Best shoreline fishing spots in South Dakota


South Dakota offers excellent fishing opportunities all throughout the state.

If you’re a novice, venturing into a new activity like fishing can be daunting. The South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks has many resources to help overcome that intimidation factor.

Recently, the department issued a news release that listed some of the best shoreline fishing spots in the state.

“When people think of fishing, one of their first thoughts is of boats,” John Lott, fisheries chief for the SD GF&P, said in the release. “But we have limitless shore fishing opportunities across the state where the fishing is excellent. Shore fishing is simple, fun and can be very productive.”

Following is Lott’s list of good shoreline fishing locations:

Western South Dakota/Black Hills

  • IronCreekLake: 10 miles south of Spearfish on Forest Service Road 134, the 1 mile west on Forest Service Road 222. Iron Creek Lake has a fishing pier, shore access, a campground and a restroom. Trout are the main species caught.
  • ReausawLake: 9 miles northwest of Nemo. Reausaw Lake has a restroom and good shoreline access. Trout are the main species caught.
  • FlatCreekLake, PerkinsCounty: 12 miles south of Lemmon. Flat Creek Lake has a campground and a toilet facility. Walleye, northern pike, largemouth bass and crappies are the main species caught.
  • CurlewLake, MeadeCounty: 8 miles north, 4 miles east and 1 ½ miles north of New Underwood. Curlew Lake has toilet facility. Walleye, largemouth bass, crappies and bluegills are the main species caught.
  • Little White River Project, BennettCounty: 3 miles east and 6 ½ miles southeast of Martin. The Little White River Project has primitive camping, picnic areas and toilet facilities. Walleyes, largemouth bass, northern pike, crappies, channel catfish and yellow perch are the main species caught.

Central South Dakota

  • Little Moreau #1 Dewey County: 7 miles south of Timber Lake. Little Moreau State Recreation area has campgrounds, vault restroom facilities and picnic areas. Largemouth bass, bluegill, black crappie and northern pike are the main species.
  • Lake Oahe- Indian Creek and Revheim Recreation Areas, WalworthCounty: One mile east of Mobridge. Facilities include picnic shelters, campground, fish cleaning station and playground equipment. Walleye, northern pike, white bass, smallmouth bass and channel catfish are the main species
  • BrakkeLake, LymanCounty: 5 miles east of Presho. Brakke Lake has picnic areas and vault toilet facilities. Largemouth bass, bluegills, walleye and yellow perch are the main species.
  • Lake Sharpe Tailrace, Pierre Area: 4 miles north of Pierre, stretching to Pierre. The tailrace and Pierre area has several campgrounds, picnic areas, state parks and campgrounds, swimming beaches, 4 handicap accessible docks, fish cleaning stations and bathroom facilities. Walleye, catfish, white bass, smallmouth bass, and trout are the main species.
  • RahnLake, TrippCounty: 19 miles south and 1 ½ miles east of Winner. Rahn Lake has vault toilet facilities and picnic opportunities. Largemouth bass, bluegill black bullhead, yellow perch and crappies are the main species.

Northeast South Dakota

  • Richmond Lake, Brown County: 4 miles west, 4 miles north, 1 mile west and 1 mile north of Aberdeen. Richmond Lake offers unimproved shore fishing access on the east and west sides of the boat ramp, a fishing pier and public toilet facilities. Bluegill, crappie, walleye, white bass, largemouth bass and smallmouth bass are the main species.
  • RoyLake, MarshallCounty: The state park on the eastern shore of Roy Lake is 1 mile south and ½ mile west of Lake City. Pubic toilets, campground, picnic tables, shower and a swim beach are available. Smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, walleyes and bluegills are the main species.
  • BlueDogLake, DayCounty: Excellent fishing exists near the Blue Dog State Fish Hatchery, ½ mile east of Waubay. A rip rap peninsula for fishing and public toilets are available. Walleye, northern pike and white bass are the main species.
  • LakePoinsett, CodingtonCounty: Many areas on Lake Poinsett offer good shore fishing opportunities. State park facilities are available in many areas offering camping, swimming areas and bathroom facilities. Poinsett features smallmouth bass, walleye, white bass and perch.

Southeast South Dakota

  • LakeByron, BeadleCounty: 11 miles north, 3 miles east, and 2 miles north of Huron. Toilet facilities and vehicle pull offs are available for shore fishermen. Walleyes, northern pike and perch are the main species.
  • LakeCampbell, BrookingsCounty: 2 miles west, 5 miles south of Brookings. A fishing pier is available on Lake Campbell. Perch, northern pike and walleyes are the main species.
  • LossLake, MinnehahaCounty: 5 miles south of Humboldt. A fishing pier and toilet facility are available. Loss lake has crappie, perch, walleyes and channel cats as its main species.
  • AlvinLake, LincolnCounty: 3 miles east of Harrisburg. A handicap accessible fishing pier and public bathroom facilities are available. Bluegill, crappie and bullheads are the main species.
  • MarindahlLake, YanktonCounty: 8 miles north, 3 miles west of Yankton. Public bathroom facilities are available at Marindahl. Crappie, bluegill and channel catfish are the main species.

For more information on shore fishing, lake access, lake surveys or anything related to fishing in South Dakota, visit

Tags: Fishing

About Author

Seth Tupper

Seth Tupper was born and raised in South Dakota and earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from South Dakota State University in 2001. After college, he worked at a newspaper in Minnesota and then returned to South Dakota in 2003 to join the staff of The Daily Republic in Mitchell, where he is currently the publisher. Seth has won numerous awards for his writing, including the 2007 Outstanding Young Journalist award in the daily newspapers category of the South Dakota Newspaper Association's Better Newspapers Contest. Seth's day-job and freelance work have granted him opportunities to meet hundreds of South Dakotans and travel across much of the state. He also spends a lot of his free time exploring South Dakota's state and national parks, hiking trails and kayak-friendly rivers.


  1. Ted J
    Ted J 21 June, 2011, 16:04

    Great article. I printed it off. Love to fish and will probably be up in the eastern area sometime soon so this was very helpful.

    Reply this comment
  2. Greg
    Greg 21 June, 2011, 16:06

    Sweet post. Need to check out Loss Lake. Never been there, but fish all the time.

    Here is another if you have little kids and are okay catching literally 3″ fish on about 3/4″ of worm – Covell Lake in Sioux Falls. My kids eat it up and you can have 4 BlueGills nibbling on 1 worm. Never caught anything close to a keeper though.

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