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Great Trout Fishing Locations In South Dakota

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Guide to fishing for rainbow, cutthroat, brook, brown and lake trout in local lakes and streams.

By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

Trout fishing in South Dakota

South Dakota offers some excellent opportunities for trout fishing, with several species of trout available for anglers to target. The primary trout species found in the state's waters are rainbow trout and brown trout. The purpose of this page is to share basic information about trout fishing and identify trout fishing waters in the state.

Rainbow trout are commonly stocked in various lakes and reservoirs throughout South Dakota. These fish are known for their vibrant colors and acrobatic fights, making them a popular choice for anglers of all skill levels. Some of the popular locations for rainbow trout fishing include Pactola Reservoir, Sheridan Lake, and Center Lake.

Brown trout, on the other hand, are often found in the state's colder streams and rivers. They are known for their wariness and can be challenging to catch, making them a favorite among experienced anglers. Some of the best spots for brown trout fishing in South Dakota include Rapid Creek, Spearfish Creek, and Spring Creek.

Other trout found in waters across the state include brook trout, cutthroat trout and lake trout.

In terms of state records, South Dakota has seen some impressive trout catches over the years. The state record for rainbow trout stands at over 19 pounds, while the record for brown trout is around 24 pounds. These records demonstrate the potential for landing some trophy-sized trout in South Dakota's waters.

Overall, whether you prefer fishing in lakes, reservoirs, or rivers, South Dakota has a variety of trout fishing opportunities to suit different preferences and skill levels. Whether you're a seasoned angler looking for a challenge or a beginner hoping to catch your first trout, the state's waters offer a diverse and rewarding trout fishing experience.

Trout Fishing Waters

Creeks, streams and rivers provide a majority of the trout fishing in South Dakota. However, a few of the major lakes contain schools of trout including Lake Oahe, Shadehill Reservoir, Deerfield Lake and Canyon lake.

Fishing Boats For Rent In South Dakota

Trout Species In The State

Rainbow Trout

Rainbow trout

World record: 42 lbs 2 oz

State Record: 19 lbs 4 oz

Cutthroat Trout

Cutthroat trout

World record: 41 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 6 lbs 5 oz

Brook Trout

Brook trout

World record: 14 lbs 8 oz

State Record: 12 lbs 0 oz

Brown Trout

Brown trout

World record: 40 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 24 lbs 8 oz

Lake Trout

Lake trout

World record: 72 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 30 lbs 0 oz

Click the images and links above for species details.

Select the best trout lures and baits

Trout spinners, crankbaits and jerkbaits work well for shallow, reasonably active fish. Salmon eggs, worms and prepared baits will work at virtually all depths.

South Dakota State Record Trout

The state record rainbow trout was caught from the Oahe Tailwaters.

The state record cutthroat trout was taken out of Rapid Creek.

The state record brook trout was taken out of Deerfield Lake.

The state record brown trout came from Canyon Lake.

The state record lake trout was caught out of Pactola Reservoir.

The state record tiger trout was caught in Center Lake.

Watch trout fishing videos to see trout anglers in action.

Big rainbow trout swim in state waters. Grab some gear and go trout fishing soon!

Visit the South Dakota Division of Wildlife website for information about trout fishing. Click here for additional information about trout stocking in SD.

Brown Trout
Brown trout being released.

The 5 primary trouts are the rainbow, brook, brown, cutthroat and lake trout. Browns are considered the most difficult to catch and brookies are the easiest. Pure cold water is key to survival of the trouts.

Additional trout information

Trout Conservation
Trout Unlimited


Trout locations and info, by state.

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