Fishing for walleye has been sporadic. Anglers are spread out in search of fish. A few white bass are being picked up while targeting walleye. Ice is around 14 inches, but there was some open water near the north shore earlier in the week, likely from a pressure seam. Water clarity is still poor.
Big Spirit Lake
Expect to find 12-14 inches of ice across most of the lake with travel by ATV the preferred means. Be aware a few trucks have put tires through the ice the biggest area of concern is between MarbleBeach and Templar Point. Northern Pike – Fair: Most pike are being caught by accident on walleye tackle but setting tip-ups with chubs around structure has been producing some results. Bluegill – Slow: A few gills are being caught in Little Anglers Bay and off the grade. Try small jigs and be very quite as they are spooky. Yellow Perch – Slow: Look for perch off the ends of structure as well as in the main basin. Moving around looking for active fish may be necessary to catch any numbers. Wigglers, waxies, and minnow heads on either spoons or small jigs seem to be the go to lures. Walleye – Slow: Action seems to be restricted to dawn and dusk without much of a pattern. Try spoons and jigging raps tipped with a minnow head.
West Okoboji Lake
There is currently 8-12 inches of ice. ATVs are driving on much of the lake. Be aware there were goose holes in a few areas so avoid discolored ice and when in doubt turn back or test the ice with a spud. Northern Pike – Fair: Setting tip-ups in or near weeds is producing a few pike as well as setting them on drop offs. Bluegill – Slow: Look for bluegills in the bays (Emerson and Millers seem to be the best) in or near standing weeds. Sight fishing has been the most popular method but a few choose to hole hop. Try small jigs tipped with wax worms or wigglers but don’t overlook some of the finesse plastics. Yellow Perch – Fair: Look for perch in 20 plus feet of water along drop-offs or on mudflats. Try spoons tipped with live bait such as wigglers, wax worms, or minnow heads.
For more information contact the Spirit Lake Hatchery at 712-336-1840.