This Week’s Iowa DNR Fishing Report

Spirit Lake, Iowa — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources issues a weekly fishing report on Thursdays in an effort to Iowa DNRprovide 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

Northern Pike – Fair: Northerns are becoming more abundant in the shallows. Few large females were caught in gill nets Monday night. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Anglers are reporting an increase in smallmouth bass catch on sunny calm days. These fish are being caught over sand flats near rocks. Pulling a crankbait slow is your best bet. Bluegill – Good: Many anglers are having success fishing the canals. Water temperatures are 4 to 5 degrees warmer in the canals which is bringing fish in from the cooler waters. Fish using worm and bobber or small feather jigs. Black Crappie – Slow: Crappie are being seen around Gull Point out from the point and out of the canals and back waters. Largemouth Bass – Good: A good number of largemouth have been seen roaming the banks around rock piles and existing weed lines  at Gull Point, trestle bridge, Smiths Bay, Manhattan, Omaha, and Pikes Point. Yellow Perch – Fair: Schools of perch are being seen by local anglers at the trestle bridge. These perch are not large but there are very high numbers of them schooling up in the warmer waters between east and west Okoboji.

East Okoboji Lake

Channel Catfish – Fair: Channel catfish have been seen in good numbers at Lone Tree Point, little stoney, and near parks marina. These fish are being caught in gill nets and are getting larger as the water temperature increases.  Northern Pike – Fair: Fish black spinner baits around docks just before dark. Many anglers are reporting that fish are coming in shallow to warmer water around dark. Bluegill – Fair: Anglers are starting to pick up more bluegill at the trestle bridge. Fish size range from 4-9 inch. Anglers are using small jigs, worm and bobber. Crappie – Fair: More and more crappies are being seen and caught at the trestle bridge. Larger fish are not being caught; most fish caught are 7-8 inch. Largemouth Bass – Good: Anglers are reporting more bass around the trestle bridge while they are fishing. These fish are being seen under boat hoists and around the bridge structures.

 Big Spirit Lake

Northern Pike – Good: Anglers along the grade are still catching northerns; water temperatures are still in the 60s which is holding more fish with this cool down. Fish spinner or large jerk baits. Black Crappie – Fair: The old foot bridge rock piles are holding good numbers of crappie. Anglers are pulling feather jigs along the rocks and catching small 7-10 inch crappie. Larger fish should become more available as water temperatures warm again. Bullhead – Good: A fair number of keeper bullhead are being caught at the Little spirit tube. Many anglers are having to leave to buy more worms. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Smallmouth are being seen along rocky shores and being caught pulling slow deep diving crankbait. Bullhead – Good: The north grade is producing many bullheads. Anglers are reporting good numbers using worms weighted to the bottom. The little spirit outlet is beginning to see more fish. Largemouth Bass – Fair: More and more largemouth bass have been seen around Rednose and Cottonwood Point but not caught. Anglers are having success throwing jerk baits far away from the boat where fish can’t see anglers and working jerk baits slow.

Lake Pahoja

Bluegill – Excellent: Fish the jetties that are placed around the lake; bluegills are thick around all the jetties and in great numbers. Average size ranges between 7.5-8 inches. Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass are being caught around the standing cattails and off the jetties. Fish with small jigs or worm and bobbers.

Five Island Lake

Yellow Bass – Good: Anglers throwing soft plastic minnow baits in 8 feet of water are seeing a steady bite from yellows.

Lost Island Lake

Walleye – Fair: Anglers are seeing many walleyes at the south end of the lake using yellow twister tails. These fish are swimming slowly; persistence will get them in the boat. Yellow Perch – Good: Anglers throwing soft plastic minnow baits are catching 8-10 inch yellows.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)

Walleye – Good: Anglers are catching walleye using plastics, crank baits, leaches, and minnows fished along the east and south sides of the lake. Anglers are doing well fishing along the dredge cuts between Chautauqua Point and the big island. Fishing the dredge cuts between the big island and Shorty’s Island has also been productive for walleye. Yellow Perch – Slow: A few perch have been picked up with minnows along the east side of the lake. White Bass – Good: White bass are being caught along the east side of the lake and around the dredge cuts; they are biting on plastics, leaches, and minnows.


Little Sioux River (Linn Grove to Correctionville)

Walleye – Fair: Anglers are catching walleye in the evenings using twisters.

Little Sioux River (state line to Linn Grove)

Channel Catfish – Good: Channel cats are being caught using any kind of stink bait. Find a deep hole on the outside bend of the river or fish above a riffle. Fish range from 1 to 12 pounds.


West Fork Des Moines (state line to Emmetsburg)

Walleye – Fair: More and more anglers are reporting increased walleye catch along the Hwy. 18 bridge. Fish are being caught using twister tails and shad raps. Fish the snags parallel to the bank. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use stink bait upstream of any snags or deeper pools. Anglers are catching many fish per outing.


West Fork Des Moines (Emmetsburg to Humboldt)

Channel Catfish – Fair: Catfish are being caught in fair numbers at any of the bridge access points in Emmetsburg. Anglers are having success using stink bait. Walleye – Slow: Persistent anglers willing to walk to find fish have been successful.  Anglers are using yellow or green twister tails with white or pink heads. Cast parallel to the bank alongside of snags and dead fall.