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SD Missouri River Fishing and Hunting Report

by SD Missouri River Tourism

September 12, 2016

Fishing Update for The Missouri River in South Dakota


The weather will be a bit cooler again this week. A perfect time to get on the river! You might want to bring a jacket and also bug spray when you head out on the river and have a safe and wonderful time on the Missouri River in Central South Dakota!


Pheasant opener is coming up – October 15 to be exact. Make plans to fish for half a day and hunt pheasants for the other half. A perfect combination! 


REMINDER: Help stop the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species! Check out the Game, Fish & Parks web site for detailed info on the regulations. You can trailer to fish cleaning stations nearest the boat ramp, but after that regulations call for draining live wells and boats. 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 and Akaska areas – Mobridge and Pollock have an ok bite. At Akaska they are catching nice fish, but you might have to work at it. Seems to be picking up daily. Some bigger fish are coming in. Anglers are fishing in 30-40 feet using bouncers with spinners and crawlers. Catfish are being caught along with smallmouth bass. 

At Gettysburg anglers are catching a number of smaller walleye, with nice fish coming in. But, again you have to take the time to look for them. Anglers are still using all bait, with crawlers the main bait and some anglers using plugs - fishing in the 35-45 ft. depth. The weather has been making a big difference in when the bite is good. The Smallmouth bite is very good, with anglers bringing in fish in the 3-4 lb. range and some up to 6 lbs. Some catfish are being brought in from the creeks.

Around Spring CreekCow Creek  - On Oahe the bite can be tough at times. Again, weather dependent. Fish are being caught anywhere from 20 feet down to 80 foot depths. The fish are in many different depths right now, so you need to look for them. If you can get on the right areas, you can bring in some quality fish but finding them can be a challenge. Bouncers and crawlers seem to be working well.  Northern, catfish and smallmouth are also going well right now. The smallmouth bite is good in 10 to 40 feet of water. Don’t overlook the smallmouth fishery here, as it is world class. Also, the state record Chinook Salmon just recently came out of Lake Oahe in the area between the west shore boat ramp and the Oahe Dam intakes. A number of very large salmon have been taken in the last couple weeks!



Lake Sharpe - around the Pierre/Fort Pierre the bite is good at times, lots of eater size walleye being caught. Depths are around 12-35 feet, depending on the area you are fishing. Best bait seems to be minnow/bouncer, crawlers and bouncers or pulling plugs. All seem to work. The best bite is downstream from Pierre/Fort Pierre to West Bend. Lake Sharpe continues to put out limits of eater size walleye in around 25 ft. depths. Small mouth bass are biting well on Sharpe at this time. Be sure to bring plenty of bug spray and plenty of water!!

Remember, the 15 inch slot limit went back on September 1. 


Lake Francis Case 

 Around Chamberlain , Lake Sharpe is producing good fish from the Big Bend Dam to West Bend. Anglers are fishing in 20-40 feet using spinners and crawlers. Some good eating sizes are being caught in this area. 

 On Lake Francis Case the bite is good and anglers are fishing in 10 to35 feet depending on the wind. Spinners and bottom bouncers are working the best. Some anglers are pulling plugs over the trees. From Chamberlain to the Dam fishing is good. Lots of 14 to 14.5 inch fish – should be a little less sorting.

In the Platte area the fishing is good, but you have to look for them.  Anglers are fishing 10-40 feet using crawlers and spinners. Some anglers are pulling plugs over the trees in 35-40 feet. Whatever the depth is over the trees can be a good spot. Smallmouth are biting here also. The state record smallmouth bass was caught on Lake Francis Case a few weeks ago and weighed in at 6 lbs. 1 oz. 

At the PickstownWagnerLake Andes  areas fishing is good. Anglers are working the weed areas for the walleye.  With the higher water level the weeds from last year are covered up and the bait fish are taking shelter there.  Fish are deeper, so anglers are fishing in 20-40 foot depths. Again, the fish are there, but you need to look for them and the fish are good and fat! Pulling plugs over trees seems to work well for some anglers. All bait seems to be working so you just have to keep trying until you find what works. The areas from Whetstone down are going well. Also North Wheeler, Campbell Creek and Spring Creek. Smallmouth, perch, crappie, and catfish are still being caught also. Fishing below the Fort Randall Dam is good when they are letting water out. 

At Yankton the fishing is slowing a bit – again, the weather has been playing a part in the fishing here too..  Minnows and crawlers and leeches are the best for bait here. 

For more information and up-to-the-minute reports on fishing Lake Oahe, please call 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 Oahe and Sharpe call Hutch’s Guide Service at 605-224-4755. On Lake Sharpe and Lake Francis Case, contact Dakota Prairie Guide Service at 605-680-1910. 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!