Page 5 - visitor-guide-2020-2021
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Walleye                                                Salmon, Trout and Catfish
          The walleye rules on the Missouri River. Prized for their taste   From the face of Oahe Dam north to the Cheyenne River,
        and abundance, walleye are fished with jigs and minnows in   Lake Oahe offers excellent fishing for Chinook salmon. These
        the spring, crawlers and leeches in the summer and through   cold-water fish are pulled from depths of 50 to 100 feet or more.
        the ice in the winter. Captivated by the walleye, anglers come   The salmon’s primary prey is the rainbow smelt, and the most
        to Pierre from across the region, state and country. The site of   effective lures imitate this silvery fish.
        numerous tournaments, including the South Dakota Governor’s   Pierre’s reputation as a trout hotspot is growing, thanks to a
        Cup, Pierre has become a familiar stopping point on the   healthy population of large rainbow trout, some weighing over
        professional walleye tours. But day in and day out, it’s the   10 pounds. Trophy catches have been pulled from areas below
        amateurs who reign. They come from behind office
        desks and out of operating rooms, sales offices and
        retail stores. They come for a day, they come for a
        week, but they all come for walleye.

        Northern pike
          Both the deep, cold waters of Lake Oahe and
        the prairie lakes of central South Dakota provide
        excellent  year-round  fishing  for  northern  pike.
        Caught with dead bait rigs in the cool, early spring;
        spoons and crankbaits as the water warms, these
        fish often reach 20 pounds or larger. In the spring
        of 1993, for example, a record-setting
        36-pound pike was pulled from Oahe’s
        chilly depths. Trophy pike are fished
        from local lakes year-round; the species
        is a common ice-fishing catch.

          Found throughout the Missouri River
        system, both white and smallmouth
        bass are prevalent in Lake Oahe, and
        in Lake Sharpe, bass are the second
        most commonly caught fish. Smallmouth
        fishing peaks during the May–June
        spawning season in clear water near rocks, logs and dams.   Oahe Dam, often using silver and chartreuse lures that imitate
        Deep-diving lures bring success through the heat of summer.   smelt and baitfish. Fly fishing is increasingly common near the
          Native to eastern South Dakota, largemouth bass are   tailrace and marina, starting in the season just after ice-out.
        dominant in the calm, well-vegetated ponds and smaller lakes of   An easy catch from small craft or the shore, channel catfish
        Pierre. Similar to smallmouth bass, largemouths spawn in spring   are found in many habitats and depths in both Lake Sharpe
        when water temperatures climb to 65˚F. The most popular large   and Lake Oahe. You’ll land prize specimens — perhaps over
        mouth lures are plastic worms, jerkbaits, crankbaits and pork   30 pounds — using night crawlers, chicken livers, crawfish and
        rind.                                                  other meaty, strong-smelling bait. Look for the best fishing from
                                                               spring through fall, when warmer waters create peak spawning

                                                                 Bluegill, crappie, large mouth bass and perch dominate the
                                                               dozens of small lakes and ponds within a short drive of Pierre.
                                                               Whether caught on a fly rod or bamboo pole, these fish are
                                                               remarkable for their aggressive attacks on everything from
                                                               poppers to worms.

                                                               Boat Ramps
                                                                 More than three dozen boat ramps dot the shores of Lake
                                                               Oahe and Lake Sharpe; access to Lake Oahe sites depends
          Lake Oahe and Lake Sharpe have been recognized nationally   on the reservoir’s water levels. The map on page 26-27 shows
        as a prize bass destination. Pierre hosted the Bassmaster Elite   the locations of area boat ramps. Visit the website of the
        Tournament in 2018, bringing in professional anglers and ESPN   state Game, Fish and Parks Department,, for
        national coverage.                                     updated information on possible ramp closings.

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