The walleye season at Iowa’s Great Lakes closes Feb. 15, and reopens at 12 a.m., May 4. Walleyes caught during the closed season at East Okoboji, West Okoboji and Big Spirit lakes must be immediately released unharmed.
The deadline to remove permanent ice fishing shelters from state owned land and water is Feb. 20, or ice melt, whichever comes first. Shelter owners are encouraged to not wait until the last minute to remove their structures, to avoid deteriorating ice conditions.
Ice depth is 14-18 inches. Warning: Be cautious around the pressure ridges that have developed on the main lake. Watch the weather and changing ice conditions. Wind can widen the open water near the aerators, so be careful around them. Fishing has slowed some but anglers have had good catches on the warmer days. Some anglers are venturing out on the main lake and having catches comparable to those on the little lake. Channel Catfish – Slow: Anglers have been catching some 20-24 inch catfish using minnows on the main lake in the deeper water near the island or Baptist Camp area. Crappie – Slow: Crappies are mostly being found in 15-20 feet water, suspended around 3 to 10 feet off the bottom. They are being caught on minnows or wax worms. Yellow Perch – Slow: Perch are being caught in low numbers; a few are over 10 inches. Try a small spoon and a minnow or minnow head. Walleye – Slow: An occasional report of a keeper walleye being caught near the island on the main lake and a few in the little lake. Yellow Bass – Fair: Yellow bass are scattered. Keep moving untill you find numbers of them. Look for 9-14 feet of water. They seem willing to bite whole minnows, cutbait, or wax worms.