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
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 9.25 inches below the crest of the spillway. Black Crappie – Fair: Some black crappie are still being picked up along Ice House Point near woody structure and from the fish house. 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 shore, use a twister or a leech or live minnow fished under a bobber. 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
Water levels are at the crest of the spillway. Black Crappie – Fair: Some crappie are still being found near shore, but most are being picked up 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: Use a live minnow or leech fished near rock and woody structure. Yellow Perch – Fair: Use a small jig and crawler or minnow under a bobber along shore or drifted near structure in 10-15 feet of water.

Storm Lake (incl Little Storm Lake)
Water clarity is around 3 to 5 feet in most areas. Bluegill – Fair: Try minnows or crawlers fished on a small jig under a bobber near vegetation edges and along docks. Channel Catfish – Good: Use cut bait or troll crankbaits along shore; catfish are spawning. 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: The shore bite has slowed. Anglers are still picking up fish mid-lake while trolling along the dredge cuts using crankbaits and spinners with crawlers during mid-day. If fishing from shore, try a leech or crawler fished under a bobber in areas with a rocky substrate in the evening or after dusk. 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)
Black Crappie: Fair: Fish are 6- to 10-inches. Most have moved off shore. Bluegill: Fair: Fish are 7- to 8-inches. Use a small jig fished under a bobber near shore. Largemouth Bass: Fair.

Water temperatures are in the lower 80’s in most district lakes. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.

Beeds Lake
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 – Fair: Drift fish a tube jig.

Clear Lake
Water temperature is in the mid-70’s. The lake is 3.12 inches low. Black Crappie – Slow. Bluegill – Fair: Try a small piece of crawler below a bobber in open areas of vegetation near shore. Channel Catfish – Good: Try a night crawler near rocky habitat. 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. Best bite is early morning.

Lake Cornelia
Channel Catfish – Good: Try crawlers and chicken liver.

Rice Lake
Use a kayak to access open areas in the vegetation or try fishing off the dock by the beach. Bluegill – Fair: Use a small piece of crawler under a bobber near shore. Largemouth Bass – Good: Use topwater and weedless baits. Yellow Perch – 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. 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 78 degrees. Many anglers have had success with slip bobbers/spoons. Vertical jigging and drop shot fishing is working better and better lately. Fish are moving off shore making fishing by boat your best bet. A fair bluegill/crappie/yellow bass bite can be found trolling weed lines. Black Crappie – Fair: Bite has improved in and around docks and hoists. Crappie are hard to target specifically, but can be caught mixed with other panfish. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegill have started to move off their beds out of the shallows. 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
The Bully Bullhead Weekend Fishing Contest is July 10-11 with prizes given for many different fish species. Black Crappie – Fair. Bluegill – Fair. Walleye – Fair. Yellow Perch – Fair.

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 76 degrees. Fishing has been hit-or-miss lately. Perch and panfish bites have been fair. Yellow Perch – Fair: Bites from morning till 11:00 and mid-afternoon have been seen. Depths vary depending on the time of day. Walleye – Fair: Bite is hit-or-miss at dusk, but the day bite is improving. Use slip bobbers along weed edges.

West Okoboji Lake
The water temperature is 76 degrees. Fish are moving just off shore, making shore fishing harder. Anglers slowly trolling weedlines have been successful catching a variety of species. Vertical jigging is improving lately. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegill are starting to be found in shallower water as they move off their beds. Leeches or worms and a simple bobber setup work well. Black Crappie – Fair: Hard to target specifically, but crappie can be caught while picking through other panfish.

With the increased amount of boat traffic, early mornings or late evenings will be the best times to try fishing. The walleye day bite has picked up with many boaters finding fish in shallower. The panfish/perch bite has been relatively good lately. The extended forecast calls for relatively comfortable temperatures with highs in the 70s and 80s. For current conditions, call the Spirit Lake District Office at 712-336-1840.

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