Weekly Iowa DNR Fishing Report

Northwest Iowa — Here is this week’s Northwest Iowa Fishing Report from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, as released Thursday, January 4, 2024.

East Okoboji Lake
The lake is about 80 percent ice covered. Expect safe ice conditions in some areas within the next week. 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 covered. Lots of waterfowl are residing on the lake. Walleye – Fair: Anglers have been successful morning and evening. 

Lost Island Lake
The lake is almost completely ice covered. 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
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 80 percent ice covered. Expect safe ice conditions within the next week. 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 about 10 percent ice covered. 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 larger lakes have started to freeze over again. Very few areas have safe ice fishing conditions. Some bays have thicker ice; ice fishing access can be hard to find. The extended forecast shows highs below freezing; expect ice formation to pick up in the coming week. 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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