July 16th Fishing Report

dnrSpirit 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 walleye trolling crankbaits and fishing leeches in the dredge cuts. Those fishing in 10-12 feet of water are having the best luck. Channel Catfish – Fair: Anglers are catching catfish using dip baits, cut bait, and chicken liver; some have been picked up with leeches. White Bass – Fair: White bass are being caught on crankbaits while fishing for walleyes.

Clear Lake

Walleye – Fair: A few anglers have reported good success on docks in the early morning. Anglers fishing docks should fish right under and in the shade of the docks for fish using docks for cover. Some keeper size walleyes have been caught in open water pockets of the reed beds. Muskellunge – Good. Yellow Bass – Good: Anglers fishing the main lake reefs, particularly the state artificial reef, having been doing well. Larger sized ones are being caught (8-8.5 inches). Largemouth Bass – Fair: Anglers have been catching a few largemouths with plastic worms near the edges of vegetation in the little lake. Crappie – Fair: Anglers have pulled some crappies off of the hauled out state rock reef. Channel Catfish – Fair: A few catfish have been caught at dark or early morning on the little lake.

Lake Pahoja

Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are schooled up off the jetties. Bluegills are very large with many 7-8 inch fish. 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 – Good: Bass can be found near weed choked areas as they are protecting their fry. Fish are being caught in trickles using top water frogs. Anglers are also catching bass on boat hoists along the north banks in the deeper water. Try crankbaits or swimbaits to pull these bass out from under the hoists. Walleye – Good: Local anglers are catching walleye around 5:00 till dark at the North Grade. Fish above and below the slot are being caught and creeled. Successful anglers are using jigging raps, bobber and leech, or just jigging a leech. Walleyes are also being caught along the weed line in Anglers bay in 16-17 feet of water. This weed line runs east to west and larger walleyes are swimming along this edge. Try fishing jigs tipped with a leech. Yellow Perch – Fair: Anglers are reporting a perch bite in 20 feet of water off cottonwood point. Successful anglers are using small jigs tipped with wigglers, red worms, or wax worms. These fish aren’t relating to any cover or weed lines. Black Bullhead – Fair: The bullhead bite at the north grade is slowing. Creeled anglers are taking home single digits. These fish are 12-14 inches. The most successful anglers are leaving the worm on the bottom and fishing around submerged vegetation. Northern Pike – Good: Anglers using weedless frogs or surface lures back in the north grade in the dense weeds are catching smaller northerns.

East Okoboji Lake

Yellow Bass – Good: Large numbers of yellow bass are being caught near East Okoboji beach near the boat docks. Fish vary from small to a few larger 8-9 inch fish. Throw soft plastic shad for them. 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 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. Bluegill – Fair: Anglers are catching low numbers of 8 inch bluegills while fishing docks throughout East Okoboji. Anglers are fishing small jigs under docks tipped with wax worms.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)

Walleye – Good: Anglers are catching limits of walleye on Silver Lake in Lake Park. Many anglers are catching limits using leeches, crankbaits while trolling, or slip bobbers with minnows. Anglers are catching these fish throughout the water body. Yellow Perch – Fair: While setting hoop nets yellow perch were seen in the 10+ inch range in the west end of Silver Lake. Higher numbers of 8-9 inch perch have been seen in nets in the north bay. Channel Catfish – Fair: While setting hoop nets there were over a dozen 5-6 pound channel catfish caught. These fish were found along the west shore of the south bay.

West Okoboji Lake

Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth can be found under boat hoists, near weed lines, and on the drop offs. Fish these spots with football jigs, crankbaits, or Texas rigs. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Smallmouths have moved off beds and are headed towards the rocky drop offs. Areas to fish should include rock points that shoot out into the main basin of West Lake, Pillsbury, Fort Dodge, and Gull Point. Fish with jerk baits, football jigs, swimbaits. Walleye – Fair: A number of interviewed anglers fishing off Manhattan point after dark are reporting an increase in quality non-slot walleyes. Anglers are trolling deep diving crankbaits and as they come up the point they are picking up these walleyes. Yellow Bass – Good: In Smiths bay just north of the amusement park anglers are reporting a high catch rate of large yellow bass. Anglers using orange twister tails or plain hook with worm and split shot are catching yellows on every cast. Yellow Perch – Fair: Quality perch (8-10 inch) can be found in the shallows where substrate is exposed. Fish with wigglers and a small jig at Breezy point, Pillsbury, or Fort Dodge.

Five Island Lake

Walleye – Fair: Anglers fishing just north of town bay are catching 14-1 7inch walleye. Anglers using bottom bouncers are stumbling upon numbers of walleyes as they approach the shallows.

Sign up Open for Youth Triathlon

Lyon County SealSign up is now open for Youth Triathlon on Friday July 24th at 6pm and Saturday July 25th for a discount on the Mini Triathlon and 3.5 Mile Fun Run at 8am.

Go to Lyon County Conservation Webpage to print off a waiver or go to Allsportcentral.com to sign up online. If you have any questions call Emily at 712-470-1219.

