Fishing with Family in South Dakota

Fishing in South Dakota with Family
By Hookemharry

Posted: June 14, 2011

As many of you know fishing and family go hand in hand or if you put it in fishing terms you might say hook, line, and sinker. Fishing is a great excuse to spend time with your family no matter how far that family member is away. That was the case for me last week and into last weekend as I traveled nearly 1000 miles to South Dakota in order to help celebrate one of my brothers 50th birthday. The birthday boy in question was Dan Ward who still lives in my hometown of Bryant South Dakota. Dan made it known however that if any of my other 5 brothers and sisters were going to help him turn 50 on June 11th we would have to join him at his other home which just happens to be his self proclaimed fishing camp. That camp is located next to the Missouri River in a place called East Whitlock Bay on Highway 212. As you might imagine Dan didn’t have to twist my arm to be there in fact I told him I would arrive on Wednesday so we could fish Thursday, Friday, and Saturday which of course was his birthday. The weather forecast on Thursday called for east winds at about 10-20 miles per hour and overcast skies. There was also a hint of rain in the forecast so I wasn’t expecting the walleyes to be on the bite. Fortunately I was wrong. We got a late start and didn’t get on the water till 10:30 in the morning and by 2:20 in the afternoon while fishing with Dan, and his son in law Ross we had our daily limit. The daily limit for walleyes in South Dakota is four fish with only one of those fish measuring over 20 inches. If the size of our 12 walleyes was any indication then the South Dakota Fish and Game’s walleye management plan looks like it is paying huge dividends. Most of our fish were in the 16 to 18 inch length with 3 of the fish over the 20 inch slot. The largest walleye we caught measured about 23 inches. The next two days I fished with two of my other brothers an sisters and each day the fishing was fantastic. All three days we caught our limit of walleyes in about three hours on the water. Now if you want to catch a trophy walleye, Lake Oahe on the Missouri River, where we were fishing is probably not where you want to go, but the fish you do catch there will make some great fillets. South Dakota however does have a unique trophy walleye lake. It is called Reetz Lake in Day County in the northeastern part of the state. On Reetz Lake you are allowed to keep one walleye per day and that walleye has to be over 28 inches in length. All of this makes sense for a state that claims the walleye as njtheir state fish. So for me it was a great few days to spend with my mother, brothers, and sisters re-living the memories that were made as we grew up in a small town in eastern South Dakota. Fishing with family it doesn’t get much better than that.