Pactola Pines Marina, Inc. — Pactola Lake Information

Pactola Lake from USFS Visitor Center
Pactola Lake from USFS Visitor's Center
Aerial View of Pactola Lake looking North
Aerial View of Lake Pactola looking North
a pontoon on Pactola Lake
A pontoon boat on Pactola Lake

Pactola Lake is located in the Black Hills of western South Dakota. It is on Highway 385, about 28 miles south of Lead-Deadwood, about 20 miles west of Rapid City, and about 30 miles north of Custer.

Stocking trout

Pactola is the largest lake in the Black Hills (about 800 surface acres, and 56,000 acre feet of volume) and one of the most beautiful anywhere. Fantastic for swimming and recreation, the lake is also stocked 4 times a year with rainbow trout making it a perfect fisherman's destination.

January 2013 - Monster 30-pound Lake Trout Caught from Lake Pactola in South Dakota, Possible State Record.

Cliff Diving at Pactola Lake
Cliff Diving at Pactola Lake

May of 2009 a 28-pound, 5-ounce laker caught and in July of 2003 a then state record lake trout of 27 lbs, 14 oz was caught. Fishermen (and women, too) catch brown trout (many over 20 inches) and rainbow trout (there are thousands, typically from 10 to 20 inches). There are lots of pan fish -- blue gills, rock bass, crappy, and perch -- and a few large-mouth bass. If you are hoping for a record-breaking trout, the cooler months of May, June, September, and October will provide your best opportunities. But anglers regularly fill out their limits throughout the summer.

Pactola Lake is famous for its crystal clear water. Visibility on most days is 20 to 25 feet. With this type of water, it's only natural that Pactola is very popular with water skiers and all boating enthusiasts. Scuba divers also come from all over the country to enjoy the clear, unpolluted water of this lake and visit some of the artifacts remaining from the days before the reservoir was flooded.