South Dakota, the land of infinite variety, is also the home of some of the best Walleye fishing spots in the United States. With its numerous lakes and reservoirs, this state offers anglers a chance to reel in the big one, whether you're a seasoned pro or a beginner.

Why South Dakota?

South Dakota's diverse water bodies, ranging from sprawling reservoirs to intimate lakes, provide a perfect habitat for Walleye. The state's commitment to maintaining a healthy fish population through stocking programs ensures that there's always plenty of fish to catch.

Moreover, South Dakota's fishing season is year-round, meaning you can enjoy the thrill of the catch no matter the season. The state's fishing regulations are also quite angler-friendly, further enhancing the fishing experience.

Top Walleye Fishing Locations in South Dakota

South Dakota is dotted with numerous fishing locations. However, some stand out due to their abundant Walleye population and the unique fishing experience they offer.

Let's dive into some of the best Walleye fishing spots in South Dakota.

Lake Oahe

Lake Oahe is a premier destination for Walleye fishing in South Dakota. This massive reservoir extends from Pierre, SD, all the way to Bismarck, ND. It's known for its healthy Walleye population, thanks to the state's stocking efforts.

Aside from its abundant Walleye, Lake Oahe's diverse structure, with its numerous points and bays, makes it an exciting place to fish. Whether you're trolling, jigging, or casting from the shore, you're likely to reel in a hefty Walleye.

Lake Sharpe

Located just downstream of Lake Oahe, Lake Sharpe is another excellent Walleye fishing spot. This reservoir is known for its high catch rates, making it perfect for those looking for action-packed fishing.

The best time to fish for Walleye in Lake Sharpe is during the spring and fall when the fish are in shallow waters. However, summer and winter also offer decent fishing, especially for those willing to brave the elements.

Big Stone Lake

Straddling the South Dakota-Minnesota border, Big Stone Lake is a Walleye hotspot. This shallow, fertile lake is teeming with Walleye, making it a favorite among local and visiting anglers alike.

Big Stone Lake's abundant forage base ensures that the Walleye grow big and fast. Spring is the best time to fish here, as the Walleye are in shallow waters for spawning. However, summer and fall also offer good fishing, especially during early morning and late evening.

How to Catch Walleye in South Dakota

Now that we've covered where to fish, let's discuss how to catch these elusive fish. Walleye are known for their wariness and can be quite challenging to catch, but with the right techniques and a bit of patience, you can reel in a trophy Walleye.

Choose the Right Gear

When it comes to Walleye fishing, choosing the right gear can make a significant difference. Here's what you'll need:

  • A medium-light to medium power, fast action spinning rod.
  • A quality spinning reel with a smooth drag system.
  • 6-10 lb monofilament or fluorocarbon line.
  • Jigs, live bait rigs, crankbaits, and soft plastics for lures.

Master the Techniques

There are several techniques for catching Walleye, but some are more effective than others. Here are the top three methods:

  1. Jigging: This is the most popular method for catching Walleye. It involves using a jig to mimic a wounded baitfish, which Walleye find irresistible.
  2. Trolling: This technique involves dragging lures behind a moving boat. It's an effective way to cover a lot of water and locate active fish.
  3. Live Bait Rigging: This method involves using a live bait rig to present a live minnow, leech, or nightcrawler in a natural manner. It's particularly effective during the summer when Walleye are in deeper waters.

Booking Your Walleye Fishing Trip

Ready to reel in your trophy Walleye? Booking your fishing trip is the next step. Whether you're planning a DIY fishing trip or looking to hire a guide, South Dakota has plenty of options to choose from.

DIY Fishing

If you're an experienced angler or simply prefer to fish on your own, South Dakota's numerous public access sites make it easy to plan a DIY fishing trip. You'll need to purchase a fishing license, which you can do online or at various retail locations throughout the state.

Guided Fishing

If you're new to Walleye fishing or simply want to maximize your chances of catching a trophy, hiring a guide is a great option. South Dakota is home to numerous professional fishing guides who can provide you with a boat, gear, and expert knowledge to help you land the big one.

When booking a guided fishing trip, always check Getmyboat first. They offer a wide selection of fishing charters and boat rentals, ensuring you find the perfect option for your needs.


South Dakota is a paradise for Walleye anglers. With its numerous fishing spots and abundant Walleye population, it's no wonder this state is a favorite among fishing enthusiasts. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a beginner, South Dakota offers a unique and rewarding Walleye fishing experience. So grab your rod, pack your tackle box, and get ready to reel in the big one!

Set Sail for Your Walleye Adventure

Ready to make your South Dakota fishing trip unforgettable? It's time to make it a boat day with Getmyboat, the #1 app for boat rentals and charters. Whether you're planning to chase the trophy Walleye alone or with friends, Getmyboat connects you with the perfect boat rental or charter to enhance your fishing experience. Choose from a vast selection of vessels, from jet skis for solo adventures to pontoon boats for group outings, and even captained charters for those who prefer a guided experience. With Getmyboat, you're just a few clicks away from booking your ideal fishing expedition on South Dakota's scenic waters. Don't wait, make it a boat day and secure your next big catch today!