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South Dakota's 5 Best Ice Fishing Spots

South Dakota has no shortage of spots for ice fishing, but some are much better than others.

While most anglers tend to keep quiet on this subject, we've found the five best spots in the entire state to snag a fish this winter. Take a look.

Fishmasters listed the best ice fishing spots for every state and here's what they came up with for South Dakota:

South Dakota's Deepest Lakes

Our neighbors in Minnesota may boast of being the home of 10,000 lakes. Here in South Dakota, we have hundreds of our own. This random website says we have 131 lakes in South Dakota. We'll just take their word for it.

There's nothing like getting out on the lake. On a board, on a jet ski, or just swimming in the waves.

Just don't think about what's in the water. While you're at it, don't think about how deep the lake is. How far down into the murky depth of South Dakota?

But that is an interesting question. One to think about while we are on solid land. Just how deep are the lakes in South Dakota?

To keep things in perspective, Lake Superior has an average depth of 500 feet, and at its deepest is just over 1300 feet deep.

What Did South Dakota's License Plate Look Like the Year You Were Born?

The first number on a South Dakota license plate is the county that the car is registered. For example, Pennington county where Rapid City is has a '2' starting its plates. In Sioux Falls you have either a '1' or a '44' depending on your relationship to 57th street.

When established in 1956 (and revised in 1987) the first nine counties were ordered by population. Starting with 10 they are in alphabetical order through Ziebach, with Oglala Lakota County (65) and Todd (67) rounding out the list.

Today the top 10 plate numbers and populations don't correlate anymore. 1 and 2 are still 1 and 2, but Lincoln (44) is now 3rd in population. Beadle is 4 but it's now 11th in population. See the list by population here.

On January 1, 2023, South Dakota started issuing a new license plate design for license plates.

So, let's take a look back at what South Dakota license plates looked like over the last 100 years.


South Dakota has no shortage of spots for ice fishing, but some are much better than others.

While most anglers tend to keep quiet on this subject, we've found the five best spots in the entire state to snag a fish this winter. Take a look.

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Fishmasters listed the best ice fishing spots for every state and here's what they came up with for South Dakota:

5) Opitz Lake: This northern South Dakota lake is chalked full of Walleye, however, there is a limit of two per trip. The Perch population in this lake is also very strong. You can find Opitz Lake west of Sisseton in Day and Marshal Counties.

4) Waubay Lake: Head a little over a half-hour southwest and you'll find the much larger, Waubay Lake. Walleye and Perch are also abundant here (2 walleye maximum) but at Waubay, you can catch an unlimited number of jumbo perch.

3) Lake Madison: Keep heading south for around 2 hours and you'll run into Lake Madison, located just outside of the town, Madison. This area is also abundant in walleye and perch and has a lot of room at 2,800 acres.

2) Lake Thompson: This lake is right next to the town of DeSmet and is known far and wide for its excellent ice fishing. Here you can find a large number of northern pike, crappie, and perch.

1) Lake Francis Case: Located right on the Missouri River in south-central South Dakota, Lake Francis Case is considered to be an ice angler's dream come true. At a sprawling 100,000 acres, you can find a little bit of everything here, including walleye, northern pike, bass, and even catfish.

Story Source: Fishmasters

 

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