Lasoski Takes Showdown Championship at Sioux Speedway

Sioux Speedway LogoSioux Center Iowa — Weather once again threatened an evening of racing at Sioux Speedway, but the skies cleared off and the sun came out making for a beautiful 6th Annual Ver Hoef Automotive Sprint Car Showdown. With the Sioux County Youth Fair in full force the grandstands were near full as four divisions of cars were on hand to compete.

The first cars on the track were the Glen’s Sport Center Hobby Stocks. Logan Fitzpatrick jumped out to the early lead, but a caution nullified his great start. On the restart Dustin Gulbrandson motored ahead in his #6 machine. Gulbrandson extended his lead and kept his car out front for several laps. Late in the race Trevor Holm of Chandler, MN found the fast line and got around Gulbrandson in turns 1 & 2. The two made contact down the backstretch, but Holm got the advantage and went on to win his first career feature at Sioux Speedway. Sioux Falls racers Gulbrandson and Fitzpatrick in #82L finished second and third. Todd Uhl of Sheldon, IA was fourth with #11T, and Travis Vanden Top of Rock Rapids, IA was fifth in car #81.

The Steve Brouwer Trucking B-Modifieds feature saw several different drivers at the front before the outcome was finally decided. Dustin Kruse and Cameron Vande Weerd battled from the front row for the early lead. Vande Weerd led the first few laps before Kruse took over. Kruse held the point until Tim Rupp battled past in car #33 after a caution. Rupp then took off and looked to have control of the race. The Cherokee, IA racer was not so lucky though as a late caution bunched up the field. Logan Scott took advantage of the restart and put his #38 machine in the right lane to get around Rupp on the restart. Scott initially took off from Rupp, but Rupp chased him back down and put in a valiant effort to grab the lead in turn three in the last lap, but it was not enough. Odebolt, IA’s Scott won, Rupp was second. Logan’s brother Keegan Scott made his way to third at the end in #83 as Jake Simpson of Algona, IA finished fourth in #5. Dan Van Bruggen of Hospers, IA was fifth in car #42V.

Randy Brands had to drive only about 15 miles from his home in Boyden, IA to the track and less than 10 miles on the track to make history. Brands started on the front row with his 27 car in the Sybesma Graphics Stock Car feature and dominated en route to his 100th career win and 6th career win at Sioux Speedway making him the winningest driver at Sioux Speedway in the modern era (1998 – present). Behind Brands was Mel Elsberry of Orange City, IA in car #5E. Troy Woelber, another local from Hull, IA wheeled the 96 car from sixth to third. In fourth was Roger Verdoorn of Sibley, IA in car #04. In fifth was Trent Schroeder from Worthington, MN as his 31 machine just edged out Justin Regnerus at the line for the position.

The evening finale featured the JSTS 360 Winged Sprint Cars. Brian Brown was the two time defending champion, but with him not in attendence this year a new winner would be crowned. Gregg Bakker was the 2011 Sprint Car Showdown champion and early on in the feature he looked poised to take his second crown. He and current National Sprint League points leader and accomplished sprint racer Danny Lasoski started on row one. Sioux Falls hotshoe Bakker put his #11X out in front from the drop of the green and pulled away from Lasoski. This only lasted a little while though as Lasoski found the high line and drove around Bakker on the outside. The #1M quickly pulled away, but lap traffic allowed Bakker to keep close. A red for a John Lambertz roll over off of turns 3 & 4 restacked the field and Bakker put the pressure on Lasoski until the end. Lasoski kept riding higher out of turn 2 and Bakker tried to grab the lead back on the inside, but to no avail. Dover, MO’s Lasoski redeemed his blown engine in 2014’s event and picked up his first Sioux Speedway feature win. Bakker was second, Kaley Gharst of Decatur, IL finished third in #7. Jackson, MN racer Derrik Lusk was fourth and Logan Forler in car #2L from Boise, ID finished fifth after running third for most of the race.

Full results can be found at www.siouxspeedway.net.

West Lyon Wins in Extras

west-lyon-wildcat-trackHull, Iowa — West Lyon defeated Western Christian in an 18-15 decision that went 9 innings in Hull on Tuesday night in the 2nd 2 Class 2A District 2 semifinal.

The Wildcats would jump out in front early in the 1st inning with a lead of 5-0. West Lyon continued their scoring in the 2nd with Dylan Whalen getting on base after being hit by a pitch. He would come into score later on a sacrifice fly by Jaden Snyder to stretch their lead to 6-0. In the bottom of the 2nd inning, Western would get the bats going, adding 4 runs of their own.

The third inning would feature 2 more runs coming in for the Wolfpack to knot it up at 6 after 3 innings played. Western would get their first lead of the game bottom of the fifth after Tyson Kooima would lead the inning off with a hit. The designated hitter Cade Broek would drive in Kooima for the 7-6 lead.

