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 Crappie – Fair: Try minnows on a small jig fished in deeper water near structure. Bluegill – Fair: Look for bluegills in deeper water near structure or try drifting down the middle to find suspended fish. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try a variety of bass baits along weed edges. Also try topwaters on calm evenings.
Black Hawk Lake
Water temperature is in the low 80’s. Water clarity is around 2 feet. Lake level is about 2 inches below the crest of the spillway. Black Crappie – Fair. Bluegill – Slow. Channel Catfish – Fair: The inlet bridge area is a good place to focus efforts on catfish. The pump at the inlet bridge is running and catfish may gather around the flow. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Try traditional bass baits fished along shore in areas with rocks or vegetation or along docks. Walleye – Slow: If fishing from boat, try near the rock pile off Cottonwood Point, along the dredge shelf out in front of Denison Beach, and the steeper contours out from shore near Lakewood Point.
Brushy Creek Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: Try a small jig tipped with a small minnow in about 15 feet of water. Bluegill – Fair: Pick up fish in 10-15 feet of water. Largemouth Bass – Good: Try weedless lures along vegetation edges and traditional bass lures anywhere with woody structure. Walleye – Slow. Yellow Perch – Fair: Use a small jig and crawler or minnow near structure in 10-15 feet of water.
Storm Lake (incl Little Storm Lake)
Water temperature is in the low 80’s. Water clarity is around 2 feet in most areas. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use cut bait or dip baits fished on the bottom along shore and near rocky structure. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Pick up largemouth bass along shore in areas with vegetation and along docks with traditional bass lures or weedless lures. Walleye – Fair: Pick up walleye mid-lake while trolling along the dredge cuts using crankbaits or bottom bouncers. If fishing the dredge cuts that have vegetation on the bottom, use planer boards to pull crawler harnesses along or just above the weed lines. If fishing from shore, try a leech or crawler fished under a bobber in areas with a rocky substrate. White Bass – Fair: Troll along the dredge cuts with crankbaits and spinners with crawlers. Anglers are also picking up fish from shore with crawlers fished under a bobber.
Swan Lake (Carroll County)
Water temperatures are in the low 80’s. Bluegill: Fair: Fish are 7- to 8-inches. Use a small jig fished under a bobber in areas around the fishing shelter and jetties. Also drift in deeper water with a small jig to target suspended fish. Black Crappie: Fair: Fish are 6- to 10-inches. Try in 4-6 feet in rocky areas near the jetties and along vegetation edges. Largemouth Bass: Fair.
Water temperatures are in the low 80’s in most district lakes. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.
Black Crappie – Slow: Drift fish a small minnow or tube jig. Best bite is early morning. Bluegill – Fair: Use a small piece of crawler fished under a bobber near shore. Yellow Bass – Slow: Drift fish a tube jig.
Water temperature is in the low 80’s. The lake is 4.3 inches low. Water clarity is 25 inches. Bluegill – Fair: Try a small piece of crawler below a bobber in open areas of vegetation near shore. Channel Catfish – Good: Try stink bait or chicken liver on the wind swept shore after sunset. Walleye – Slow: Use a jig tipped with a minnow or crawler fished near vegetation along the north shore. Also try slip bobber fishing a leech or crawler on the rock reefs. Best bite is at first light or after sunset. Yellow Bass – Fair: Use a small jig tipped with a piece of crawler or cut bait fished on the rock reefs or near vegetation. Best bite is early morning.
Channel Catfish – Good: Try crawlers and chicken liver. Best bite is after sunset.
Lower Pine Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: Use small tube jigs from the jetty. Largemouth Bass – Fair.
Silver Lake (Worth)
Use a kayak to access open areas in the vegetation. Bluegill – Fair: Try a small piece of crawler under a bobber fished in open areas near shore. Largemouth Bass – Good: Use topwater lures.
Upper Pine Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: Use your electronics to find suspended fish or drift fish a tube jig or small minnow. Largemouth Bass – 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 82 degrees. Many anglers have had success with slip bobbers/spoons and vertical jigging and drop shot fishing. A great bluegill/crappie/yellow bass bite can be found trolling weed lines. Black Crappie – Fair: Crappie are hard to target specifically, but can be caught mixed with other panfish. The bite has improved in and around docks and hoists. Bluegill – Good: Bluegill have been biting like crazy recently. 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
Black Crappie – Fair. Bluegill – Fair. Walleye – Fair. Yellow Perch – Fair.
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 has been experiencing natural turnover recently, stressing and killing some smaller fish when the cold anoxic water mixes with the warmer oxygenated water. Deeper water has been going anoxic lately, leaving it devoid of fish. The water temperature is 80 degrees. Fishing has been hit-or-miss lately. Perch and panfish bites have been good. Walleye – Fair: 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 – Fair: Best bite is morning till 11:00 and mid-afternoon. Depths vary depending on the time of day.
West Okoboji Lake
The water temperature is 80 degrees. Many anglers have been most successful with trolling, but jigging and casting has also been very good. Offshore fishing for bass has been great. Bluegill – Good: Bluegill have been biting like crazy recently with fish up to 10 inches seen. Jigging, casting, and slip bobbers have been working very well. Leeches or worms and a simple bobber setup work well. Black Crappie – Good: 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. 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 lately. The extended forecast calls for a slight break in the heatwave, with highs in the 70’s and 80’s.Most lake temperatures are in the 80’s. Fish are under more stress with warmer water temperatures; if you plan to catch and release, try to release the fish as quickly and gently as possible. For current conditions, call the Spirit Lake District Office at 712-336-1840.