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The Best Fishing Lakes In North Dakota

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Guide to top places to fish for bass, catfish, crappie and more in ND.

By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

Devils Lake, Lake Metigoshe, Lake Oahe, Lake Sakakawea, Red Willow Lake and Stump Lake are some of the most popular places for fishing in North Dakota, offering anglers the chance to pursue a variety of fish species. The Fishing Boat Rental Page lists options for fishing boat rentals at some of these lakes. Ice fishing in winter is an option at most lakes and ponds across the state.

  • Devils Lake
  • Heart Butte Reservoir
  • Jamestown Reservoir
  • Lake Ashtabula
  • Lake Audubon
  • Lake Darling
  • Lake Metigoshe
  • Lake Oahe
  • Lake Sakakawea
  • Stump Lake
  • Buffalo Lodge Lake

North Dakota boasts a diverse range of fishing lakes, including both warm water lakes and cold water lakes, each offering unique angling experiences and a variety of fish species. The purpose of this page is to share basic information about the best fishing lakes in the state, and the species found in each lake.

Warm water lakes in North Dakota are known for their abundance of popular game fish species such as walleye, northern pike, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and various panfish. These lakes, with their relatively higher water temperatures, provide favorable conditions for these species to thrive and offer exciting angling opportunities throughout the year. Some notable warm water lakes in North Dakota include Lake Sakakawea, Devils Lake, and Jamestown Reservoir.

On the other hand, cold water lakes in North Dakota are characterized by their cooler water temperatures, which are conducive to the survival and growth of cold-water fish species like trout and salmon. These lakes are often stocked with species such as rainbow trout, brown trout, and Chinook salmon, providing thrilling angling experiences for trout and salmon enthusiasts. Cold water lakes like Lake Metigoshe and Lake Audubon are popular destinations for anglers seeking these cold-water species.

In addition to the primary game fish species, North Dakota's fishing lakes also support a wide variety of panfish such as yellow perch, bluegill, crappie, and sunfish. These smaller species provide excellent opportunities for family-friendly fishing and are often targeted by anglers looking for a relaxed day on the water.

Whether you prefer warm water lakes with their abundance of walleye and pike or cold water lakes with their trophy trout and salmon, North Dakota offers a wealth of fishing opportunities across its diverse range of lakes. Whether you're a seasoned angler or a beginner, there's a fishing lake in North Dakota that will cater to your preferences and provide an enjoyable fishing experience.

Fishing Boats For Rent In North Dakota


Clear Lake, Lake Ashtabula, Lake Audubon, Lake Metigoshe, Lake Oahe, Lake Sakakawea and Stump Lake and The Missouri River are considered the best options for largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass. More...


Heart Butte Reservoir, Lake Oahe, Lake Sakakawea and most river systems in the state are favorite options for channel, blue, white and flathead catfish. More...


Devils Lake, Jamestown Reservoir and Lake Metigoshe are popular places for black and/or white crappie. More...

Sunfish, Perch & Panfish

Buffalo Lodge Lake, Devils Lake, Heart Butte Reservoir, Lake Ashtabula, Lake Metigoshe, Lake Sakakawea and Stump Lake are popular spots to fish for bluegill, perch and other sunfish. More...


Buffalo Lodge Lake, Devils Lake, Jamestown Reservoir, Lake Ashtabula, Lake Audubon, Lake Metigoshe, Lake Oahe, Lake Sakakawea, Lake Tschida and Stump Lake are considered the top locations for walleye fishing. More...


Lake Oahe plus many rivers and streams across the state are favorite choices for rainbow, cutthroat, brown and lake trout. More...


Lake Sakakawea and the Missouri River are the most popular waters for chinook salmon fishing. More...

Visit the North Dakota fishing page for links to information covering a wide variety of fish species and destinations in the state. Visit the North Dakota map to identify your best route to these top fishing locations.


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