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Lake Oahe Northern Pike

Lake Oahe contains a trophy northern pike population, with many of the fish exceeding 10 pounds. When Lake Oahe refilled in 2008 and 2009, vegetation and trees on the banks provided excellent spawning habitat for northern pike and the number of young pike has increased. Good numbers of 3 to 10 pound northern pike will be available now along with larger northern pike. Some northern pike loss may have and could occur due to the reduction in baitfish in Lake Oahe. Overall, the upcoming years look good for northern pike fishing as smaller northern pike grow to larger sizes.

Northern Pike Abundance

Northern Pike Fishing Techniques

Anglers fishing for northern pike on Lake Oahe have the best opportunity to catch one in the early spring. Northern pike activity increases when open water starts to show up around the edges of the ice cover. Northern pike stay in shallow water through June, and then typically go deeper for the rest of the summer. In the spring, many anglers fish from shore or shallow water with a dead smelt on a treble hook rig or cast slow moving lures. Northern pike seek out the warmest water available in the spring and feed on anything they find, including fish that died during the winter months.


Protect our Waters

You can do your part for the health and productivity of South Dakota's waters by being proactive in preventing the spread of invasive plant, fish and animal species that threaten to crowd out native species.