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
Ice thickness is around 7 inches near the boat ramp. Conditions are variable; check ice thickness often if you venture out. Use waxworms and minnows near structure to target bluegill, crappie and perch.
Bacon Creek Lake
The DNR stocked rainbow trout at Bacon Creek Lake in January. You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Use a piece of worm, small minnow, or power bait fished under a bobber. Put the bait on a small hook or small and shiny jig.
Black Hawk Lake
There is around 12 inches of ice off of Ice House Point boat ramp. Conditions are more variable in the east basin of the lake. The winter aeration system in Town Bay is in operation; expect open water and thin ice in Town Bay. Yellow Perch – Fair: Anglers are catching perch around Gunshot Hill in the marina and near Provost Point. Keeper-size perch are 8 to 10 inches; sorting is needed. Use waxworms and small minnows. Bluegill – Fair: Most anglers are using waxworms fished near the Ice House Point boat ramp and the rock piles off Gunshot Hill and Cottonwood Point. Most fish are 7-8 inches. Channel Catfish – Fair: Anglers have picked up catfish off the rock pile north of Cottonwood Point and in the east basin; use waxworms. Black Crappie – Fair: Try minnows and waxworms fished in the marina and off the rock pile near Gunshot Hill. Most fish are 8-10 inches; sorting is needed. Walleye – Slow.
Black Hawk Pits
Ice thickness is 6 to 8 inches near the ramp. Thin ice and open water are by the west shoreline near the highway. Conditions are variable; use caution and check ice thickness often. Black Crappie – Fair: Use waxworms.
Brushy Creek Lake
Ice thickness is 10 to 14 inches in the NE arm and around Taylor’s Island. Ice is thinner and more variable mid-lake. There may be open areas in the middle of the lake, under bridges and near inflows. Yellow Perch – Fair: Use waxworms and small minnows. Some sorting is needed. Walleye – Fair. Bluegill – Fair: Use a waxworm or small minnow on a jig fished near structure. Reports of 9 inch keepers.
Rainbow Trout – Fair: Use a piece of worm, small minnow, or power bait fished under a bobber. Put the bait on a small hook or small and shiny jig. You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.
North Twin Lake
Ice thickness is 12 to 14 inches in most areas. There are small pockets of open water near a tile outlet on the west side in the southern portion of the lake and near the outlet.
Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Ice thickness is 8 to 15 inches, with thinner ice on the east part of the lake. Avoid open areas near the island. Anglers are catching perch, crappie, walleye and white bass.
Ice thickness in west central Iowa is 8 to 16 inches. Some lakes have open areas and seams. Use caution; check thickness often. There is open water and thin ice in Town Bay of Black Hawk Lake from the aeration system. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.
Ice thickness is 12 to 15 inches. Use caution near the aeration systems. Yellow Perch – Good: Yellow perch are biting on a variety of baits. Use larger baits and change location to find bigger fish. Walleye – Slow: Try a jigging spoon tipped with a minnow head near the edge of vegetation. Best bite is during low light periods. Black Crappie – Slow: Use a jig tipped with a waxworm on the edge of vegetation. Yellow Bass – Slow: Try a small spoon tipped with cut bait or several waxworms. You have to move around to find fish.
Ice thickness is 12 to 15 inches.
Lower Pine Lake
Use extra caution directly north and east of the Island; an area of poor ice was reported. A few reports of anglers catching keeper-size perch and crappie, but most are only catching small bluegill. Bluegill – Fair.
Ice thickness is 11 to 15 inches. Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs tipped with a waxworm. Best bite is late afternoon. Yellow Perch – Slow:Try a small jigging spoon tipped with a waxworm. Walleye – Slow.
Silver Lake (Worth)
Ice thickness is 11 to 15 inches. Bluegill – Slow.
For information on the lakes and rivers in north central Iowa, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.
Ice thickness is 14 to 16 inches. The aeration system has been started. Use caution on the west side of the lake, north of the boat ramp. Signs are up around the aerator hole.
East Okoboji Lake
Ice thickness is 14 to 15 inches. Bluegill – Good: Sorting is needed, but the bite has been good in the southern section of the lake along the weed line. Try near the trestle and the Hattie Elston Boat Ramp. Use small jigs and wigglers. Walleye – Fair: Fishing has been good near Parks Marina in the evening. Use spoons, jigging raps or minnows in the early morning or evening. Yellow Perch – Fair. Black Crappie – Good. Yellow Bass – Fair.
Ice thickness is 12 to 16 inches. The aeration system has been started. Use caution on the southeast side of the lake and off the northern boat ramp. Signs are up around the aerator hole.
Lost Island Lake
Ice thickness is around 12 inches. Yellow Perch – Fair. Walleye – Fair.
Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Ice thickness is 15 to 18 inches. The aeration system has been started. Use caution on the east side of the lake. Signs are up around the aeration holes.
Ice thickness is 15 to 18 inches. Walleye – Good: Fish one hour before and after sunrise or sunset. Use spoons or jigging raps tipped with minnow heads in 12-14 feet of water. Also try live minnows. Reports of lots of slot size and bigger fish. Bluegill – Fair: Use wigglers and small jigs in Anglers Bay and Trickles Slough. Yellow Perch – Good: Try minnows and small jigs in Anglers Bay and near Minniwaukon. Best bite is early and late. Be prepared to move around until you get on top of them. Black Crappie – Fair.
Yellow Perch – Fair: Size quality is outstanding with some sorting. Use jigs and minnows or wigglers in the main lake.
West Okoboji Lake
Ice conditions are variable. Beware of heaves at Atwell and Gull Point; don’t drive over heaves/seams. Ice thickness has been up to 14 inches in small bays and thinner on the main lake. Bluegill – Good: Little Emerson Bay is producing a few nice bluegills. Sorting is needed. Walleye – Fair: Fish rocky areas in 18-20 feet of water. Live minnows work best an hour before and after sunset.
Ice thickness is 13 to 18 inches on area lakes. Ice conditions are generally good; be weary of holes caused by springs/methane release. Do not travel under bridges and other areas of flow; most of these areas have little to no ice. Aeration systems at Center Lake, Silver Lake (near Lake Park), and Ingham Lake have been started and signs are up; stay clear of these systems. For current conditions, call the Spirit Lake District Office at 712-336-1840.