South Dakota Jumbo Perch

Well, I call them cinder blocks, these perch can be that impressively large. Broad across the back, all the way back—and deeply bodied from dorsal fin to belly. Truly impressive fish to hold in your hand. Two of them make a meal, so you don't need many. We harvest selectively, so 13.5-inchers can grow to 14 or 15.


The lakes in the area are mostly shallow bodies of water that have grown the last 25 years or so via gathering groundwater into large bodies of water. Dry Lake #1 is just north of Clark. Indian Springs is just south of Clark. Dry Lake #2 is a bit farther south, just north of Willow Lake.

Those are perhaps the best-known options, but there are many more smaller bodies of water, some no more than sloughs, many privately owned and requiring permission to fish. Some area guides have access to these private waters and those, like Jarrod Fredericks, tell me they often begin the day on a smaller slough, catch close to a limit (15) of nice-average 11- and 12-inch fish, and then spend the remainder of the day on a lake like Dry Lake #2, looking for those 13-, 14-, and 15-inch monsters.

I have not fished Dry Lake #1. Dry Lake #2 has impressive fish, but it can be difficult to find them in the expansive basin running 9 to 12 feet deep. We've done best in January, but others prefer fishing in early March, just before the ice usually gets iffy about the middle of that month.


We've also filmed on Indian Springs, and it also has some monster perch, but right now it is blossoming with fish at 9 and 10 inches. Indian Springs has a new and very accommodating baitshop—Black Claw Bait and Tackle—right on the lake (northeast shore). Along with perch, all off these lakes also have good populations of walleyes, and Dry Lake #2 in particular has plenty of pike, with some large fish surpassing 10 pounds.

Although we're featuring the bodies of water near Clark, they are by no means the only options in this general area. Bitter and Waubay in particular also produce big perch in the Webster area, just north of Clark. Sportsmans Cove in Webster puts out a good fishing report for anglers to consider right over the phone. Farther south and east, Lake Poinsett, at Arlington, also often produces fine fishing for perch.

//www.in-fisherman.com/files/2016/11/South-Dakota-Perch-300x200.jpg
When we fish the Clark area we usually stay in Watertown, about a 40-minute drive from the access on the south shore of Dry Lake #2. Both the Hampton Inn and the Holiday Inn Express are comfortable and have restaurants nearby. Or head downtown and get a steak at Charley's.

[navionics zoom="7" long="-97.6" lat="44.8"]


Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

Recommended for You

Bass

Deep Cranking Confessions from the Pro's

John Neporadny Jr - December 18, 2017

Here's some important crankbait lessons from the big leagues.

Bass

Using Crankbaits For Smallmouth Bass

Matt Straw - January 31, 2016

Crankin' is almost a necessity for finding bass on the Great Lakes from summer through fall.

Bass

Sensational New Softbaits for Bass

Steve Quinn - April 22, 2019

Steve Quinn talks new softbaits for bass from Berkley.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

As KVD tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead, innovative Humminbird products and cutting-edge technology like that found in the new Mega 360 Imaging sonar are major reasons contributing to his unparalleled success.

Mustad Skatter Shad Bladed Jig

As Mustad continues to expand into an all-around tackle company, Reid McKinstry shows off some innovative features that make the Mustad Skatter Shad bladed jig a winner in big bass waters.

Lure Lock Options Includes LED Light Boxes & More

Pro angler Jonathan VanDam showcases new offerings at ICAST 2019, including the ultra-thin, big bait boxes, LED-lighted boxes and backpack-able gear lockers. With Game & Fish Editorial Director Adam Heggenstaller at ICAST 2019 in Orlando.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Catfish

All About Catfish

Rob Neumann

Catfish are among the most popular groups of fish with over 7 million catfish anglers...

Walleye

Understanding Spring Walleye Migrations

Gord Pyzer - June 02, 2018

'Walleyes spawn in spring and understanding spring walleye migrations, whether you live north...

Pike & Muskie

How To Catch Pike In Spring

Dan Johnson - April 26, 2016

Spring is prime time for pike. The Prespawn and Postspawn periods offer excellent odds at...

See More Stories

More Adventures

Adventures

Tiger Trout

Steve Quinn - April 04, 2017

Utah boasts the world's best fishing for tiger trout.

Adventures

Lake of the Woods, Minnesota-Ontario Multispecies

In-Fisherman - May 26, 2016

Lake of the Woods might well be the finest multispecies fishing lake in North America.

Adventures

South Dakota Jumbo Perch

Doug Stange - November 29, 2016

Jumbo perch tips for several South Dakota lakes.

See More Adventures

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.