Don’t Put Your Boat Away Yet!

Information in this post is provided by Great Lakes Tourism Association

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 to January 1, 2012 and the area is statewide. Daily limit is 3 with possession limit of 15.

Sharp-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 the walleye bite is still on. There are a lot of walleye to be caught. Anglers are pulling plugs in 15-35 feet of water around the trees and shallows. The best time to fish is towards evening. A few salmon are coming in, being found mostly back in the bay and in very shallow water.

 At Mobridge fishing is going well as the transition to the fall bite is made.  Anglers are using jigs and minnows or crawlers and spinners in 15-30 feet. A few anglers are having luck with jigging spoons.

At Akaska  fishing is still going strong – and the fish coming in are bigger.  Anglers are using live bait and spinners in 18-25 feet.

At Gettysburg  the fishing is excellent. There are a lot of smaller fish, but some really nice ones too. Lots of northern and smallmouth are being caught also. Anglers are having the best luck with spinners and crawlers in 18-25 feet. Minnows are also working well. Salmon have been hit-and-miss. Look for the salmon bite to take off in a week or so, and plan for some good ice fishing later on in the year.

Around Spring CreekCow Creek the walleye bite is steady and limits keep coming in.  Bottom bouncers and crawlers in 10-18 feet is working for most anglers, with some using minnows or crankbaits also. The salmon bite is still slow.

Lake Sharpe

There is a temporary “no-wake zone” on Lake Sharpe on the waters located between the island immediately upstream from the railroad bridge between Pierre and Fort Pierre 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 going wild. Anglers need to do some sorting to get fish over 15 inches, but are catching limits. Minnows, crawlers, and crankbaits against the current are working well in 10-20 feet. The main boat ramp being used is by the Oahe Marina below the Dam.  Farm Island, Antelope Creek and Fort George are great places to get away from the crowds and find some nice fish.

Fishing at the Oahe Dam Tailrace has been good for all species, so you shore fisherman should head to that area. The salmon bite is picking up quite a bit here and at the stilling basin as well.

On Lake Sharpe the docks are back in at Farm Island. 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 limits keep coming in and there is not much traffic. Anglers are using minnows and crawlers. 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 on Lake 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 – West Bend, Iron Nation & Lower Brule are good areas. It’s going well both north and south of Chamberlain. Fishing on Case is excellent in 7-25 feet using crawlers. The catfish bite has slowed, but expect fishing to remain good into the late fall and early winter.

In the Platte  area the fall bite is picking up. Anglers are having success with crankbaits in 12-15 feet and some are pulling plugs over the flats. Shore fishing is also picking up.

At the Pickstown – WagnerLake Andes area walleye fishing on Lake Francis Case is steady. Ramps are open in this area also. From the Pease Creek area to the dam the fishing is going well. Anglers are pulling plugs on the points. Access is good now as all ramps are open! Below the dam, the fishing is great! Anglers are using a jig and a minnow or crawler or pulling plugs. Releases from the dam are decreasing so the water is a bit slower and shore fishing is also very good. Paddlefish season is open from October 1-31. Lots of paddlefish are being spotted in this area.

Around Lewis & Clark Lake walleye are being caught in the Boy Scout Camp area using flicker shads.

On the Missouri River boats are allowed on the river with signs marking where boats are permitted. Walleye and white bass are being caught in the still water. Shore fishermen are catching walleye, crappie, catfish and drum.

Springfield Area – Anglers are using minnows to catch crappie and walleye.

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

*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 the lower end of Lake Oahe, 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 in Lake Andes at 605-487-7652.


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