Guide To Fishing At Lake Oahe
AKA: Oahe Reservoir
In the upper reaches of the Missouri River, behind the Oahe Dam, lies Lake Oahe. One third of this 370,000-acre lake is in south-central North Dakota, including a third of over 2,200 miles of shoreline.
Lake Oahe is a sprawling reservoir located in the central section of North Dakota, extending into South Dakota. It is renowned for its exceptional fishing opportunities and diverse fish species. Anglers from near and far flock to Lake Oahe to pursue a variety of popular fish species, including smallmouth bass, walleye, lake trout, Chinook salmon, channel catfish, yellow perch, bluegill, and northern pike.
Smallmouth bass fishing in Lake Oahe is highly regarded, attracting anglers with the promise of trophy-sized fish. The rocky shorelines, submerged structure, and drop-offs provide excellent habitat for smallmouth bass. Anglers can target them using various lures such as crankbaits, jigs, and soft plastics. Catching smallmouth bass in Lake Oahe offers not only thrilling fights but also the chance to land some impressive specimens.
Walleye is the most sought-after species in Lake Oahe, known for its abundance and size. Anglers can find walleye near points, submerged structures, and weed edges. Techniques such as jigging, trolling, and live bait presentations are commonly used to entice these elusive fish. Whether targeting trophy walleye or enjoying a day of catch-and-release, Lake Oahe offers a prime walleye fishing experience.
Lake Oahe is also famous for its excellent lake trout fishery. These cold-water predators can reach impressive sizes, providing a thrilling challenge for anglers. Trolling with downriggers and deep-diving lures is a popular method for targeting lake trout in the deep waters of Lake Oahe. Anglers can also jig or cast with spoons and swimbaits to entice these powerful fish. Lake trout fishing in Lake Oahe offers a unique opportunity to land a trophy-sized fish and create lasting memories.
Chinook salmon, also known as king salmon, is another prized species found in Lake Oahe. Anglers can target Chinook salmon using downriggers, trolling spoons, and flasher-fly combinations. These powerful fish provide an exciting battle and are highly prized for their size and delicious flesh. Catching Chinook salmon in Lake Oahe is a memorable experience for any angler.
Channel catfish, yellow perch, bluegill, and northern pike are also popular species in Lake Oahe. Anglers can target channel catfish using various baits such as cut bait, stink bait, or live bait near submerged structures and channels. Yellow perch and bluegill can be found near weed beds, rocky areas, and drop-offs. Anglers can use small jigs, live bait, or worms to entice these panfish. Northern pike, known for their aggressive strikes, can be caught using large spoons, spinners, or swimbaits near weed beds and submerged structure.
Boating is a popular activity on Lake Oahe, providing anglers with easy access to different fishing spots. The lake's vast size and scenic shorelines make it ideal for exploring and finding prime fishing locations. Additionally, camping facilities around Lake Oahe allow anglers to extend their stay and enjoy the beauty of the surrounding nature.
In summary, Lake Oahe in the central sector of North Dakota offers exceptional fishing opportunities for anglers targeting smallmouth bass, walleye, lake trout, Chinook salmon, channel catfish, yellow perch, bluegill, and northern pike. Whether you're an avid angler seeking trophy-sized fish or a recreational angler looking for a relaxing fishing experience, Lake Oahe has something to offer. The combination of diverse fish species, scenic surroundings, and ample boating and camping facilities make Lake Oahe a must-visit destination for fishing enthusiasts.
It is very fertile smallmouth fishery and also maintains abundant schools of catfish, walleye, trout, salmon and pike. The real draw is the population of quality smallmouth bass. Four to five-pound fish are quite common, and smallies over six pounds are not uncommon. Walleye, lake trout and landlocked salmon also grow big here and draw attention from fishing enthusiasts. The ideal way to fish this large body of water is from a boat, yet anglers can find plenty of places to fish from the bank. At least a dozen boating access areas have boat launch ramps. General Sibley Park & Campground has a boat launch for small craft (up to 15 ft) and is ideal for launching canoes, kayaks and car-top boats. Ice fishing in winter can be very productive for crappie, walleye and pike. Plenty of campgrounds, RV parks and lodging options are available, primarily on the eastern side of the lake.
What to fish for...
Fishing for smallmouth bass, channel catfish, walleye, lake trout, Chinook salmon and northern pike at Lake Oahe in North Dakota.
Primary fish species residing in Lake Oahe
Click images for fishing tips and details about each species.
Lake Oahe Amenities
Boat Rental: NO
Boat Launch Ramp: YES
RV Hookups: YES
Convenience Store: YES
Bait & Tackle: YES
Today's Weather & Forecast
Public Boat Launch Ramps & Landings
Beaver Bay East Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the northeast section of the lake, off State Route 1804, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with docks and gravel parking.
Beaver Bay Main Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the northeast section of the lake, off State Route 1804, this is a four-lane, concrete ramp with docks and paved parking.
Cattail Bay Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, east side, off 91st Street SW, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and gravel parking.
Fort Rice Landing Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the northwest section of the lake, off 63rd Street, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.
Fort Yates Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the northwest section of the lake, off Proposal Avenue, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and gravel parking.
Langeliers Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, east side, off 100th Street, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.
Maclean Bottoms Landing Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the northeast section of the lake, off 106th Street SE, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with paved parking.
Prarie Knights Landing Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the northwest section of the lake, off 80th Street, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.
Misty Waters Marina
5800 Burnt Creek Loop
Bismarck, ND 58503
2540 Marina Rd
Mandan, ND 58554
Click here for a North Dakota Fishing License.
Campgrounds & RV Parks Nearby
General Sibley Park Campground - 701 222-1844
Hillcrest Acres Campground - 701 255-4334
Bismarck KOA Journey Campground - 701 222-2662
Hazelton Recreation Area Campground - 701 255-0015
Beaver Creek Recreation Area Campground - 701 255-0015
Kohler Point Campground - 701 595-0696
Lake Oahe ND Map - Fishing & Camping Areas
General Sibley Park & Campground
5001 S Washington St
Bismarck, ND 58504
Fishing lakes in each state.
Lake Oahe in North Dakota.
General Fishing Info
Information about fishing lakes in North Dakota
Fishing for bass, catfish, walleye, trout, salmon and pike at Lake Oahe in southern ND.