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 Hatchery at 712-336-1840.
Brushy Creek Lake
The docks are in place at the west and south boat ramps.
Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Water clarity is poor. Water temperature is around 45 degrees. The east boat ramp and marina boat ramp are usable. Avoid the Bel Air boat ramp. Water levels are approximately 2 feet below crest. Channel Catfish – Fair: Walleye – Slow:
Anglers have started to catch crappie from the piers and fish house. Crappies are around 9 inches. Water levels are approximately 3 to 3.5 feet low.
Black Hawk Lake
Water levels are 24 inches below crest. The fishery in Black Hawk Lake was renovated in fall of 2012 so there are no fish to catch at this time. Bluegills have been restocked and additional species will be stocked over the next several months.
Anglers are catching a few bluegill and yellow bass in the south end. Water levels are approximately 2 feet low.
Black Hawk Pits
No fishing reports have been received for Black Hawk Pits. However, anglers might try fishing for catfish with cut bait or shad guts.
Little Sioux River (Correctionville to Missouri River)
Little Sioux River is turbid and moving swiftly. Fishing has been difficult.
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. Anglers should also try by the cuts for bass or crappies.
Upper Pine Lake
Water temperature is less than 40 degrees on Upper Pine Lake; a few northern pike have been caught. If the fishing is slow, you can watch the amazing variety of birds and wildlife on the lake. One report this past week counts: 300 pelicans, 50 sea gulls, 100 cormorants, 9 snowy egrets, 3 eagles, 1 pair of ospreys and a couple of river otters.
There has been little or no activity at Smith Lake due to the weather.
The lake is up about 3-4 inches from last week; about 14 inches below crest. Water temperature is around 40 but will be warming up this weekend. Channel Catfish – Fair: Fishing for channels should be good on any warm day this week. Try some cutbait, worms, or stinkbait on a windward shoreline. Walleye – Slow: Anglers are catching walleyes close to sunset near the outlet. Some reports of boat anglers catching some in the little lake. Most are caught on jig and a minnow retrieved slowly. Muskellunge – Slow: There is a good population of musky in Clear Lake. The city beach and east shoreline would be a good starting point for anglers wanting to catch an early season musky.
Channel Catfish – Slow: Cats should be biting on cutbait or stinkbait on a warmer day.
Little Wall Lake
Crappie – Fair: Crappie (6-8 inches) and bluegills have been hitting on the north end off the jetty.
Ice is finally out at Crystal. No reports from open water anglers, yet. Northern Pike – Slow: Anglers may have success using slow presentations such as weedless spoons. Bluegill – Slow: Great population of 7 to 9-inch bluegills in the lake.
We have received no information regarding fishing on this water body this week.
Rainbow trout were stocked on Jan 19. Rainbow Trout – Fair: Crappie – Fair: Anglers have caught a few crappies on minnows this week.
Iowa River (Iowa Falls to Marshalltown)
Water level in the Iowa River is on the rise from runoff and recent local rains. There is some activity below Steamboat Rock for walleye and northern pike.
Shell Rock River (above Greene)
The Shell Rock is rising with recent rains. Anglers might try below some of the dams for walleye, northern pike or catfish. Northern Pike – Slow: A few northern pike 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 walleyes are being caught on jig/twister.
Anglers might have success at some of the dams in Mason City, Fertile, or Forest City. Look for eddy areas, where the current is slower. 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 three-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)
Walleye – Slow: Anglers are catching a few walleyes on the river on jigs/twister tails.
River temperatures are low and levels are up and down with rain and ice melt. The weather looks favorable for the weekend so fishing should pick up. For lake updates and fishing information in the north central area contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.
Mill Creek (Lake)
Look for some good bluegill, bass and crappie fishing this spring and summer. Good numbers of 7-8 inch bluegills and 9-10 inch crappies were caught during surveys last year as well as many bass in the 14-17 inch range.
Big Spirit Lake
Walleye season is closed until May 4. Bullhead – No Report: As the water starts warming, look toward the grade for some early bullhead action. Smallmouth Bass – Slow: Best angling during calm sunny days fish shallow rock piles and then work deeper. Crappie – Slow: As the water continues to warm the crappies will move inshore look for them around rock piles and in protected areas.
East Okoboji Lake
Walleye season is closed until May 4. Channel Catfish – No Report: East Okoboji has good numbers of channel catfish and soon after ice out is an excellent time to catch good numbers. Try cut bait around structure, like brush piles, points and drop-offs. Crappie – Good: Fishing off the trestle bridge has been good near the pillars with minnows and small jigs. A few bluegills are also being caught in the same manner.
Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Look for walleyes along rocky shorelines and near the inlet and outlet. Try fishing slow with a jig and minnow or twister tail in the evening.
West Okoboji Lake
Walleye season is closed until May 4. Once the water starts to warm, look for bluegills and bass to move into the canals.
Lost Island Lake
Walleye and crappie action has been slow but as the water warms fishing should pick up.
Silver Lake (Palo Alto)
Good numbers of 9-inch bullheads await the serious bullhead angler. Expect the action to pick up as the water warms. There are also good numbers of 8-inch yellow perch and with continued good growth will provide an upswing to the fall 2013 season.