Best Walleye Fishing in South Dakota: Top Spots to Visit

South Dakota PIC

South Dakota is known for its excellent walleye fishing, offering anglers an exciting and rewarding experience. The state boasts numerous lakes and rivers where walleye thrive, making it an angler’s paradise. Whether you’re a seasoned fisherman or just starting, South Dakota’s walleye fishing offers something for everyone.

In particular, the Missouri River and its reservoirs, such as Lake Sharpe and Lake Francis Case, are highly praised for their walleye fishing opportunities. Additionally, Lake Oahe provides some of the best walleye fishing in the country with its vast expanse and favorable conditions. South Dakota promises unforgettable walleye fishing adventures regardless of where you cast your line.

Key Takeaways

  • South Dakota is known for superb walleye fishing in lakes and rivers
  • The Missouri River and its reservoirs provide fantastic fishing opportunities
  • Lake Oahe is recognized as one of the best walleye fishing spots in the country

Overview of Walleye Fishing in South Dakota

Brief Overview of Walleye Fishing in South Dakota, Including the Different Types of Fishing and The Best Time of Year to Fish

Walleye fishing in South Dakota is a popular activity for locals and tourists. With the state’s abundance of rivers, lakes, and reservoirs, you have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to walleye fishing spots. One great location for walleye fishing is Lake Oahe, known for its high population.

The best time of year for walleye fishing in South Dakota varies depending on the location and conditions. Generally, the prime time is spring, from late March to early June. Walleyes are more active and are often found close to the shorelines during these months. But don’t worry if you can’t make it during this period; you can still catch them throughout the year. So grab your fishing gear and get ready to reel in some impressive catches!

Highlight the Cultural and Historical Significance of Walleye Fishing in The State

Walleye fishing has a long history and cultural significance in South Dakota. For generations, it has served as a means of food, a source of income, and a bonding experience for families and friends. Moreover, walleye fishing is an essential component of the regional culture, with many events and celebrations revolving around catching and cooking this delicious fish.

Fishing for walleye in South Dakota also has a notable economic impact. The tourism industry benefits from anglers from all over the country to experience the thrill of reeling in a walleye. In addition, local businesses related to fishing – from bait and tackle shops to fishing guides – thrive thanks to the steady demand for walleye fishing opportunities in the state.

In conclusion, South Dakota’s passion for walleye fishing is evident in its rich history and ongoing popularity. So, whether you’re a seasoned angler or just starting, try it and be part of a cherished tradition in this beautiful state. Enjoy the adventure that awaits along the waterways of South Dakota, and may the walleyes be ever in your favor!

Top Walleye Fishing Spots in South Dakota

Spotlight on Top Walleye Fishing Spots

South Dakota is known for its incredible walleye fishing opportunities. Among the best locations for catching these prized fish are Lake Oahe, Lake Sharpe, and the Glacial Lakes region in Northeast South Dakota. Each destination allows anglers to experience great fishing in stunning natural environments. Whether you are a seasoned angler or a first-timer, these spots guarantee an enjoyable time with the potential for catching trophy walleye.

Details about Each Location

  • Lake Oahe is a massive Missouri River reservoir extending from Pierre, South Dakota, to Bismarck, North Dakota. Walleye fishing on this lake is fantastic; you can often find impressive sizes and numbers here. Lake Oahe is ideal for guided walleye fishing trips or spending a day with friends and family.
  • Lake Sharpe is another reservoir on the Missouri River, located just south of Lake Oahe. It offers excellent walleye fishing opportunities, with the added benefit of being less crowded than Lake Oahe. Walleye anglers frequent Lake Sharpe for its healthy fish populations and beautiful scenery.
  • The Glacial Lakes region in Northeast South Dakota is renowned for its excellent walleye fishing spots. With more than 50 lakes, the Glacial Lakes provide ample opportunities to catch walleye in breathtaking surroundings. Here, you can find diverse fishing experiences, from easily accessible shoreline locations to more secluded spots requiring some exploration.

Quotes from Local Experts or Experienced Anglers

Anglers who have experienced South Dakota’s walleye fishing can’t stop raving about it. Here’s what a few of them have to say:

  • A Lund-sponsored professional angler, Chad Schilling, said about Lake Oahe walleye fishing, “The beauty of this lake is that it has so many productive spots; you can always find walleye with a little bit of effort.”
  • Babul022, an experienced angler who shared their insights on, says, “South Dakota is a place that offers a unique opportunity for fishers. The best walleye fishing can be found in Lake Oahe and Lake Sharpe.”
  • Another local expert quoted in FishingProGuide says, “The walleye fishing in South Dakota is incredible. The numbers and size of the fish are amazing, and the variety of locations to fish is endless.”

So, if you’re planning a fishing trip in South Dakota, don’t forget to add these top walleye fishing spots to your itinerary. The combination of great fishing, gorgeous landscapes, and friendly local experts will make it an unforgettable experience.

