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The Best Bass Fishing Lakes In South Dakota

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Guide to fishing for smallmouth and largemouth bass in SD lakes.

By Rick Seaman

The purpose of this page is to share basic information about bass fishing and bass lakes in the state. Visit the Bass Knowledge Center for valuable information about bass and bass fishing.

South Dakota offers excellent bass fishing, attracting anglers from all over seeking to catch largemouth and smallmouth bass. Both species thrive in the state's various lakes, rivers, and reservoirs, providing an exciting and rewarding fishing experience.

Bass fishing basics video.

Smallmouth bass prefer cool and clear waters, making them prominent in the state's rivers and reservoirs. They are known for their tenacity and acrobatic leaps when hooked, providing a thrilling fight for anglers. Rocky areas, ledges, and points are prime spots to find smallmouth bass, and lures like jigs, crankbaits, and spinnerbaits are effective in catching them.

Largemouth bass can be found in many of South Dakota's warmer waters, particularly in lakes with abundant vegetation and structure. Anglers often target them around submerged logs, weed beds, and other cover where they can ambush prey. Techniques such as topwater lures, plastic worms, and crankbaits are popular choices for enticing these powerful and aggressive fish.

The best time for bass fishing in South Dakota varies with the seasons. Spring and fall are generally the most productive times, as bass become more active in search of food and suitable spawning grounds. During these seasons, the water temperature is ideal for bass to feed aggressively, making them more responsive to anglers' presentations.

South Dakota's diverse bass fishing opportunities, combined with its scenic landscapes and serene waters, make it an attractive destination for bass enthusiasts of all skill levels. Whether you're seeking the thrill of reeling in a largemouth bass in a tranquil lake or challenging yourself with a smallmouth bass battle in a pristine river, South Dakota has something to offer every bass angler.

Bass Fishing Lakes In South Dakota

Fishing From The Bank

You have some very fine choices for bass fishing in South Dakota. Angostura Reservoir, Belle Fourche Reservoir, Big Stone Lake, Lake Albert, Lake Francis Case, Lake Kampeska, Lake Oahe, Lake Pelican, Lake Poinsett, Lake Sharpe, Lake Thompson, Lewis And Clark Lake, Shadehill Reservoir and Waubay Lake all have healthy populations of bass. Additionally, bass can be found in smaller lakes, rivers and ponds throughout SD.

Fishing Boats For Rent In South Dakota

Bass In South Dakota

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass

World record: 22 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 9 lbs 5 oz

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth bass

World record: 11 lbs 15 oz

State Record: 7 lbs 3 oz

Click the images and links above for species details.

Top 5 Bass Fishing Lures For South Dakota

When bass are shallow, spinnerbaits, crankbaits and stickbaits are the most productive. As they move deeper, worms and jigs are among the top producers.

South Dakota State Record Bass

The state record largemouth bass was caught from Indian Scout Lake.

The state record smallmouth bass came from Horseshoe Lake.

Bass fishing in South Dakota

Bass are one of the most sought after of all the game fish. Its appeal spans cultures, age groups and genders to tap on the heart strings of anglers everywhere. Join us in our endeavor to offer information about bass fishing on your favorite bass lake in South Dakota.

Bass fishing book

Catch big bass!

Understanding the primary seasonal movements of smallmouth bass and largemouth bass is key to locating them on local lakes in the Mount Rushmore State.


Bass fishing information by state.

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