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)
Ice thickness varies from about 10-15 inches. With the upcoming warmer temperatures, use caution near shoreline and inflows where weak ice conditions and open water areas may be present. Black Crappie – Slow: Crappie fishing has been slow, most caught are small. Walleye – Fair: Anglers have picked up a few walleye in the dredge cuts towards the east end of the lake using minnows and jigs. Others have had some success fishing the South Cove Park area, the inlet, and Chautauqua Point area using minnows and jigs. Yellow Perch – Fair: Some perch have been picked up near the inlet. The bite is hit or miss.
Shelters must be removed from all state-owned lands and waters by February 20. Clear Lake has around 16-18 inches of ice but the warm weather coming this weekend will make water run down the access on the little lake and melt ice quickly. There is a little bit of current flowing into the little lake from Ventura Marsh, so be aware of possible thin ice on the south side of the little lake. This week and beyond will likely be great for portable or open ice fishing. Yellow Bass – Good: Move often if not catching fish; fish 8-12 feet of water on the little lake and move until you find schools. The flats in 8-10 feet of water out from the Lynne Lorenzen have been good. Farmers Beach in 8-10 feet of water has been good and Baptist camp has been decent. Walleye – Good: Anglers have had good success on structure on the east end of the lake this week (East aerator, Hy-Vee Reef, Fisherman’s Reef, Gilmore Reef). An occasional walleye is being caught near the aerator or west to Baptist camp. Use jigging spoons, small lipless cranks, or 1/8 oz. jigs with minnows. Crappie – Good: Oxygen levels have been a little lower in the 15 and deeper water so anglers might want to target shallower flats. Yellow Perch – Fair: Occasional larger perch (9.5-10 inches) have been caught on the little lake. Channel Catfish – Good: No reports, but catfish activity picks up during late ice conditions. Use light jigs tipped with a small piece of cut bait or three to four spikes or wax worms. Farmers beach and the island have been good in the past.
Big Spirit Lake
Ice conditions: 16-18 inches of ice but thickness varied. Use caution while on the ice. Yellow Perch – Fair: Anglers are catching some nice perch off of Bakers point and north of marble beach in 20 feet of water. Small blue and silver spoons work well. Gold tear drops tipped with maggots or wax worms has been producing for less aggressive fish.
Ice conditions: 15-16 inches of ice but conditions varied. The aeration system is in use. Use caution while on the ice. Black Crappie – Fair: 9-10 inch crappies have been caught suspended in 17 feet of water. Evenings are the best bite. Try small light spoons tipped with minnow heads or wax worms.
East Okoboji Lake
Ice condition: 15-17 inches of ice but thickness varied. Use caution while on the ice. Yellow Bass – Fair: Some nice yellow bass have been caught on the north end of the lake off of Peppermint point and south of the hatchery. Bright tungsten jigs tipped with wax worms work well. Yellow Perch – Fair: Anglers are picking up some nice perch on the drop of Gingles point. Pilkie type lures tipped with maggots work well.
Ice conditions: 15-17 inches of ice. Use caution while on the ice. Yellow Bass – Slow: A few yellow bass have been picked up off Christys point in 10-12 feet of water. Try small tungsten jigs tipped with wax worms or maggots.
Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Ice conditions: 14-16 inches of ice but thickness varied. Use extreme caution during ice activities. The aeration system is in use. Walleye – Slow: A few 14-17 inch walleyes have been caught in the west bay and on the east side of the island.
West Okoboji Lake
Ice conditions: 14-16 inches of ice but thickness varied. Use caution while on the ice. Bluegill – Good: 8-12 feet of water on the north shoreline in Millers bay has been producing some nice bluegills. The north end of Haywards bay has also been producing some nice bluegills. Gold tear drops tipped with wax worms work well. Yellow Perch – Fair: Anglers are finding some nice perch on the north hump in Millers bay. Mornings are the best bite. The saddle in Emerson bay has also been producing some nice perch.