Fishing in North Dakota is one of the top things
to do in the state, partly because it can be enjoyed year round. Although
the winter months here mean certain outdoor activities must be put on hold,
you can still fish if you want to. North Dakota ice fishing is an experience
that fishing enthusiasts are bound to enjoy, but it's not for everyone. If you
prefer to do your North Dakota fishing when it's warm outside, you can certainly
enjoy your visit during the hotter months. Anglers coming to fish in North Dakota
will be happy to hear that the state is renowned for its fisheries, which are
among the most productive in the country. This means the rivers and lakes here
are often teeming with fish. Don't forget your rod and reel when packing for
your North Dakota vacation, as there will be plenty of opportunities to do a
little or a lot of angling while you are here. Of course, if you forget to bring
equipment, the local guides and fishing companies can set you up with everything
A good North Dakota fishing spot is never far off, regardless of where you find yourself in the state, though there are some destinations that are more renowned than others. Devils Lake, located in the eastern part of the state, is one of the best places to go fishing in North Dakota. It's the largest natural body of water in the land, and it is full of northern pike, white bass, crappie, and walleye, among other species. Devils Lake hails itself as the Perch Capital of the World, so you can also expect to snag some perch here. In addition to being a great place to fish during the warmer months, Devils Lake is also a top spot for those interested in trying some North Dakota ice fishing. Another lake that you might consider when looking to do some fishing in North Dakota is Lake Sakakawea, which is the country's third-largest man-made lake. The shoreline of Lake Sakakawea is longer than the shoreline of California, so there's plenty of room for casting lines here. In addition to fishing for walleye on Lake Sakakawea, you can also hope to catch Chinook salmon, smallmouth bass, sauger, crappie, and yellow perch. Lake Sakakawea can be found in the west-central part of the state, which means that anyone visiting cities such as Bismarck, Minot, Williston, or Dickinson will find it easy to get to.
Lake Oahe, which begins just south of Bismarck and stretches all the way to Pierre South Dakota, is another lake you can consider when North Dakota fishing is what you have in mind. As for the North Dakota rivers that are the most popular with anglers, the Missouri River and the Red River take top honors. The Missouri River courses across the western part of the state, and in addition to Lake Sakakawea and Lake Oahe, the region is also home to the Upper Missouri River and the Central Missouri River. The Upper Missouri River enters the state from Montana near the city of Williston. You can catch catfish and pike here, as well as giant paddlefish in the late spring. The Central Missouri River starts where Garrison Dam ends, and it continues down to Lake Oahe and the South Dakota border. Some of the best walleye fishing in the country can be found along this stretch of the Missouri River. Closer to the Garrison Dam, the area of Tailrace presents one of the best North Dakota fishing spots. Some of the largest fish in North Dakota have been snagged at Tailrace, including Chinook salmon and three different kinds of trout.
The Red River courses along the eastern side of the state and forms the North Dakota-Minnesota border. It also shaped the Red River Valley, which is one of the most agriculturally rich areas in the country. The section of the Red River known as Red River of the North is not only ideal for fishing, but for boating and canoeing as well. The Red River of the North is also a great place to do some North Dakota ice fishing. Just remember to wear the right clothes and follow all the safety guidelines when engaging in North Dakota ice fishing, as your day can quickly sour if you don't prepare properly. Yellow perch, walleye, and pike are among the most commonly caught fish in winter in North Dakota.