Spirit Lake, Iowa — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources issues a weekly fishing report on Thursdays in an effort to provide the latest information heading into the weekend. The weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys, and county and state parks staff. For more information contact the Spirit Lake fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.
Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Boaters should use caution around the dredge barge, booster pump barge, and pipeline. Walleye regulations for Storm Lake are three fish per day, all fish between 17 and 22 inches must be released and only one over 22 inches may be kept. Walleye – Fair: Walleye are still biting fairly well for this time of year. Troll shad-colored crankbaits in the dredge cuts and also in the shallower areas near east shore. Channel Catfish – Fair: Anglers are catching catfish with dip baits, cut bait, and chicken liver fishing from boat and shore. White Bass – Good: Use shad, crawlers, and crankbaits. Anglers fishing from shore using shad are doing quite well.
Walleye – Fair: A few walleyes have been taken off of the rock reefs such as Billy’s Reef. Muskellunge – Good: Anglers have had some luck this past couple weeks. Yellow Bass – Good: Billy’s reef, Fisherman’s reef, and the little lake are producing good numbers of yellow bass. Channel Catfish – Good: Anglers have had good luck drifting along the weed edges on the little lake for cats.
Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are schooled up off the jetties. Bluegills are very large with many 7-8 inch fish. Fish a worm and bobber. Largemouth Bass – Good: Throwing spinner baits or soft plastics for the aggressive males will produce bites.
Big Spirit Lake
Largemouth Bass – Good: Fish are being caught under boat hoists around the lake. Fish jigs, wacky worms, or spinner baits in 8-9 feet of water. Fish the inside and outside edge of weed lines with Texas rigs, drop shots, swimbaits, or crankbaits. Smallmouths are hitting top-water along the west shore in the evening. Walleye – Fair: Anglers are catching walleye around 7:00 till dark at the North Grade. Fish above and below the slot are being caught and creeled. Successful anglers are using jigging raps, bobber and leech, or just jigging a leech. Walleyes are also being caught along the weed line in Anglers bay in 16-17 feet of water. This weed line runs east to west and larger walleyes are swimming along this edge. Fish jigs tipped with a leech. Yellow Perch – Excellent: Yellow perch are biting on the south end right in 12-20 feet of water. Use small jigs and wigglers. Black Bullhead – Slow: The bullhead bite at the north grade is slowing. Creeled anglers are taking home single digits of 12-14 inch fish. Leave the worm on the bottom and fish around submerged vegetation. Northern Pike – Slow: Anglers using weedless frogs or surface lures back in the north grade in the dense weeds are catching smaller northerns. Bluegill – Slow: A few bluegills are starting to show up on anglers’ hooks with all the rain lately. Anglers fishing up at the north grade are reporting catching a few 8 inch bluegills.
East Okoboji Lake
Yellow Bass – Good: Large numbers of yellow bass are being caught near East Okoboji beach near the boat docks. Fish vary from small to a few larger 8-9 inch fish. Throw soft plastic shad for them. Anglers fishing under the highway 9 bridge are catching fair numbers of yellows using small plastic minnows. Yellow Perch – Fair: Numbers of smaller yellow perch are being caught while anglers are fishing for yellow bass. Pulling similar baits near the bottom will force more perch into your bucket. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Fish near the inlet to upper gar along the rocks to find a fast paced bass bite. Anglers are seeing bass bedding up in upper gar then swimming into East Okoboji. Walleye – Fair: Parks Marina and Lone Tree Point are reporting a hot bite for walleye. Anglers are drifting minnows along the bottom before dark. Larger walleye are being caught in 10-12 feet of water. Bluegill – Fair: Anglers are catching low numbers of 8 inch bluegills while fishing docks throughout East Okoboji. Anglers are fishing small jigs under docks tipped with wax worms. Crappie – Fair: Large numbers of 10 inch crappie are being caught on the north side of the narrows using pilkies, small jigs, or minnows.
Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Walleye – Excellent: A new walleye bite at Silver Lake. Anglers are catching many smaller 15-18 inch fish.
West Okoboji Lake
Largemouth Bass – Good: Fish football jigs, crankbaits, or Texas rigs under boat hoists, near weed lines, and on the drop offs. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Smallmouths have moved off beds and are headed towards the rocky drop offs. Fish the rock points that shoot out into the main basin of West Lake, Pillsbury, Fort Dodge, or Gull Point. Use jerk baits, football jigs, or swimbaits. Walleye – Fair: Many anglers fishing off Manhattan point after dark are reporting an increase in quality non-slot walleyes. Anglers are trolling deep diving crankbaits and are picking up these walleyes as they come up the point. Yellow Bass – Good: In Smiths bay just north of the amusement park anglers are reporting a high catch rate of large yellow bass. Anglers using orange twister tail, or plain hook with worm and split shot are catching yellows on every cast. Yellow Perch – Fair: A perch bite is going on in Millers and Emerson bays with 9-11 inch fish being caught in 12-18 feet of water. Crappie – Fair: Crappies are starting to bite. Fish the bays with 22-24 feet of water. Crappies are suspending at 5-10 feet in the deeper waters. Fish a small white jig with light line to catch 10-12 inch fish. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegills can be caught in 25 feet of water off the points using pilkies tipped with red worms. Northern Pike – Good: Northern pike are biting on spinner baits in Millers Bay. Fish the north bank with a black spinner bait in 7 feet of water. Fish range from mid-20s to 30 inches. Also try top-water for these fish.