Weekly Northwest Iowa DNR Fishing Report

Northwest Iowa — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has released their weekly fishing report for northwest Iowa. This weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys and county and state parks staff. You can check the activity of your favorite lake or stretch of river, including which species are being caught, a rating of the bite (slow, fair, good or excellent), as well as a hot bait or lure pattern.

Black Hawk Lake
Water temperature has dropped to the mid-50’s. Water level is about 12 inches below the crest of the spillway. Water clarity is about one foot. Black Crappie – Fair: Try along Ice House Point shore and in or on the fish house in Town Bay. Keeper-size fish are 8- to 10-inches. Bluegill – Slow. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try cut bait or dip baits fished on the bottom in areas along shore or near the rock pile off Cottonwood Point. Walleye – Fair: Try along Ice House Point and near the outlet in the east end of the lake. Throw twisters or fish live bait like minnows or leeches under a bobber. Walleye fishing usually picks up around late October into November on Black Hawk Lake.

Brushy Creek Lake
Water is cooling down; water level remains just below the spillway. Water clarity is around 2-3 feet. Black Crappie – Fair: The fall crappie bite has been fair to good. Try vertical jigging near submerged trees with small minnows. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Anglers are still picking up bass while fishing the shoreline with traditional bass lures. Walleye – Fair: Try vertical jigging with a minnow near woody structure. Yellow Perch – Fair: Anglers are picking up good numbers of perch with a jig tipped with crawler or minnow. Try near woody structure in 10-15 feet of water.

Storm Lake (incl Little Storm Lake)
Water temperature is in the mid to upper 50’s. Most of the lake is free of vegetation. Water clarity is less than one foot. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use cut bait or dip baits fished on the bottom in areas along shore with rocks. Walleye – Fair: Water temperatures are cooling down. Cast twisters or crankbaits from shore. Also try live bait like minnows or leeches fished under a bobber along shore during evenings or mornings. White Bass – Fair: Cast twisters along shore or use crawlers fished under a bobber in areas along shore.

Water temperatures in most district lakes are in the mid to upper 50’s. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.

Clear Lake
Water temperature is in the upper 50’s. The lake is 6 inches low. Water clarity is 23 inches. Black Crappie – Slow. Walleye – Fair: Use a jig tipped with a minnow or crawler fished near vegetation along the north shore. Also try slip bobber fishing a minnow on the rock reefs and around the island. Shore anglers are having success fishing minnows off the lighted dock after sunset. White Bass – Slow. Yellow Bass – Fair: Try a small jig tipped with a minnow or piece of cut bait fished on the edge of the vegetation. Use your electronics to find and stay on fish.

Rice Lake
Any water west of the north boat ramp is a waterfowl refuge and is closed to all activity from Sept. 1st through the final day of the duck season. Bluegill – Fair: Use a small piece of crawler under a bobber in open areas of vegetation near shore. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass are biting on a variety of baits. Walleye – Slow. Yellow Perch – Fair: Use a jig and minnow in the deeper water along the homes on the south shore.

Silver Lake (Worth)
The vegetation has opened up some. Bluegill – Fair: Try a small piece of crawler under a bobber fished along the edge of the vegetation. Largemouth Bass – Slow. Yellow Perch – Slow.

Upper Pine Lake
The Upper Pine Lake boat ramp is closed until further notice. Black Crappie – Fair.

For information on the lakes and rivers in north central Iowa, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.

East Okoboji Lake
The water temperature is 57 degrees. Many anglers have had success with slip bobbers/spoons and vertical jigging and drop shot fishing. Many anglers have observed high catch rates with sorting needed to limit out on various fish. Black Crappie – Good: Catch is picking up; crappie are moving in shallower and hanging out around pockets of vegetation. Bluegill – Good: Bluegill are biting like crazy. Leeches or worms and a simple bobber setup work well. Pumpkinseed – Good: Fun and easier to catch from most docks. Use a small hook, bobber and piece of worm.

Lost Island Lake
Bite has started to pick up with many anglers fishing off the southern stony point and eastern shore. Black Crappie – Fair. Bluegill – Fair. Walleye – Fair. Yellow Bass – Fair. Yellow Perch – Good: Good catch rate with some sorting needed.

Minnewashta Lake
Panfishing has been good for anglers trolling weed lines. Vertical jigging is improving. Black Crappie – Fair: A nice crappie bite can be found with a little movement around the lake. Bluegill – Fair. Pumpkinseed – Good.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Walleye – Fair: Try using slip bobbers and finding weed lines.

Spirit Lake
The water temperature is 53 degrees. Fish are moving in shallower. Use lead core and tadpole baits. The walleye bite has been very good in the evening. The perch bite continues to slowly pick up as water temperatures fall. Black Crappie – Fair: Mostly being caught along with perch; use tube jigs with wigglers or pilkies. Bluegill – Fair: Mostly being caught along with perch; use tube jigs with wigglers or pilkies. Walleye – Good: Bite is hit-or-miss at dusk, but the day bite is improving. Many anglers have started to fish in shallower with slip bobbers along weed edges. Yellow Perch – Good: Perch are moving in shallower allowing for great catch with some sorting. Try mini jigs and minnows; bring plenty of minnows as smaller fish will strip you of your bait.

West Okoboji Lake
The water temperature is 57 degrees. Anglers have been successful fishing for bluegill and crappie in 10-15 feet of water. Most any bait has been working. Use lead core or tadpole baits. Black Crappie – Good: Crappie have been very picky lately, but can be easily caught if you aren’t afraid to switch things up. Can also be caught frequently while picking through other panfish or have been found around weed edges. Bluegill – Good: Bluegill are biting like crazy with fish up to 10-inches seen. Try a shucks jigger and bobber fished in 10-15 feet of water. Jigging, casting, and slip bobbers work well. Try trolling with twister tails and ripple shads or shucks jiggers with a bobber. Walleye – Fair: Walleye have been hard to target, but many anglers have been catching them while fishing for other species.

Offshore fishing for bass has been very good lately. The panfish/perch bite has been excellent. Most boat ramp docks are still in. Area lake levels are low, making launching and loading boats more difficult. The evening walleye bite is picking up across the area. The forecast calls for cooler temperatures in the 40’s to 50’s. Lake temperatures are dropping fast with most lake temperatures in the 50’s.

For current conditions, call the Spirit Lake District Office at 712-336-1840.

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