Very few anglers have been targeting Storm Lake. Water levels are low. Channel Catfish – Fair: Some catfish are being picked up on cut bait, stink bait, shrimp, and nightcrawlers. Boaters should use caution on Storm Lake. The hydraulic dredge is in operation in the east basin of the lake. There is a pipeline running from the dredge to the shoreline and may rise to the surface at times.
Mill Creek (Lake)
A netting survey took place recently and good numbers of bluegills and bullheads were sampled as well as a few catfish, largemouth bass, and black crappie. The bluegills averaged 6-7.5 inches with a few reaching 9 inches. Bullheads ranged from 8-11 inches and should be easy to catch. Catfish were sampled up to 6 pounds with the majority of them in the 1 to 2-pound range measuring 17-22 inches. The water was in the low 80s and the thermocline was a 7 feet so don’t fish to deep.
Big Spirit Lake
Water temperature has climbed into the mid 80s. The warm water has also contributed to a significant bluegreen algae bloom in the lake turning it green. Bullhead – Fair: Action has slowed on the grade but a few fish are being caught on the main lake around weeds. Use traditional presentations like a worm on the bottom. Northern Pike – Slow: Northern pike may become more difficult to catch but they will still be hanging out along weed edges. Casting or trolling along or near these weed edges should produce the best action. White Bass – Fair: Look for schools breaking the surface in the morning and afternoon. Once located a popper or minnow bait should get some action. A few smallmouth bass should also be expected while fishing a school of white bass. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Some of the bigger smallmouth are being caught on weed edges but the rock piles are still producing a few. Largemouth Bass – Fair: The largemouth are still being found near weeds but some are also starting to disperse to other areas in the lake. Yellow Perch – Fair: Action is picking up, look for schools of perch on the mudflats in the 18 plus feet of water. Try drifting crawlers on bottom bouncers or with slip bobbers. A GPS or marker buoy could be useful once a school is located. A few perch are also being caught in or near the weeds while targeting walleye or other species. Walleye – Slow: With the warm water fishing has slowed a bit but a few fish are still being caught. Best results have been coming in early morning, at dusk, and after dark using slow presentations.
East Okoboji Lake
Bullhead – Fair: Use worms on bottom. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try cut bait around rocks and wood during low light conditions. Walleye – Fair: Fish near bottom with crawlers and leeches or trolling crankbaits. Twister tails can also be productive. Yellow Bass – Good: Many yellow bass are being caught try looking for rocks and wood. Use small baits.
West Okoboji Lake
Avoid boat traffic by fishing early in the morning. Northern Pike – Fair: Find weed beds and you have found the pike. Use spoons or most anything resembling a minnow and don’t forget the steel leader. Bluegill – No Report: Look for bluegills around weed edges in the early morning or later afternoon. A small jig on a slip bobber or a plain hook with live bait should produce fish. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: A few smallies have been caught off rock piles but with the clear water most fish spook easily. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try fishing around weed edges in the bays. Walleye – Fair: A few fish were caught trolling crankbaits as well as live bait rigs with crawlers and leeches.
Big Sioux River
Fishing has been slow but a few catfish are still being caught. Try fishing deeper pools and brush piles after dark.
A reminder to bow fishermen please dispose of your fish properly and it is unlawful to sell fish. With the summer season upon us remember to be courteous to fellow lake users. For more information on fishing in northwest Iowa, call the Spirit Lake Hatchery at 712-336-1840.