Tips for Walleye Fishing in South Dakota

South Dakota offers a variety of fantastic walleye fishing opportunities, especially in popular locations such as Lake Oahe and Lake Sharpe. To make the most of your fishing experience, it’s essential to keep in mind a few essential tips and guidelines. This section covers tips on walleye fishing, the significance of proper gear and safety precautions, and factors to consider regarding the fishing season.

Additional Tips for Walleye Fishing

  • Time of the Year: Walleye fishing is excellent during the early spring and fall seasons. As temperatures drop, walleyes become more active, making them easier to catch.
  • Guided Fishing: If you’re new to the area or inexperienced with walleye fishing, consider booking a guided fishing trip. This can help you learn the best fishing techniques and familiarize yourself with the local hotspots.
  • Day Fishing: Walleyes are known to be more active during the day, particularly in overcast or windy conditions. Use this to your advantage when planning your fishing trip.

Significance of Proper Gear and Safety Precautions

  • Invest in high-quality fishing gear, such as a durable rod and reel, specialized lures, and walleye-specific bait. Bring extra gear in case of loss or breakage.
  • Safety Precautions: Always prioritize safety when fishing in South Dakota. Wear a life jacket, carry a first-aid kit, and follow all local regulations and guidelines.
  • Weather Conditions: Watch the weather forecast and be prepared for sudden changes. Dress appropriately for the conditions and have emergency gear on hand.

Remember that the walleye season in South Dakota can vary depending on the location. By combining proper gear, safety precautions, and awareness of the best fishing times and techniques, you’ll be well on your way to a successful and enjoyable walleye fishing experience in these beautiful South Dakota waters.



South Dakota offers some of the best Walleye fishing in the country. With beautiful lakes and rivers, such as Lake Oahe, you’ll find plenty of opportunities for both shore fishing and boat fishing. The state is home to numerous productive lakes teeming with walleyes, providing an unforgettable experience for any fishing enthusiast.

Encouragement to Plan a Walleye Fishing Trip

If you haven’t already, it’s time to plan your next fishing trip to South Dakota. Venture to locations like Lake Oahe or the numerous lakes within a 30-minute drive of Webster for an exceptional walleye fishing experience. Don’t miss out on enjoying fishing in a naturally picturesque environment.

South Dakota’s walleye fishing is highly rewarding, and the memories you create during your trip will stay with you for a lifetime. So, pack your fishing gear, gather your family or friends, and immerse yourself in the serenity of beautiful South Dakota lakes as you cast your line into some of the best walleye waters in the country. Happy fishing!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top lakes for walleye in South Dakota?

South Dakota is home to several fantastic lakes for walleye fishing. Some of the top locations include Lake Oahe, Lake Sharpe, Lake Francis Case, and Lewis and Clark Lake. These lakes are part of the Missouri River reservoir system, which is known for its excellent walleye fishing opportunities.

Which fishing resorts specialize in walleye?

Many fishing resorts in South Dakota focus on walleye fishing, offering guided trips and accommodations for anglers. One such resort is Oahe Wings & Walleyes, owned by Lund Pro, Chad Schilling. Another popular choice for walleye enthusiasts is Allen’s Hillside, which provides various fishing packages and expert guidance.

What is the walleye size limit in South Dakota?

The walleye size limit in South Dakota depends on the specific body of water you’re fishing in. Make sure to check the South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks website for the most current size and possession limits for the particular lake or river where you plan to fish.

Where in Missouri River can I find great walleye fishing?

The Missouri River in South Dakota offers outstanding walleye fishing opportunities, with several reservoirs renowned for their populations. These include Lake Oahe, Lake Sharpe, Lake Francis Case, and Lewis and Clark Lake. Many anglers flock to these reservoirs to take advantage of the numerous walleye hotspots.

When is the best month for walleye fishing?

Typically, the best time for walleye fishing in South Dakota is from May 10th to July 15th, according to Allen’s Hillside. However, there’s a 6-month or longer window for walleye fishing, with excellent opportunities in the fall as well. The key is to plan your trip according to your availability and remember that walleye can be caught as long as there is open water.

Are there any guided trips for walleye in South Dakota?

Yes, several guided trips are available in South Dakota specifically for walleye fishing. Resorts like Oahe Wings & Walleyes and Allen’s Hillside offer packages and expert guidance to help you make the most of your walleye fishing adventure.


Hi, I’m Kurt and I’m the author of walleyemania. I’ve been fishing for Walleye since I was a kid and I love sharing my tips, tricks, and stories with other anglers. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, you’ll find something useful and entertaining on my site. I cover everything from the best gear, baits, and techniques to the best spots, seasons, and recipes for Walleye fishing. Join me on my journey to catch more and bigger Walleye!

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