Sports

Weekly Iowa DNR Fishing Report

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.

NORTHWEST
Arrowhead Lake
Ice thickness is 11 inches.in front of the boat ramp.

Black Hawk Lake
Ice thickness is 13 inches in front of the Ice House Point boat ramp. There is open water in Town Bay from the winter aeration system. Ice in the east basin may have thinner areas. Most angling activity has been near the Ice House Point boat ramp and near the Gunshot Hill shoreline. Ice is thinner in the inlet bridge bay; avoid ice near the bridge. Black Crappie – Fair: Try waxworms and small live minnows. Sorting is needed; 8- to 10-inch fish reported. Bite has been hit or miss. Yellow Perch – Fair: Use waxworms or live minnows on a small jig in the southwest portion of the lake between Provost Point Denison Beach and Ice House Point. You may have to move to find fish; fish are 6- to 12-inches. Walleye – Slow. Bluegill – Fair: Try a waxworm on a small jig fished in 3-6 feet of water. Sorting is needed with some fish up to 8-inches.

Black Hawk Pit
Ice thickness is 11 inches at the boat ramp.

Brushy Creek Lake
Beware of thinner ice from a pressure ridge in the middle of the lake that starts near the fishing jetty just south of the east boat ramp. There is thinner ice near the swimming beach. The best ice conditions (around 12 inches) are at the north end and near the big island by the southeast boat ramp. Drill test holes often and use caution. Yellow Perch – Fair: Try minnows and waxworms fished in 10-20 feet of water; 10- to 12-inch keepers with lots of sorting. Black Crappie – Fair: Anglers have had luck in 10-20 feet of water. Walleye – Fair: Try a jigging spoon with a small minnow or minnow head fished in areas with up to 25 feet of depth. Bluegill – Fair: Use waxworms in 20 feet of water.

Moorland Pond
Rainbow Trout – Fair: Anglers continue to pick up trout. Try a small hook with a piece of nightcrawler or corn fished under a bobber, tube jigs or a small spinner. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Storm Lake (incl Little Storm Lake)
Most ice is reported to be around 15 inches. Ice is covered with snow and drifts. There are thinner areas from a pressure seam extending from Casino Point to the northeast. Ice near the big island and near Chautauqua Point may by thinner and unsafe. Avoid these areas; use caution and check ice thickness often as you move around. Yellow Perch – Fair: Use waxworms, mealworms and minnows near the dredge cuts along the west and north portions of the lake. Move around to find fish. Larger fish are 10- to 13- inches. Walleye – Fair: The bite is picking up. Try a small minnow on a jigging spoon in the dredge cuts and flats. Morning bite is best. You may have to move around to find groups of fish. Anglers have had luck in the north end and western portions of the lake. Black Crappie – Fair: Use a waxworm on a jig or minnow on a small jigging spoon. You may need to move to find fish near the dredge cuts.

Ice thickness in district lakes and ponds is around 11-18 inches with the occasional seam or thin ice in the main basins. Ice is covered with snow. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.

Blue Pit
Rainbow Trout – Excellent: Trout are biting on a variety of baits. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. The daily bag limit is 5.

Clear Lake
Ice thickness is 14-18 inches. Avoid the channel between the little lake and the main lake; use extreme caution if you fish within the aeration holes boundary. Yellow Bass – Fair: Yellows are biting on a variety of baits. Use your electronics to find fish; stay mobile. Best bite is a half hour before sunset. Yellow Perch – Excellent: Try near vegetation in 2 to 6 feet of water. Use bigger bait to catch keeper-sized fish. Walleye – Fair: Try dead sticking a minnow while you fish with another rod. Best bite is near sunrise and sunset. Black Crappie – Slow: Look for suspended fish along the dredge cuts. Bluegill – Slow: Use a small jig in the open areas near the rushes.

Crystal Lake
Ice thickness is 14-18 inches. Black Crappie – Fair: Use a jig and small minnow fished along the edge of the dredge cut. Yellow Perch – Slow. Northern Pike – Slow.

Lake Cornelia
Ice thickness is 14-16 inches. Yellow Bass – Fair.

Lower Pine Lake
Ice thickness is 11 inches off the boat ramp. Very little fishing activity with heavy snow and bitter cold temperatures.

Rice Lake
Ice thickness is 14-18 inches. Yellow Perch – Fair: Try near vegetation in 4 to 5 feet of water on the west side of the lake. Walleye – Slow.

Silver Lake (Worth)
Ice thickness is 14-18 inches. Bluegill – Fair: Try a small jig tipped with spikes near vegetation. Yellow Perch – Slow.

Upper Pine Lake
Ice thickness is 11 inches off the boat ramp. Very little fishing activity with heavy snow and bitter cold temperatures.

Permanent ice fishing shelters must be removed from all state-owned lands and waters by Feb. 20. For information on the lakes and rivers in north central Iowa, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.

Center Lake
Caution: Winter aeration system is currently in use. Ice thickness is around 16.5 inches.

Dog Creek (Lake)
Fishing has been fair to good.

East Okoboji Lake
Ice conditions vary across the lake with averages around 18 inches or more. Bluegill – Good: Easily catch lots of bluegill; a lot of sorting may be needed with many 7.5- to 9-inch fish. Yellow Perch – Fair. Black Crappie – Fair.

Ingham Lake
Caution: Winter aeration system is currently in use. Ice thickness is around 16 inches or more with a major open hole from the lake aeration unit. Yellow Perch – Fair: Anglers are catching larger yellow perch, but with low frequency. Some good sized perch have been seen recently.

Lake Pahoja
Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs tipped with waxworms. Black Crappie – Fair: Try small jigs tipped with waxworms.

Lost Island Lake
Caution: Winter aeration system is currently running on the north east side near the nature center. Ice thickness is 18-20 inches. A good amount of fishing pressure has been seen recently. Yellow Perch – Good. Walleye – Fair.

Minnewashta Lake
Ice thickness varies around 19 inches. Bluegill – Good: Lots of 4- to 6-inch fish are being caught. Black Crappie – Good.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Caution: Winter aeration system is currently in use. Ice conditions are around 18-22 inches, but can be variable. Use caution; a side-by-side went through the ice the last week of December. Walleye – Fair.

Spirit Lake
Ice thickness across the lake is around 19 inches or more. Caution: Holes created by small springs have developed or iced over recently. Yellow Perch – Fair: Perch fishing has been tough, but once you find them, many quality 9- to 10.5-inchers have been caught. Walleye – Fair: Walleye bite has been tough.

Trumbull Lake
Ice thickness is around 11 inches with an open hole on the north end caused by geese.

West Okoboji Lake
Ice thickness varies, starting around 19 inches. Caution: there are many seams across the lake. Panfishing has been spotty in many of the bays where many anglers have been able to sight fish in around 10 feet of water along weed lines. Many fish are headed to the basins with the latest cold front. Yellow Perch – Fair. Bluegill – Good.

Iowa Great Lakes are fully iced up with thickness ranging from 18-22 inches. Recent temperatures have created safer ice conditions, allowing the use of some full-sized vehicles; use caution and check conditions before driving out. Caution: there are still many seams throughout area lakes, as well as a few holes that have been kept open due to geese activity. The extended forecast calls for warmer temperatures again, so fishing should pick up. For current conditions, call the Spirit Lake District Office at 712-336-1840.

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