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.
West Okoboji Lake
Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth can be found under boat hoists, near weed lines, and on the drop offs. Fish these spots with football jigs, crankbaits or Texas rigs. Bluegill – Good: The canals are loaded with bluegills. Large and small fish are being caught in good numbers. Pocahontas point is holding a good population of bluegills with anglers catching large fish with little sorting. Crappie – Fair: The trestle is being reported to be a good bite. The canals are starting to fill with larger crappies. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Smallmouths have moved off beds and are headed towards the rocky drop offs. Areas to fish include rock points that shoot out into the main basin of West Lake, Pillsbury, Fort Dodge, and Gull Point. Fish with jerk baits, football jigs, or swimbaits. Walleye – Good: Walleyes are being caught by shore anglers fishing the canal bridges after dark. Successful anglers are fishing darker crankbaits and bottom jigs with leeches. 13-19inch fish are being caught. 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 tails or plain hook with worm and split shot are catching yellows on every cast. Yellow Perch – Fair: Quality perch (8-10 inch) can be found in the shallows where substrate is exposed. Fish Breezy point, Pillsbury and Fort Dodge with wigglers and a small jig.
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.
Big Spirit Lake
Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass can be found near weed choked areas at this time as they are protecting their fry. Fish are being caught in trickles using top water frogs. Anglers are also catching bass on boat hoists along the north banks in the deeper water. Try crankbaits or swimbaits to pull these bass out from under the hoists. Walleye – Good: Local anglers are catching walleye around 5:00 till dark at the North Grade. Fish above and below the slot are being caught and creeled. Successful anglers are using dark deer hair jigs tipped with leeches. Yellow Perch – Good: A majority of anglers creeled are catching yellow perch. Most anglers are keeping around 6-9 inch fish. Numbers are still low but perch are biting up at the grade. Black Bullhead – Fair: The bullhead bite at the north grade is slowing. Creeled anglers are taking home single digits. These fish are 12-14 inches. Successful anglers are leaving the worm on the bottom and fishing around submerged vegetation. Northern Pike – Good: Fishermen fishing in Templar bar are catching large numbers of small northerns. Most fish are in the mid-20 inch range. Successful anglers are using Meps or small spinnerbaits. Johnson silver minnow tipped with a leech also been catching these fish.
Bluegill – Fair: 6-8 inch bluegill are being caught in low numbers along the north bank of. Fish were being harvested using small lipstick jigs tipped with night crawler. Crappie – Good: Smaller crappies are being caught on the north and east side of Center lake. Anglers are using jigs tipped with wax worms.
Walleye – Good: Anglers are catching limits of walleye on Silver lake in Lake Park. Many anglers are catching limits using leeches, crankbaits while trolling, or slip bobbers with minnows. Anglers are catching these fish throughout the water body.
Five Island Lake
Walleye – Fair: Anglers fishing just north of town bay are catching 14-17 inch walleye. Anglers using bottom bouncers are stumbling upon numbers of walleyes as they approach the shallows.
Lost Island Lake
Yellow Bass – Good: Large yellow bass can be caught at the outlet of little lake. These fish are being seen and caught under the overhang of the outlet structure. A large number of smaller fish can be caught near the bridge where Lost Island dumps into little lake. Black Bullhead – Excellent: A very large number of bullheads are being seen while crews are electrofishing on Lost Island. These large numbers of bullheads are being seen at the mouth of little lake just west of the bridge. Crappie – Fair: Crappies are starting to group in the shallow coves of little lake. These fish are swimming into the cattails in preparation for the spawn.
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: Largemouth are beginning to bed in the shallows along the south banks in shallower water. Throwing spinner baits or soft plastics for the aggressive males will produce bites.
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: Anglers are picking up walleye trolling crankbaits in the dredge cuts between the islands on the east side of the lake. Channel Catfish – Fair: Anglers are catching catfish using dip baits, cut bait, and chicken liver. They are having the best luck fishing the north shore areas. White Bass – Fair: White bass are being caught on spinners and crankbaits while fishing for walleyes. Anglers are also having luck fishing spinners and crankbaits in shallower areas near shore.