluegill and catfish.

*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 inGettysburg. On the lower end of LakeOahe, call Spring Creek Resort at 605-224-8336, Outpost Lodge at 605-264-5450 and Lake Oahe/Lake Sharpe call Carl’s Bait Shop at 605-223-9453. On Lake Francis Case, contact the Platte Chamber of Commerce at 888-297-8175, Fort Randall Bait & Tackle at 605-487-7760 in Pickstown and Circle H Motel inLakeAndesat 605-487-7652.



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