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Summer 2016 SD Missouri River Fishing Report

by SD Missouri River Tourism

Fishing Update for The Missouri River in South Dakota

We said it was going to be hot last week – well, it was!! This week will see a few cooler days, but you still need to have plenty of water with you. Have a safe and wonderful time on the Missouri River in Central South Dakota!

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 the fishing is slowing with this hot hot weather. A few limits are still being caught, but you have to work at it – sometimes most of the day. South of town and around the Moreau is decent. Anglers are fishing in 25-35 feet using spinners and crawlers or leeches. 

At Gettysburg anglers are catching a number of smaller walleye, with some limits of nice fish coming in. Anglers are still using all bait, with crawlers the main bait and some anglers using plugs - fishing in the 25-40 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 is tough at times. Fish are being caught anywhere from 20 feet out to 70 feet of water. The fish are in many different depths right now, so you need to look for them. If you can get on the right ones, you can bring in some quality fish but finding them can be tough. Bouncers and crawlers seem to be working well. Pulling deep running plugs on lead core is working, along with bouncer/spinner with chubs or crawlers is also working.  Northern, catfish and smallmouth are also going well right now. The smallmouth bite is good in 5 to 20 feet of water. Don’t overlook the smallmouth fishery here, as it is world class. 



Lake Sharpe - around the Pierre/Fort Pierre the bite is spotty at time, but the eater size walleye are out there. Depths are around 5a-30 depths, depending on the area you are fishing.  Bouncers and crawlers are a great choice for bait. The best bite is downstream from Degray to the Dam. Lake Sharpe continues to put out limits of eater size walleye in around 25 feet. Spinners and crawlers are working well.  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 on Sharpe goes off July 1 until September. 


Lake Francis Case 

 Around Chamberlain , Lake Sharpe is producing good fish from the Big Bend Dam to West Bend. Anglers are fishing in 10-30 feet using spinners and crawlers. Some good eating size are being taken here. 

 On Lake Francis Case the bite is fair and anglers are fishing in 8 to 30 feet depending on the wind. Heat is taking its toll on all the fisheries. 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 water levels are good. With the hot weather over this last week the fishing was spotty to say the least. Anglers are fishing 15-35 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. Fish are looking very healthy. 

At the PickstownWagnerLake Andes  areas fishing is fair. 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 30-35 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. Few anglers are using live bait with the hot weather. The creeks to the Fort Randall Dam are going ok.  Crawlers and leeches are working the best for bait in 20-30 feet depths. White Swan, Pease Creek are producing good fish. 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!