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Tips For The First Time Fisherman

  • Be sure to wear warm clothes and dress in layers because we’re never sure what the elements may bring. You may start out the day in sunny weather and walk off the ice in blowing snow.
  • Bring a 5 gallon bucket and water scoop to put your fish in. This is a live release tournament so we ask you to bring your catch to the weigh-in station in a bucket of water.
  • If you want to catch lots of Blue Gill use wax worms on a medium hook.
  • If you want to fish mainly for the largest prize fish, use minnows or your own special bait. 
  • Wear good warm boots!
  • Bring cash for concessions and more.
  • Bring ice cleats.
  • You DO NOT need a fishing License. Catfish Bay is licensed by the SD GF&P as a "Fee Fishing Facility".
  • Bring an ice chisel and scoop. The holes are pre-drilled so depending on the weather you may need to break open your hole a little bit.
  • Don’t use your boots to break the ice, you will get wet.
  • You can bring any type of legal bait EXCEPT MINNOWS and OTHER LIVE AQUATIC SPECIES.
  • Only minnows purchased at Catfish Bay will be allowed at the tournament so no unwanted fish or invasive species are introduced into the lake. Please bring a minnow bucket if you plan on purchasing minnows.
  • Your tickets must be visible at all times.
  • Bring your own fishing poles, gear and accessories.