South Dakota Game Fish Records

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South Dakota keeps records for a variety of types of fishing, including traditional hook and line angling as well as other methods, such as bowfishing and several “unrestricted” forms.

You’ll find the records divided into three convenient charts below.

If you fish in South Dakota, it’s a good idea to know how to claim a record should a once-in-a-lifetime fish find itself on the business end of your line (or arrow, or spear, or set-line or …).

With that in mind, we have a bit of information following the record charts and links to the full rules.

Hook and Line Records

These are the traditional angling awards for South Dakota fishing.

Bass, Hybrid
14 lbs, 0 oz
Missouri RiverMatt Sarha
May 12, 2009
Bass, Largemouth
9 lbs, 5 oz
Indian Scout LakeMatthew Dunham
Apr 27, 2020
Bass, Smallmouth
7 lbs, 4 oz
Lake OaheTroy Diede
Jul 16, 2021
Bass, White
4 lbs, 12 oz
North Rush LakeSteve Kennedy
Apr 13, 2011
Bullhead, Black
4 lbs, 12 oz
Lake PoinsettAdam Arendsee
Jun 1, 2009
Bullhead, Yellow
3 lbs, 3 oz
West 81 LakeJoseph M. Herrig
Sep 4, 2006
Burbot
12 lbs, 7 oz
OaheJoshua Bible
Mar 11, 2019
Carp, Common
43 lbs, 2 oz
Lake PoinsettKurt Gutormson
Apr 23, 2017
Catfish, Blue
99 lbs, 4 oz
Big Sioux RiverSteve Lemmon
Jul 22, 2012
Catfish, Channel
30 lbs, 1 oz
Farm PondDrew Mathews
Jul 14, 2019
Catfish, Flathead
63 lbs, 8 oz
James RiverDavin Holland
Jun 19, 2006
Crappie, Black
3 lbs, 8 oz
SDSU pondBenjamin Wight
May 28, 2004
Perch, Yellow
2 lbs, 13 oz
Bitter LakeChase Jensen
Mar 8, 2015
Rudd, European
2 lbs, 9 oz
Sheridan LakeRobert C. Wood
Jun 25, 2019
Salmon, Atlantic
6 lbs, 11 oz
Lake OaheCasey Buechler
Jun 14, 2020
Salmon, Chinook
31 lbs, 8 oz
Lake OaheDarrick Koch
Jul 30, 2016
Shad, Gizzard
4 lbs, 12 oz
Lake OaheBrad Dietz
Jan 15, 2006
Splake
11 lbs, 14 oz
Deerfield LakeBob Swift
May 21, 2010
Sucker, White
9 lbs, 5 oz
Rush LakeDomanic Heim
Apr 12, 2012
Sunfish, Green
1 lb, 5 oz
Stock Pond,
Minnehaha County
Alex Meland
May 8, 2005
Trout, Brook
12 lbs, 0 oz
Deerfield LakeDennis Larive
May 2, 2010
Trout, Lake
30 lbs, 0 oz
Pactola ReservoirAaron Jones
Jan 24, 2013
Trout, Tiger
3 lbs, 2 oz
Center LakeMichael J. Halter
Dec 30, 2014
Source: South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks

Bowfishing Records

These records are for those using a bow and arrow.

Buffalo, Bigmouth
60 lbs, 0 oz
Lake OaheHunter Gill
Jun 6, 2014
Buffalo, Smallmouth
51 lbs, 3 oz
Firesteel CreekTyler Manning
May 6, 2016
Burbot
3 lbs, 6 oz
Lake SharpeDennis Stout
May 28, 2021
Carp, Bighead
57 lbs, 1 oz
James RiverBob Smith
Sep 10, 2020
Carp, Common
49 lbs, 11 oz
Cattail LakeTyson Warner
May 28, 2020
Carp, Grass
61 lbs, 12 oz
Lake YanktonMarlyn Wiebelhaus
May 23, 2009
Carp, Silver
22 lbs, 14 oz
James RiverTy Smith
Jun 5, 2019
Carpsucker, River
8 lbs, 0 oz
Lake SharpeWylin Baker
Jun 18, 2015
Catfish, Channel
24 lbs, 12 oz
Skunk CreekCody Sechser & Isaac Kipp
Jun 9, 2019
Drum, Freshwater
23 lbs, 3 oz
James RiverTy Smith
Sep 20, 2010
Gar, Longnose
24 lbs, 2 oz
James RiverRiley Stanga
Jun 4, 2016
Gar, Shortnose
9 lbs, 2 oz
James RiverMason Sundleaf
May 7, 2018
Herring, Skipjack
1 lb, 2 oz
Gavins PointJosh Dornbusch
Jul 12, 2009
Paddlefish
56 lbs, 9 oz
Missouri RiverMarlyn Wiebelhaus
Jun 14, 2019
Salmon, Chinook
17 lbs, 6 oz
OaheDarren Griese
Oct 28, 2016
Shad, Gizzard
5 lbs, 0 oz
Lake YanktonMarlyn Wiebelhaus
May 19, 2006
Sucker, White
4 lbs, 8 oz
Missouri RiverMarlyn Wiebelhaus
Jun 21, 2004
Walleye
5 lbs, 6 oz
Lake ThompsonJosh Constant
May 30, 2020
Source: South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks

Unrestricted Records

The harvest methods for these records vary but can include spearing, snagging and setline.

Bass, Smallmouth
7 lbs, 6 oz
Francis CaseClint Wood
Sep 17, 2021
Bluegill
0 lb, 8 oz
Lake OaheJeff Vilhauer
Sep 14, 2009
Carp, Bighead
58 lbs, 8 oz
Missouri RiverWesley Koehler
Oct 27, 2008
Carpsucker, River
8 lbs, 3 oz
White RiverAdam Koch
May 2, 2020
Catfish, Channel
23 lbs, 12 oz
ColdbrookSeth Hawkins
Aug 7, 2018
Crappie, Black
1 lbs, 4 oz
Lake OaheWeston Northrup
Aug 16, 2020
Paddlefish
127 lbs, 9 oz
Lake Francis CaseBill Harmon
May 18, 2014
Rudd, European
1 lbs, 8 oz
Interstate LakeRuss Oetken
Jun 24, 2016
Salmon, Atlantic
2 lbs, 0 oz
Lake OaheJames Gilkerson
Feb 29, 2020
Salmon, Chinook
22 lbs, 3 oz
Lake OaheOakley Kamppinen
Oct 26, 2017
Sucker, White
6 lbs, 6 oz
Rush LakeOwen Heim
May 18, 2013
Walleye
14 lbs, 15 oz
Lake OaheDerek Stahlman
Feb 16, 2021
Source: South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks

How to Set a South Dakota Fishing Record

It’s best to be prepared, just in case you haul in a fish that might break the current state record.

For starters, know that you’ll need to get that fish weighed on a registered scale with at least two witnesses to confirm its accurate weight. Such scales are most commonly found at grocery stores.

Even after weighing, don’t go home and eat that fish; its species must be verified by a biologist or other qualified professional in the fisheries field.

Be ready to have a photograph of you holding the fish to include with your application.

Only fish already on South Dakota’s eligible fish list can be considered for new records, and they must beat prior records by at least an ounce. Fish that cannot be legally harvested in the state, including several species of sturgeon, are not eligible for records.

You can find a link to the application and the full guidelines on the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks’ State Record Fish page.