South Dakota Fishing

south dakota state flag







Number of Fish Species:  105

State Sportfish:  Walleye

Notable Records:  a 3lb 9oz. white crappie from Hughes County, a 40lb muskie from Amsden Dam, a 7lb 7oz. sauger from Oahe Tailwaters, a 24lb 8oz. brown trout from Canyon Lake

Fishing Regs:  Click here to visit the site for regs. or download (right click, save as) here (South Dakota fishing regs).

Fishing License Info:  

  Residents Non-Residents    
Annual $27.00 $62.00        
1-day $9.00 $16.00        
3-day N/A $34.00        

For more license info. click here.

Quickcast:  Probably best known for Mount Rushmore, South Dakota is home to some great fishing in its many rivers and streams.  There’s a good reason Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln came to South Dakota…the fishing!  Consider the most prominent body of water in the state, Lake Oahe.  This major fishing area produces the state fish, walleye, as well as northern pike, channel cats, smallmouth bass and the stocked chinook salmon.  Farther south anglers will find a similar fare of walleye, smallmouth bass, northern pike and catfish in Lake Sharpe.  Following Lake Sharpe south is Lake Francis Case that hosts carp, white bass, walleye, smallmouth, and catfish.   Spanning the southern-central region of the state is the White River.  The White draws anglers in for a chance at the several catfish species available but the Little White River running perpendicular to the main branch hosts bass species, crappie, perch, bluegill, saugeye and northern pike.  North of the White River systems is the Cheyenne River which can be a good river for catfish species, walleye and suger.  Moving across the state to the East anglers will come upon the James River.  The James will typically hold catfish species, northern pike, bass species, walleye, various perch, bullhead and crappie.  Finally, there is the Big Sioux River to the far east.  Fishermen should expect to hook into walleye, bullhead, northern pike, crappie and catfish species.