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.
West Okoboji Lake
Yellow Perch – Good: Millers Bay is still presenting a quality bite for those who want to brave the wind and cold. These perch are being caught in 20 plus feet of water, size ranging from 7-10 inches. Anglers are having success using small jigs and wax worms. Fishermen are using jigging raps when the bite gets slow to bring fish back in. Most bays have been seeing an increase in perch activity with the warm weather coming. Crappie – Fair: Around 12:30 crappie move into the shallows of Millers suspending in about 7 feet of water. Working jigs high in the water column has led to success on multiple occasions for some anglers. Emerson has been seeing few of these crappies but they are beginning to school up in the deeper waters later in the afternoon. Right before dark these fish are beginning to show up in both Emerson and Millers. Bluegill – Good: Gills of nice size are being caught on the weed lines of Emerson and Millers bay. Slow falls and light jigging brings these fish in. Fish weed lines in less than 10 feet of water.
East Okoboji Lake
Yellow Perch – Good: As the weather warms up perch activity has been increasing. Fish are being seen in the 20-25 feet range in various bays. Gold jigs tipped with wax worms are presenting the most success.
Big Spirit Lake
Ice conditions are variable with the snow being on the ice. Vehicle traffic is not advised. Ice reports have the ice being as thick as 17 inches in places with no snow cover, and 9 inches where there was snow cover. Yellow Perch – Good: Some quality perch are being caught on the south end near the pump house, off Big Stoney, and along the north end near Anglers Bay. Size varies from 7-10 inch fish. Walleye – Good: Walleyes are being caught north of the pump house in 25 feet of water, also off Big Stoney many over the slot walleyes are being caught as well. Fisherman are using minnow head tipped jigs, also proving to catch fish is spoons tipped with minnow.
Bluegill – Fair: Fishermen are having varied success with bluegills, catching them on the south end and near the middle. Fish are being caught using tungsten to get through the smaller fish and get down deep to the larger gills.
Five Island Lake
Walleye – Excellent: The walleye bite has really picked up and fish are being caught in dredge holes, and in Town Bay. Fish ranging in the 14-20 inch range are being caught. Yellow Perch – Excellent: Yellow perch are being caught in the deeper holes along with the walleye. Perch are ranging in size from 8-11 inches.
On January 31st Scharnberg Pond will be stocked with trout at noon. Rainbow Trout – Fair: Working jigs right below the ice to catch these schooling trout.
Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Storm Lake has around 11-12 inches of ice. Walleye – Slow: Anglers report that the walleye bite is starting to improve. Yellow Perch – Fair: Yellow perch are being picked up just about anywhere, with the best fishing near the east and south shores. Try a small spoon and wax worm. White Bass – Slow: A few anglers are picking up some white bass in the deeper dredged areas. Black Crappie – Slow: Some anglers have been picking up a few crappies near the inlet area.