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 at the boat ramp is 6 inches of good ice. Ice may be thinner near shore.

Bacon Creek Lake
Roughly 6 inches of good ice under several inches of poor ice in most areas. Conditions are variable; check ice thickness often. Reports of open water and thinner areas in the southern part of the lake and along shore in some places. Rainbow Trout – Fair: The DNR stocked about 1500 rainbow trout on Jan. 20. 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. Children age 15 or younger can fish for trout with a properly licensed adult, but they must limit their catch to one daily limit (5 trout). The child can purchase a trout fee which will allow them to catch their own limit.

Black Hawk Lake
Ice thickness is 8-9 inches in front of the Ice House Point boat ramp. Ice in the east basin is more variable and 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. Black Crappie – Fair: Try waxworms and small live minnows fished rock pile just off the shoreline from Gunshot Hill. Sorting is needed; 8-10 inch fish reported. Yellow Perch – Fair: Most have been picked up in the southwest portion of the lake between Provost Point and Ice House Point in 3-7 feet of water. You may have to move to find fish. Use waxworms or live minnows on a small jig. Most fish are 6- to 10-inches with some 11- to 12-inches. Walleye – Fair: Anglers have picked up occasional walleyes with jigging spoons and minnow heads. Low light conditions are more productive. 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 Pits
Ice thickness near the boat ramp is 6 inches. Ice conditions are variable; use caution and check ice thickness often. Ice has degraded along shore in some areas due to recent precipitation.

Brushy Creek Lake
Ice is variable; areas with fishing activity have roughly 6-7 inches of ice in most places. Reports of possible open water and thinner ice near the beach at the southwest part of the lake. Expect thinner ice near the spillway and near any inflows in the arms. Anglers have been out on foot at the north end, mid-lake and near the south end boat ramp. Use caution and check ice thickness often. Yellow Perch – Good: 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 the north end of the lake.

Crawford Creek Impoundment
Anglers have been out foot traffic only. Use caution; conditions are variable with several inches of poor ice over the clear ice. There is thin ice and open water off the boat ramp and along shore in some areas. Use a spud bar to check ice as you venture out. Ice cleats are recommended with current ice surface conditions. Black Crappie – Fair: Pick up 7- to 10-inch fish in the main basin. Use live minnows fished about a foot off the bottom. Bluegill – Fair: Pick up 7- to 9- inch bluegills with waxworms in the main basin in 15-20 feet of water.

Moorehead Park Pond
Pockets of open water and thin ice along shore in some areas and near the dam. Use caution and check ice thickness often as you make your way out. Bluegill – Fair: Anglers are catching keeper-sized bluegill. Black Crappie – Fair: Catch crappie up to 10- to 12-inches.

North Twin Lake
Ice remains variable; use caution and check ice thickness often if you venture out. Anglers have been out; foot traffic only at this time. Anglers have had luck with panfish while fishing the southwest corner of the lake and near the narrows in front the state park beach. Black Crappie – Fair.

Storm Lake (incl Little Storm Lake)
Ice conditions remain variable across the lake. Some locations have around 8 inches of ice with some thinner areas mid-lake and along shore. Reports of heaves and thinner ice near the big island. Use caution and check ice thickness often. Yellow Perch – Fair: Use waxworms and minnows near the dredge cuts along the west side of the lake. Walleye – Fair: Try jigging spoons with a minnow during low light conditions near the dredge cuts in the west end. Black Crappie – Fair: Use a waxworm or minnow on a small jigging spoon in 8-10 feet of water.

Ice thickness in district lakes and ponds is 5 -10 inches with the occasional pocket of open water, seam, or thin ice in the main basins. 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 4 to 10 inches. Avoid the open water area by the island, 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 a jigging spoon and minnow to catch the bigger fish. Walleye – Slow: Best bite is near sunset. Black Crappie – Slow. Bluegill – Slow: Try a small jig in the open areas near the rushes.

Crystal Lake
Ice thickness is 6 to 10 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 6 to 10 inches. Yellow Perch – Good: Anglers are catching lots of 3- to 7-inch fish. Yellow Bass – Fair: Catch 5- to 8-inch yellows on small jigs tipped with a waxworm. Black Crappie – Slow. Bluegill – Slow.

Lake Smith
Ice thickness is 8 to 12 inches.

Lower Pine Lake
Ice thickness is 7 inches off the boat ramp. Waterfowl have an area of water open to the northwest of the island.

Rice Lake
Ice thickness varies from 6 to 10 inches. Yellow Perch – Fair: Use jigs tipped with bait.

Silver Lake (Worth)
Ice thickness is 6 to 10 inches. Bluegill – Fair: Try a small jig tipped with red spikes near vegetation.

Upper Pine Lake
Ice thickness is 7 inches off the boat ramp. Black Crappie – Fair: Look for suspended fish in the deeper water. Best bite is early morning and late afternoon. Bluegill – Slow. Yellow Perch – Slow.

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 12.5 inches.

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

East Okoboji Lake
Caution: Snowmobile races will be ongoing Jan. 23-24 around the lake. The walleye season is open. Ice conditions vary across the lake with average of around 11 inches. 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 8 inches with two major open holes caused by geese and the lake aeration unit. Yellow Perch – Fair: Anglers are catching larger yellow perch, but with low frequency.

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 10-13 inches. A good amount of fishing pressure has been seen recently. Yellow Perch – Good. Walleye – Fair.

Minnewashta Lake
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 10 inches, but can be variable. Use caution; a side-by-side went through the ice the last week of December. Walleye – Fair.

Spirit Lake
The walleye season is open. Ice conditions vary across the lake with 10-13 inches. 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, but anglers have been able to limit out.

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

West Okoboji Lake
The walleye season is open. Ice thickness varies from 9-11.5 inches. Caution: a handful of small holes have been opening up lately 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. Yellow Perch – Fair. Bluegill – Good.

Iowa Great Lakes are fully iced up with conditions ranging from 10-12 inches. Due to inconsistent freezing temperatures lately, many lakes may have irregular ice conditions as well as open holes. The use of full sized vehicles is not recommended. Remember to bring a form of ice picks, a form of flotation, a friend, and be smart out on the ice! A blizzard advisory is in affect until the end of Friday. This weekend temperatures should start to drop with highs in the upper teens and low 20s. This will hopefully create more consistent, safe ice conditions throughout the great lakes area. For current conditions, call the Spirit Lake District Office at 712-336-1840.

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