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 walleye trolling crankbaits in the dredge cuts between the islands on the east side of the lake. Others have had success fishing in 4-6 feet of water in near shore areas. Channel Catfish – Fair: Anglers are catching catfish using dip baits and crawlers. They are having the best luck fishing the north shore areas, especially in the Circle Park area and the island near Circle Park. White Bass – Fair: White bass are being caught on spinners and crankbaits while fishing for walleyes. Anglers are also having luck fishing spinners and crankbaits in shallower areas near shore.
Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are schooled up off the jetties. Bluegills are very large with 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 – 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 dark deer hair jigs tipped with leeches. Yellow Perch – Fair: The fishing pier at the grade is producing more 6-8 inch perch for anglers willing to sort through bullheads and bluegill. Successful anglers are using jig heads and wax worms. A hot bite has been reported near the Templar point in 16 feet of water. Anglers that were creeled were using wax worms and slip bobbers. These perch were 10 inches. 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. Successful anglers are leaving the worm on the bottom and fishing around submerged vegetation. Northern Pike – Good: Fishermen fishing in Templar bar are catching large numbers of small northerns. Most fish are in the mid 20 inch range. Successful anglers are using Meps or small spinnerbaits. Johnson silver minnow tipped with a leech also has been proving to catch these fish.
Bluegill – Fair: 6-8 inch bluegill are being caught in low numbers along the north bank. Fish were being harvested using small lipstick jigs tipped with a nightcrawler. Crappie – Good: Smaller crappies are being caught on the north and east side of Center Lake. Anglers are using jigs tipped with wax worms.
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 and crankbaits while trolling or slip bobbers with minnows. Anglers are catching these fish throughout the water body.
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, and Texas rigs. Bluegill – Good: The canals are loaded with bluegills. Large and small fish are being caught in good numbers. Pocahontas Point is holding a good bluegill population with anglers catching large fish with little sorting. 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: Smallmouths have moved off beds and are now headed towards the rocky drop offs. Fish rock points that shoot out into the main basin of West Lake, Pillsbury, Fort Dodge, and Gull Point. Use jerk baits, football jigs, and swimbaits. Walleye – Good: Walleyes are being caught by shore anglers fishing the canal bridges after dark. Successful anglers are fishing darker crankbaits and bottom jigs with leeches. Fish being caught are in the 13-19 inch range. 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, and Fort Dodge.
Five Island Lake
Walleye – Fair: Anglers fishing just north of town bay are catching 14-17 inch walleye. Anglers using bottom bouncers are stumbling upon numbers of walleyes as they approach the shallows.
Lost Island Lake
Yellow Bass – Good: Large yellow bass can be caught at the outlet of little lake. These fish are being seen and caught under the overhang of the outlet structure. A large number of smaller fish can be caught near the bridge where Lost Island dumps into little lake. Black Bullhead – Excellent: A very large number of bullheads are being seen while crews are electrofishing on Lost Island. These large numbers of bullhead are being seen at the mouth of little lake just west of the bridge. Crappie – Fair: Crappies are starting to group up in the shallow coves of little lake. These fish are swimming into the cattails in preparation for the spawn.