Weekly DNR Fishing Report

Northwest Iowa — Here is this week’s Northwest Iowa Fishing Report from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, as released Thursday, December 28, 2023.

East Okoboji Lake

The lake has started to form ice again. Black Crappie – Fair: Use minnows and plastics. Bluegill – Fair: Try a small hook and piece of worm. In deeper water, use pilkies with wigglers or a slip bobber setup. Walleye – Fair.  Yellow Perch – Fair: Sorting will most likely be needed.

Ingham Lake

The lake is mostly open. Lots of waterfowl are residing at the lake. Walleye – Fair: Anglers have been successful morning and evening

Lost Island Lake

The lake is essentially ice-free.  Black Crappie – Fair.  Walleye – Fair: Anglers have been successful fishing from shorelines in the evenings. 

Minnewashta Lake

Black Crappie – Fair: Try slowly trolling over vegetation with minnows and plastics. Bluegill – Fair.  Pumpkinseed – Good.

Scharnberg Pond

Rainbow trout were stocked recently. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)

Black Bullhead – Good. Walleye – Fair: Expect the walleye bite to improve with falling water temperatures.

Spirit Lake

The lake is essentially ice-free. Black Crappie – Good: Minnows and plastics work well. Many nice-sized fish have been seen lately. Bluegill – Good: Try a small hook and a small piece of worm. In deeper water, use pilkies with wigglers or a slip bobber setup. Walleye – Good: Minnows work well. Yellow Perch – Good: Find good numbers; may need to sort for size.

West Okoboji Lake

The lake is essentially ice-free. Black Crappie – Fair: Try small jigs tipped with a minnow. Bluegill – Good: Use pilkies with wigglers or a slip bobber setup. Pumpkinseed – Good:  Walleye – Good: Minnows and plastics work well. Yellow Perch – Fair: Sorting may be needed.

Most area water levels are a few inches below crest. Most larger lakes are almost completely open. Warmer weather and rain showers has knocked back any ice that has been made. Expect ice to start building this weekend as high temperatures will  be at or below freezing. Some bays have thicker ice, but ice fishing access can be hard to find. Check ice thickness often if you attempt to go out on the water. For current conditions, call the Spirit Lake District Office at 712-336-1840.

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