Karl Palmer

With heavy hearts we are sad to announce Karl has passed away in an unfortunate boating accident on April 8, 2017. Karl has been a native of central South Dakota and an avid fisherman his entire life. He was able to make his passion his profession and live the dream of doing what he LOVED everyday . We would like to thank YOU his customers from the bottom of our hearts for making Karl's dreams come true!


Karl Palmer is a South Dakota native, born and raised in Miller, SD 75 miles east of Pierre. He grew up fishing in small lakes and ponds. Many of Karl's early days were spent in a belly boat catching bass, panfish and an occasional northern pike. He purchased the belly boat for $35.00 with money earned from a paper route. He still uses this belly boat.

Karl's father built an ice shack for him when he was 12. He spent almost every day after school ice skating and fishing. His father would drop him off at the lake after school and pick him up at 10 pm. There were always fish to clean when he got there. In 1980, Karl's cousin Dutch gave him a 12 foot boat, which he still uses 30 years later.

After graduating from Miller High School, Karl went to a 2-year cooking school to learn how to be professional chef. After becoming a chef, he worked in one of the state's finest restaurants in Sioux Falls, SD preparing meals for many famous people and dignitaries. Four years later, the call of the outdoors was too great and he moved to Pierre: a place world-renowned for hunting and fishing.

A Lund boat was soon in Karl's driveway. Every spare moment was spent on the water refining and honing his fishing skills. It wasn't long before he was guiding on a full time basis. Karl believes he has truly found his niche in life, taking people from all over the United States and showing them the tremendous fishing adventures this area has to offer. He truly enjoys taking families out fishing and seeing the excitement on kids faces when they catch alot of fish.

Home Life

Karl lived in Ft. Pierre, and has done so for the past 25 years. Ft. Pierre is a historic town. You can fish 10 feet from the location in which Lewis and Clark first met the Sioux Indians, at the mouth of the Bad River. Within 5 miles of Karl's house, there are places where calvary forts and fur trading posts once stood. On the bluff behind his house, wagon wheel ruts from the old Fort Pierre/Deadwood trail are still visible. Hundreds of wagons hauled supplies from Missouri River steamboats to the early pioneers and miners of the Black Hills, traveling just yards from where Karl's how now stands. He sees this as his home for the rest of his life, "World class fishing is right outside my door, I live about 2 blocks from a bait shop, a little less than a mile to a boat ramp on Lake Sharpe and 4 miles to a boat ramp on Lake Oahe. I guide over 100 trips every summer."


Karl has been featured in the June 2007 and March 2009 issues of Field and Stream Magazine as one of the nations top fishing destinations, as well as on KELO-TV, Eye On Keloland, the Omaha World Herald, 14 different issues of Great Plains Game and Fish magazine and The Ugly Del Show on WWTC radio in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

Awards and Qualifications

Karl was a licensed U.S Coast Guard Captain. Ref. # 2987218. He has 51 South Dakota Trophy Angler Awards, along with CPR and First Aid certifications, a South Dakota Safe Boating Certificate and commercial insurance. He has placed highly in several local tournaments and entered 2 professional walleye tournaments: the Team Walleye Circuit and the RCL Walleye Tour. Both of these tournaments were on Lake Sharpe. He took 3rd place in the Team Walleye out of over 80 boats, and 29th out of 150 boats in the RCL.