The prairie lakes of the Dakotas can provide excellent early season fishing opportunities for anglers looking to hop in the boat just after ice-out. These fertile lakes provide the perfect environment for smallmouth, walleye, perch, and more to grow FAST!

How to Fish Dakota Prairie Lakes in Spring

What we’ve experienced over the years fishing these prairie lakes is that they fish quite a bit differently from a lot of natural lakes or reservoirs.

There is a lot of water that looks good but will be completely empty and then you’ll find fish stacked up on a spot that is pretty much featureless.

The real key to these lakes is the wind.

These fish in these Prairie lakes love the wind. They are used to it and those wind-blown banks will create a mud line that attracts baitfish and in return your gamefish like walleye, bass, and pike.

These fish can they can get extremely shallow in these lakes all year long. You can have a really good bite right up and water a foot and a half deep and be catching big walleyes or big smallmouth.

Moving baits are key.

Shallow crankbaits, jerkbaits, and lipless crankbaits work great in these Dakota lakes.

One unique thing to the prairie lakes is the rising water levels. We all remember what happened in Devil’s Lake and over the recent years, there have been some land disputes or water disputes depending on how you look at it.

Many landowners in these territories in the Dakotas had the property that was purchased years ago possibly farmed for crops or grazing land and over the last 25 years or so the water levels rose and many of these lowland areas that were previously farmland are now lakes.

A lot of different species of fish got into these bodies of water and they grew like wildfire many anglers got wind of it and followed the bite.

Well some landowners are disputing the fact that these lakes have accessed and can be fished by anglers it’s an interesting dilemma that the states have to work out, but one thing is for certain many prairie lakes in North and South Dakota are overlooked fish factories.