Spirit Lake, Iowa — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources issues a weekly fishing report on Thursdays in an effort to provide the latest information heading into the weekend. The weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys, and county and state parks staff. For more information contact the Spirit Lake fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.
Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Boaters should use caution around the dredge barge, booster pump barge, and pipeline. Walleye regulations for Storm Lake are three fish per day, all fish between 17 and 22 inches must be released and only one over 22 inches may be kept. Walleye – Fair: Anglers are picking up 12 to 13 inch and 17 to 19 inch walleye. Try trolling shad colored crankbaits in 7 to 9 feet of water. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use traditional catfish baits. A few are also being picked up while walleye fishing.
Crappie – Good: Crappies have been caught near the edges of the cattails and rushes around the lake. Some have started to move in. Use a cane pole or waders and a long rod to drop a light jig (1/8 oz. or smaller) tipped with a minnow or quarter piece of worm into little pockets in the reeds. Walleye – Good: Dodges Point and Billys Reef have been producing for anglers drifting or anchoring. Trolling has also been good. Shore fishermen have been catching some on north shore docks, city seawall, docks by the outlet and the island. Channel Catfish – Good: Catfish are in the pre-spawn period. Anglers can expect fast action in the shallows after dark. Fish with a piece of cut bait, live chub, stinkbait, or worms. MacIntosh Park, the Ventura jetties, Farmers Beach, and the C.L. city dock are good places to try for them. Muskellunge – Good: Yellow Bass – Good: Anglers have had good success on Woodford Island. Fishing is best before sunrise (4:30-5:30) and at sunset or on overcast or windy days. Fish with small hair jigs in the 1/32 or 1/64 oz. range. Tip jig with a small portion of worm, leech, or minnow. Anglers are sorting fish, with size ranging between 6.5 -7.1 inches or 7.9-8.3 inches. Bluegill – No Report: Anglers should look for spawning activity in the rushes on sandy bottom. Yellow Perch – Slow: A few nice perch have been caught in or near edges of rushes with a bobber and minnow.
Bluegill – Excellent: Bluegills are schooled up off the jetties. Bluegills are very large many in the 7-8 inch range. Fish a worm and bobber. Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth are beginning to bed in the shallows along the south banks in shallower water. Throwing spinner baits or soft plastics for the aggressive males will produce bites.
Big Spirit Lake
Largemouth Bass – Fair: Small bass are in trickles. Larger bass are still out deep. Males are staging on beds. Many bedded bass are being seen along the north shore near Trickle Slough. Walleye – Good: An evening bite is happening at the north grade, anglers showing up around 8:30 pm are quickly catching walleye. Fish above and below the slot are being caught and creeled. Anglers using dark deer hair jigs tipped with leeches are proving the most successful. Bullhead – Excellent: The north grade is keeping anglers busy with bullheads. Anglers being creeled have reported catching many bullheads over a pound. Anglers are using worm weighted to the bottom. Yellow Perch – Fair: The fishing pier at the grade is producing more perch in the 6-8 inch range for anglers willing to sort through bullheads and bluegill. Anglers using jig heads and wax worms are having success.
East Okoboji Lake
Yellow Bass – Good: Large numbers of yellow bass are being caught near East Okoboji beach near the boat docks. Fish vary in size from small to a few 8-9 inch fish. Throw soft plastic shad. Anglers fishing under the highway 9 bridge are catching fair numbers of yellows using small plastic minnows. Yellow Perch – Fair: Numbers of smaller yellow perch are being caught while anglers are fishing for yellow bass. Pulling similar baits near the bottom will force more perch into your bucket. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Fish near the inlet to upper gar along the rocks to find a fast paced bass bite. Anglers are seeing bass bedding up in the upper gar then swimming into East Okoboji. Walleye – Fair: Parks Marina and Lone Tree Point are reporting a hot bite for walleye. Anglers are drifting minnows along the bottom before dark. Larger walleye are being caught in 10-12 feet of water.
West Okoboji Lake
Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth bass are schooled in the warm water of the canals and harbors as they enter their pre-spawn. Many male bass are already on beds while females are still out swimming the depths. Males are being caught on trick worms, wacky rigs, and drop shots. Females are enjoying jigs and deep diving cranks. Bluegill – Good: The canals are loaded with bluegills. Large and small fish are being caught in good numbers. Crappie – Fair: The trestle is still being reported to be a good bite. The canals are starting to fill with larger crappies. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Smallmouth are on beds in bays with sandy cobble and larger boulders. These fish will be bedded near larger rocks. Placing any soft plastics near the bed will result in a strike. Northern Pike – Good: Little Emerson and little millers are filled with northerns. Throw anything at this time and catch a few. Walleye – Good: Walleyes are being caught by shore anglers fishing the canal bridges after dark. Anglers fishing darker crankbaits or bottom jigs with leeches are having the most success. Fish being caught are in the 13-19 inch range.