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.

Arrowhead Lake
Lake level is low. Water temperature is in the mid-60s. Black Crappie – Fair: Find crappie along shore near woody structure; use small jigs and minnows.

Black Hawk Lake
The dredge is working in the east basin of the lake. The floating and submerged portions of pipe is marked with buoys. Dredge barges are marked with buoys; boaters should use caution and stay away from the equipment and pipe. Water levels are about 12 inches below the crest of the spillway. Surface water temperature is around 70 degrees. Water clarity is about 10 inches. Black Crappie – Fair: Most fish are 8- to 12-inches. Use small live minnows and marabou jigs fished from shore in Town Bay. Areas along the stone pier floating T dock, the fish house and along Ice House Point are the most popular spots. Walleye – Slow: As water temperatures warm and fish move into shore and start feeding more aggressively, use twisters, jigs tipped with medium-sized minnows or shallow diving crankbaits from shore.

Brushy Creek Lake
Water temperatures are warming; expect panfish action to pick up. Black Crappie – Fair: Crappie fishing can be productive with the warming water. Use a small live minnow fished on a jig in 5-10 feet of water near rocks and submerged trees. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Use plastics and traditional bass lures along submerged woody structure near shore. Yellow Perch – Fair: Try a small minnow on a jig near woody structure in 5-10 feet of water along shore.

North Twin Lake
With low water levels, boaters should use caution when launching boats. Black Crappie – Fair: Use small jigs and minnows from shore and along the docks.

Storm Lake (incl Little Storm Lake)
Surface water temperatures are in the mid to upper 60s. All walleye between 19 and 25-inches must be immediately released unharmed at Storm Lake; no more than one walleye longer than 25-inches can be taken per day. Black Crappie – Fair: Use small live minnows and small jigs along shore docks, lifts and anywhere with rocky structure. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try cut bait or liver fished on the bottom along shore. Walleye – Fair: Walleye should start feeding more aggressively with warming water temperatures. Try fishing from shore with a lead head with a twister tail. Also try a jig with a crawler or tipped with a minnow. Shallow diving crankbaits can also work well from shore. Evenings may be most productive.

Surface water temperatures are around 70 degrees in most areas lakes. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.

Clear Lake
The lake is 4.4 inches above crest. Water temperatures are in the mid-60s. The fish cleaning station is open for the season. Clear Lake has a protected slot on walleye. All walleye between 17 and 22 inches must be immediately released unharmed. No more than one walleye longer than 22 inches may be taken per day. Black Crappie – Good: Use a minnow on the outside edge of the rushes. Channel Catfish – Fair: Try cut bait or crawlers on the wind-swept shore and spots where water is flowing into the lake. Walleye – Good: Walleyes are biting. Try trolling crankbaits or slip bobber fish a leech or minnow on the rock reefs and wind-swept points. White Bass – Fair. Yellow Bass – Slow: The yellow bass bite will pick up as the water temperature continues to warm.

Lake Cornelia
Channel Catfish – Fair: Fish the wind-swept shore with cut bait or crawlers. Yellow Bass – Slow.

Rice Lake
Water temperatures are in the mid-60s. Largemouth Bass – Fair.

Silver Lake (Worth)
Largemouth Bass – Fair.

Winnebago River
River levels continue to drop. Walleye – Slow: Try a jig and minnow in the current breaks below a dam.

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
Lake temperature is in the mid-60s. The water level is 3 inches over crest. The walleye season is open. There has been a fairly good crappie bite recently. Anglers using electronics have been fairly successful finding schools of fish. Black Crappie – Good. Bluegill – Fair. Yellow Bass – Fair.

Minnewashta Lake
Black Crappie – Good.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Walleye – Fair.

Spirit Lake
Water temperature is in the high 50s to lower 60s. The lake is 18 inches below crest, making launching boats more difficult. Courtesy docks are in place. The walleye season is open. Black Crappie – Fair: Use a tube jig and bobber. Bluegill – Fair. Yellow Perch – Fair.

West Okoboji Lake
Water temperature is in the upper 50s. The water level is 3 inches over crest. The walleye season is open. Black Crappie – Fair. Bluegill – Fair.

Courtesy docks are in place. Area water temperatures have been rising quickly due to very warm weather. Most lakes are in the 60s and at crest or higher levels. Water clarity has been fairly good on most area lakes.

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

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