In Southeastern South Dakota we have more than 175 fishing lakes ranging in size up to 29,000 acres. Three major rivers flow through the region: the Big Sioux River, James River and the Missouri River, which includes Lewis and Clark Lake.
Obtaining a South Dakota fishing license can be as easy as visiting a local gas station where you may also find the bait and fishing gear you'll need.
South Dakota fishing waters, excluding tribal trust land, are open to anyone during the weekend prior to Memorial Day weekend to fish without a license. Open to all ages.
Walleye and bass compete for top honors in this region. Lewis and Clark Lake reservoir, above Gavins Point Dam, draws anglers from across the nation with its alluring combination of largemouth and smallmouth bass. It is said that the walleye is the most populated predator fish in this region's lakes.
Paddlefish There are three options: a summer archery season and a fall snagging season on the Missouri River, (downstream from Gavins Point Dam, near Yankton); or a spring snagging season on Lake Francis Case. Anglers must apply for a paddlefish tag of which there is a limited number.
Ice fishing is for the sportsman with a warm disposition and a down parka, and can be a great relief to cabin fever. The lakes of this region have a large population of perch, bluegill, crappie and many other species of fish.
Accessible fishing piers have been installed that feature low railings, accessible ramps, sidewalks and nearby parking. These fishing piers can be found at Lake Herman, Walker's Point, Lake Vermillion, Lake Alvin, Newton Hills, Lewis & Clark and Springfield Recreation Areas.
The South Dakota fishing season never closes. The annual license is good for year-round fishing, so don't delay. Start planning that fishing trip now.
South Dakota Fishing Licenses
Visit www.gfp.sd.gov for fees and more information.
Or call South Dakota Dept. of Game, Fish & Parks at 605-223-7660.
Please refer to the current South Dakota Fishing Handbook for all regulations.