This Week’s Iowa DNR Fishing Report For Northwest Iowa

DNR logoThe 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 Hatchery at 712-336-1840.

For lake locations, maps and other information, go to



Beeds Lake

Channel Catfish – Fair: No reports, yet, but catfish should be feeding in the shallower west end. Try fishing along the causeway when the wind is from the south or southwest. Crappie – Good: Anglers are catching some crappies near the cuts of the causeway.


Upper Pine Lake

Crappies, bluegill and largemouth bass are biting on Pine Creek (between the lakes), mostly on grub-type baits.


Clear Lake

The lake is about 7 inches below crest. Water temperature is 68-70 degrees.  Channel Catfish – Good: Catfishing is good right now as they are close to pre-spawn mode.  If you find the fish, action is fast and aggressive. Try with some cutbait, worms, or stinkbait on a windward shoreline or near some of the water sources coming in. Anglers are picking some catfish up when fishing for yellow bass with cutbait.  Crappie – Good: Anglers have been catching crappie in the boat harbors for the past few weeks. A few have also been taken near Dodge’s Point.  Walleye – Good: Anglers are been catching better numbers these last few days with the warmer weather and water. A few bigger fish have been caught but most anglers are catching a mix of sublegals and small legal walleyes. Most are caught on jig and a minnow. Some are catching walleyes drifting or trolling.  Muskellunge – No Report:   Yellow Bass – Fair: Anglers are starting to pick up better numbers of yellows. The spawn is started and should be good through Memorial Day weekend. Most anglers are using bobbers and minnows or a small jig with a piece of crawler on bottom.


Lake Cornelia

Fishing has been good. Lots of fish are being caught. Channel Catfish – Slow: Cats should be biting on cutbait or stinkbait on a warmer day.  Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are keeper size.   Yellow Bass – Good: Yellow bass are 7-7.25 inches.


Little Wall Lake

Crappie – Good: Anglers are catching 7 to 8-inch crappies and bluegills off the north fishing jetty.  Some bass have also been caught along the shorelines.


Crystal Lake

Northern Pike – Good: Northerns up to the mid 30-inches have been caught using weedless spoons or bobbers with chubs.  Bluegill – Slow: Great population of 7-9 inch fish.  Largemouth Bass – Excellent: Anglers have reported catching lots of largemouth.  Walleye – Good: Anglers are catching some 16-17 inch walleyes.


Blue Pit

Rainbow trout were stocked on Jan 19.  Rainbow Trout – Fair:   Crappie – Fair: Anglers have caught a few crappies on minnows this week.


Bluebill Lake

Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth bass are biting well along shorelines. There is a 15-inch minimum length limit on bass. Crappie – Fair: Some crappie are being reported.


Fin and Feather Lake

There has been some activity for panfish.


Iowa River (Iowa Falls to Marshalltown)

Water level is on the rise from recent local rains. There is some activity below Steamboat Rock for walleye and northern pike.


Shell Rock River (above Greene)

Water levels are high.  Northern Pike – Slow: A few are being caught with a chub and bobber, or slow artificial presentations. Between Northwood and Nora Springs below dams, backwater areas and anywhere a creek feeds into the river.  Walleye – Slow: A few small walleye being caught on jig/twister.


Winnebago River

Northern Pike – Slow: Northern pike are being caught in Fertile by the dam and the park point east of the dam.  Anglers are using a slow retrieval with Mepps number 4 and 5 spinner baits or a Rapala 3 inch Countdown Minnow. Some pike are also hitting chubs presented below bobbers.  Channel Catfish – Slow: Anglers should try below the dams or in backwater areas using cutbait, stinkbait, or minnows.


East Fork Des Moines (Algona to Humboldt)

The East Fork is running high. Walleye – Fair: Reports are few, but anglers were doing well in the Plum Creek area.


For lake updates and fishing information in the north central area contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.


Big Spirit Lake

With the warmer weather the water temp has made it into the mid 50s. Bullhead – Good: The grade is providing some good bullhead action and don’t overlook the north side.  Smallmouth Bass – Good: Try fishing rock piles with stick baits or drifting over them with live bait.  Walleye – Slow: With the clear water fishing has been tough but the night bite seems to be a bit better than during the day.  Slip bobbering , trolling crankbaits, spinners, and lindy rigs all have produced a few fish.


East Okoboji Lake

Walleye – Slow: With the cool water fishing has been slow but a few fish are being caught.  Try trolling crankbaits, spinners, or Lindy rigs along  drop offs and mudflats.


West Okoboji Lake

Bluegill, crappie, and bass fishing have been good in the canals. Try small jigs under a bobber for the bluegill and crappie.  Walleye – Slow: The clear water has made the fishing tough during the day but the night bite is a bit better.


Big Sioux River

Channel Catfish – Slow: With the warming water the cats are starting to bite.  Try cut bait or crawlers in deeper holes and log jams.


Little Sioux River (state line to Linn Grove)

Channel Catfish – Slow: Try cut bait and crawlers in deep holes and around log jams.  Walleye – Fair: Try throwing twister tails or fishing small chubs in deeper holes.


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