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
As of Dec. 22, the lake is mostly ice covered with a few open areas mid-lake. Unsafe ice conditions; ice is 0-3 inches. There are still open water fishing opportunities near the fish house in Town Bay.
Storm Lake (incl Little Storm Lake)
As of Dec. 22, most of the lake is ice covered, but conditions are unsafe. Ice is thin and inconsistent; there are open water areas mid-lake. Ice fishing is not recommended.
Most area lakes are iced over, but still contain small areas of open water. Ice thickness is very inconsistent and ranges from 0-3 inches. Unsafe ice conditions. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.
Rainbow Trout – Fair. Trout were stocked the first week of November. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. The daily bag limit is 5.
The lake is frozen over again. Ice thickness is 2 to 4 inches. Ice fishing is not recommended.
Lakes in northcentral Iowa have frozen over again. Unsafe ice conditions – the ice is too thin for fishing. If you venture out, use caution and check ice thickness as you go. 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 lake is fully iced, but ice conditions vary from 3 – 7 inches in areas that have been iced up the longest. The lake has had small holes open throughout the lake due to high winds. Foot traffic at most is advised. Black Crappie – Fair. Bluegill – Fair.
Lost Island Lake
The lake has varying ice conditions with an average of around 4 inches. Check ice conditions often.
The panfish and crappie bite is expected to be fairly decent. Ice conditions are safe enough to venture out on foot; practice best ice safety and check conditions often. Black Crappie – Fair: A nice crappie bite can be found with a little movement around the lake. Bluegill – Fair. Pumpkinseed – Fair.
Trout were stocked unannounced this fall. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Rainbow Trout – Good: Trout are biting on a variety of different baits. Try a worm or lure that imitates a minnow.
Silver Lake (Dickinson)
The lake is fully iced up, but conditions are not yet safe enough to venture out on. Walleye – Fair.
The lake is fully iced, but ice conditions vary. The lake has had small holes open throughout the lake due to high winds. Foot traffic at most is advised. 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. Yellow Perch – Fair.
West Okoboji Lake
The lake is mostly iced up, but has had many seams and holes open up due to high winds. Areas that have been iced up the longest have 3 – 7 inches of ice. Practice best ice safety if you try to venture out. Black Crappie – Fair. Bluegill – Fair.
The majority of area lakes are fully iced over, but have many hazards with a lot of holes and seams due to high winds. If you plan to try to fish the ice, make sure you have flotation, ice picks and check ice thickness often. Temperatures in the upper 30’s and 40’s forecast through the weekend with much colder temperatures next week. For current conditions, call the Spirit Lake District Office at 712-336-1840.