West Lyon responded 4 runs of their own in the top of the sixth, and in kind, Western returned with six runs of their own. All told, it was 13-10 going into the 7th inning of play in favor of Western Christian. West Lyon, not to be out done, added another 5-run inning and took the lead 15-13 into the bottom of the 7th. Western Christian tied it up at 15’s after Tyson Kooima came into score on one of Carter Pollema’s 4 stand up doubles. Courtesy runner Josh Dykstra would come into tie it up at 15 after a hit by Broek. West Lyon would grab the win after a 3-run ninth inning, ending the game at 18-15.

In a game that featured 3 pitching changes for West Lyon, Dylan Whalen would get the win, pitch the last 3 innings, striking out 7, walking 3, allowing 4 hits, and earning 2 runs in his time at the mound.

Brady Van’t Hul would take the loss for Western Christian. Van’t Hul went 2 2/3 innings, he gave up 2 earned runs on just 4 hits and struck out 2.

West Lyon improves to 11-10 on the year and will face Okoboji Saturday night in Hull for the District title.

Western Christian ends their season at 11-13.

Okoboji Tops Sheldon

Hull, Iowa — Okoboji topped Sheldon to advance to the Class 2A District 2 championship game with a win over the Orabs 6-4 Tuesday night.

The Orabs would strike first in the top of the 1st inning when Colby Kleinhesselink doubled to down the left field line. He would come into score after Travis Buyert lifted one to left field.

Okoboji would respond with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning after Noah Bouse scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Holt Hunziker. Okoboji would add 2 more runs the bottom of the 2nd when Braxton Malchow got on base with a shot to left, 2 batters later Joel Ruiter would put one in right field and Malchow would come into score. The very next batter, Peter Eckard would put one in play, batting in Ruiter for the 3-1 lead after 2 innings of play. The Pioneers would add 3 more in the third inning to extend their lead 6-1.

Sheldon would come into striking distance, responding with 3 runs of their own in the fifth inning. Matt Buenger singled to put things in motion. Ross Van Kley reached on a fielders choice and Travis Buyert walked to load the bases with two out. Travis Sterler hit a hard ground ball to short that Houston Hawkins made a great stop on and then fired to first for a bang-bang play. The trow pulled the first basemen off the bag and the Orabs kept running and cleared the bases on the play with Sterler ending up at second base. Okoboji would get the final out of the inning and hold on to win 6-4 in Hull.

Eckard would grab the win, going all 7 innings, giving up 4 earned runs on 5 hits. He struck out 10 and walked 4.

Kleinhesselink would get the loss in 6 innings of work. He gave up 10 hits,  3 earned runs, struck out 3 and walked one.

Okoboji improves to 19-9 on the year and will play the West Lyon Wildcats Saturday night in Hull.

Sheldon ends their season at 8-17.

Iowa’s Annual Pheasant Survey Begins August 1

pheasantIowa’s 15-day annual pheasant population survey begins on Aug. 1, and wildlife experts say this year could be hard to predict.

A mild winter proceeded a warm March and April, then a wet May and June is giving wildlife experts mixed messages, but reports are coming in from people who are seeing more pheasants and quail than the last few years.

“We likely had good winter survival from our adult pheasants and quail giving us good populations to build from,” said Todd Bogenschutz, upland wildlife biologist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources who coordinates and collects the data from the 208, 30-mile survey routes.

Pheasants do best during mild winters with less than 30 inches of snow followed by a warm, dry spring nesting season with less than eight inches of rain. Iowa’s statewide snowfall average was 21.2 inches. The statewide spring rain average was 8.6 inches.

“I’ve had lots of reports from people who were seeing early pheasant chicks, which is positive given that May and June were so wet,” he said. “Our population model based on weather is predicting a steady to slightly increasing population. Roadside counts should be interesting.”

The August roadside survey is the best measurement of Iowa pheasant population. The 30-mile routes are driven at sunrise on gravel roads preferably on mornings with heavy dew and little wind. Surveyors watch for hens moving their broods to the road edges to dry off before starting to look for insects.

Surveyors note the number in the brood, any adult pheasants present and the size of the chicks, which tells Bogenschutz if this was an initial nest or if the nest was washed out and this brood was from a second or even third nest attempt. Each attempt after the first has fewer eggs than the prior attempt.

The survey also collects data on cottontail rabbits, jack rabbits, quail and Hungarian partridge.

Data is collected from the same routes each year. The information will be available online at www.iowadnr.gov/pheasantsurvey by middle September.

Incentives to Expand Pheasant Habitat

Habitat for pheasant and quail could be improving in the near term.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a general CRP signup for this winter and has made an additional 800,000 acres of continuous CRP available to the states.  The Iowa DNR has submitted requests for some these additional acres.  Landowners can find more information at www.iowadnr.gov/habitat.

In addition, the Iowa DNR recently announced another sign up for the Iowa Habitat and hunter Access Program (IHAP) that provides financial incentives to help landowners with pheasant and quail habitat in exchange for public hunter access.  For more information on IHAP visit www.iowadnr.gov/ihap.