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.
For lake locations, maps and other information, go to www.iowadnr.gov/Fishing/FishingReports.aspx
Nelson Park Lake
Anglers should fish for bluegill along the face of the dam with a small black hair jig and a small piece of bait.
Brushy Creek Lake
Water clarity is excellent. Anglers should do well for crappie and bluegill as they move into the shallows. Bass fishing has been good in the near shore areas and near structure.
Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Fishing has picked up and water clarity has improved. Channel Catfish – Excellent: Anglers are catching good numbers of 18 to 22-inch channel catfish from shore. Nightcrawlers and cut bait are working well. Crappie – Fair: Last week anglers did very well for crappie in the state marina, but fishing has slowed some since. Walleye – Good: The walleye bite has picked up. Many anglers are catching limits. Try trolling crankbaits around the dredge cuts or jigging a minnows in 5 to 8 feet of water in the east basin. Shore anglers using a nightcrawler on the bottom have been catching walleye and catfish. Boaters should use caution on Storm Lake. The hydraulic dredge is in operation in the east basin of the lake. There is a pipeline running from the dredge to the shoreline and may rise to the surface at times. Anglers are allowed 3 walleye per day, all fish between 17 and 22 inches must be released, and only one fish over 22 inches may be kept.
North Twin Lake
Water levels are getting close to crest. Channel Catfish – Fair: Some anglers are catching catfish from shore. Try using nightcrawlers on the bottom.
Black Hawk Lake
Black Hawk Lake was renovated last fall. Although fish have been restocked, there are no catchable size fish in the lake. Water clarity is excellent. The lake is around 16 to 18 inches below crest.
Water clarity is good. Water levels are around two feet low. Bluegill – Fair: A few larger males are starting to move onto the beds. Expect more to move into the shallows over the next few weeks. Use a 1/32 ounce black feather jig. It helps to put a small piece of nightcrawler on the jig. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Largemouth bass are biting on small hair jigs near shore and around downed trees. They are biting aggressively, but are on the small side. Most are 8 to 12 inches. Crappie – Slow: A few crappies can be picked up while targeting bluegill. Try drifting and jigging for crappie.
Black Hawk Pits
Water clarity is excellent. Water levels are around two feet low. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Some nice largemouth bass can be caught using minnows or casting twisters. Walleye – Slow: A few smaller walleye have been caught with fire tiger colored twisters. The water is very clear so anglers may have to try fishing in the early morning, late evening, or at night.
For more information on lakes and rivers in the Black Hawk District contact the Black Hawk Office in Lake View at 712-657-2638.
Water temperature is around 61 degrees. Sucker – Fair: There are lots of white suckers in Beeds Lake. A worm and sinker on the bottom should entice them to bite. Channel Catfish – Good: 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. Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth bass are near shore and should be biting well. 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. Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are staged in 4 to 5 feet of water and are close to spawning. A bobber and small jig with a piece of worm should work. Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth bass are near shore and are close to spawning. Crappie – Fair: Some crappies are being caught near structure.
Bluegill – Fair: Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass are near the shorelines and should be biting well. There are some 19 to 20-inch bass.
The lake is 4.5 inches below crest. Water temperature is 68-70 degrees. Channel Catfish – Good: Catfishing is good right now as they are close to prespawn 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: Crappies are scattered but fishing near some of the rock points are reefs might be a good choice. Walleye – Good: Anglers have been catching better numbers over the last few days with the warmer weather and water. A few bigger fish have been caught but most are a mix of sublegals and small legal walleyes. Most are caught on jig and a minnow. Some are catching walleyes drifting or trolling. Muskellunge – Fair: Anglers are catching some muskies, while fishing for walleye with minnows. Yellow Bass – Good: Waders near the island are picking up large 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.
Fishing has been good. Lots of fish being caught. Channel Catfish – Good: Cats should be biting on cutbait or stinkbait on a warmer day. Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are keeper size. Crappie – Fair: Crappies are around 8 inches. Yellow Bass – Good: Yellow bass are small 7-7.25 inches.
Little Wall Lake
Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass are also biting along the shorelines. Crappie – Good: Anglers are catching 7-8 inch crappies and bluegills off the north fishing jetty and other shorelines.
Northern Pike – Good: Northerns have been caught up to the mid 30-inch range. Anglers may have success using presentations such as weedless spoons or bobbers with chubs. Bluegill – Slow: Great population of 7-9 inch bluegills in the lake. Largemouth Bass – Excellent: Anglers have reported catching lots of largemouth. Walleye – Good: Anglers are catching some 16-17 inch walleyes.
Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth bass are biting well along shorelines. Please remember the 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. Bluegill – Fair: Crappie – Fair:
Interstate Park Lake
There was a partial fish kill this winter but anglers have been reporting catching a variety of fish this past week. Bluegill – Fair: Largemouth Bass – Fair: Crappie – Fair: Yellow Perch – Fair:
Iowa River (Iowa Falls to Marshalltown)
Water level in the Iowa River is on the rise from recent 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 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 walleye being caught on jig/twister.
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)
The East Fork is running high right now. 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
Bullhead – Good: The grade is providing some good bullhead action and don’t overlook the north side. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Target rock piles start shallow and work deep. Largemouth Bass – Good: Start looking around the rushes for prespawn bass. 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 has 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.