Eastern Region Fishing

In the eastern region of South Dakota, there are 120 glacial lakes ranging widely in size, and three major rivers, the Big Sioux, the James, and the Missouri. Most of the lakes are located within the boundaries of the region’s 16 state parks and recreation areas, although there are many that still lie in remote, rarely trafficked areas.

The major rivers meander through southeastern South Dakota, flanked by rolling farmland and cornfields. The region is also home to more than 175 fishing lakes, ranging from small 3-acre reservoirs to immense 29,000-acre lakes.

One of the major Missouri River reservoirs, the Lewis and Clark Lake provides copious fishing opportunities year-round. Easily accessible fishing piers have been constructed at Lake Herman, Walker’s Point, Lake Vermillion, Lake Alvin, Lewis and Clark Recreation Area, and Springfield Recreation Area. 

The waters in the southeastern part of the eastern region are home to abundant walleye. Natural sandbars and brush-lined creeks also provide a favorable habitat for largemouth and smallmouth bass. The Lewis and Clark Lake near Yankton, South Dakota, also hosts sizable northern pike, bluegills, sauger, northern pike, and catfish.   Walleye is by far the most frequently fished sea life in the northern part of the eastern region, followed by largemouth and smallmouth bass. Also available here are rock bass, bullheads, bluegills, northern pike, and yellow perch.

Southeast ice fisherman report good luck with bluegill, pike, walleye, and perch, and night fishing conditions are also good in the eastern region.

Below are some quick facts on Eastern Region fishing:

  • Most Popular Fishing Species: Walleye, sauger, channel catfish, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, white bass, northern pike, panfish, bullhead, bluegill, perch, crappie
  • Most Popular Fishing Waters: Waubay Lake, Mina Lake, Lake Louise, Mission Lake, Twin Lakes, Richmond Lake, Roy Lake, Amsden Dam, Enemy Swim Lake, Lake Pelican, Blue Dog Lake, Pickerel Lake, Lake Thompson, Lake Preston, Big Stone Lake, Lake Kampeska, Lake Poinsett, Oakwood Lakes, Clear Lake, James River and Big Sioux River, James River, Big Sioux River, Missouri River, Lewis and Clark Lake, Lake Carthage, Tripp Lake, Marindahl Lake, Brandt Lake, Lake Madison, Lake Herman, Vermillion Lake, Wall Lake, Burbank Lake, Lake Alvin, Lake Lakota
  • Spin Casting: Crankbaits, jerkbaits, spinnerbaits, spoons, lead-head jigs, plugs and poppers
  • Bait Fishing: Night crawlers, minnows, chubs, leeches, wigglers, crayfish and frogs 
Tags: Fishing

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